iPhone augustinii BluesSunday, April 25, 2010
In the scheme of things that my life occupies, yesterday was a bit of an important day. Rosemary and I took the girls to VanDusen. Rosemary first told Lauren that yesterday was Kerrisdale Days. On this day merchants have sidewalk sales. Little ponies are brought in for children to ride and there are games, contests, street musicians and lots of food. But Lauren insisted (to Rosemary and my delight) that she wanted to go for a walk in VanDusen. Before we left Rosemary told me that I should bring my new iPhone and try to take pictures. I made the motions of bringing it along; after all it is a phone.
Rebecca was not in the best of moods as she had a painful sty in her left lower eye lid. “I am going to wear my sunglasses. I don’t want anybody to see me.” “Rebecca,” I said to her, “Nobody will really know. They will think you are a young boxer. If you want I can punch you in the other eye and you will look symmetrical.” Rebecca did not wear her glasses.
Again Rosemary reminded me that my iPhone was a camera so I took a picture of Rebecca leaning against a mossy rock. I had brought my Nikon FM-2 with Tri-X but this shot cried for colour. I broke down and used the phone. It took what looked like a picture that was not all that bad. My only problem was trying to figure out how to use what seemed to be an over-sensitive “shutter”button. I tapped many pictures I did not mean to take. Lauren was much more difficult even though Rebecca was self-conscious about her. Lauren has a sensitivity to light so she tends to either squint or not look at the camera unless I crouch down to her level. And then she began to synchronize closing her eyes with my iPhone’s shutter.
The next problem was to overcome the obvious (to me) incompatibility between my iPhone and my PC. It was not as difficult as I thought and today I was able to download some of the images, which you can see here.
VanDusen was particularly beautiful yesterday as the garden has many Rhodedendron augustinii. These are mostly a light purplish blue but some are white or almost blue. I chose to photograph my girls (including Rosemary) with these delightful shrubs as foreground or background. Amongst the pictures here, are two, below, that I took of Rebecca with our own R. augustinii. One I took in 2007 and the other in 2008. I have noticed that the images have begun to deteriorate as jpgs. I will eventully have to locate (laziness prevents me from doing that now) the original slides so I can scan them again.
What in the end won me over to the iPhone was, paradoxically, since I know what I am doing when I have a complicated film camera in hand, was the liberating fact that there were no controls to be mastered. The iPhone is truly and only (very important!) a point and shoot camera. The trick which I will have to soon apply is to figure out its limitations. Some of them will be its lack of low light sensitivity and "wide anglish” lens propensity to make the features of my subjects (particularly their noses) big if I get too close.
Otherwise I am happy to report that yesterday was, truly, some sort of breakthrough, a little big-bangish fizzle,as my declining career as a photographer goes nova (not even super nova). The use of a simple digital camera will not pull a Lazarus for me but it just might make me smile before they close that coffin lid.
Alleyne Cook & R.augustinii
A Study In Blue
The Photos In My Wallet