Something New

20140124-164037.jpg Slow to move to a smart phone, I am also slow to decide about moving to mobile photography as well. What I love about my LX3 is the size; it fits in my pocket so I can always have a camera with me. This is even more true with a phone, and now that I have a phone with a decent camera my “kit” is very compact.

20140124-164134.jpgMobile publishing is also intriguing to me. The idea of it is very nice, of course there are some limitations, photo editing software is not as robust as a computer, no keyboard, the WordPress app is not as easy for me to use.

There is a much smaller screen, but I think that in time I will be able to look at the phone and know what the photo will look like on a larger screen. The WordPress backend is very easy to use from a “it just works” perspective, I never code anything; the app will take some getting used to.

20140124-164212.jpgAs far as the camera itself goes, the main concern I have moving to such a small platform is low light performance. 800 is as high as I can go with the LX3 and even then the quality is marginal, going smaller will not help anything. I am also not sure about moving away from RAW. I have have always shot RAW, but I know a lot of people do not, it just makes me nervous.

Really though most of what I shoot are grab shots and will never be published other than electronically. From that view sensor size does not matter. It is also very convenient to capture, process and publish all in one spot. Now it’s a matter of putting some time in to try to work out the problems.

Lights and Lines

In an effort to simplify, one thing that I do not spend a lot of time in is post processing. Of course, I would like to learn to use Lightroom to it’s full capability, but for now, I have enough going on learning to take decent photos. I could spend hours on one photo in post processing (and I have) but since I really have no idea what I am doing, I am never sure that I couldn’t have gotten equivalent results by using the LR presets.

One day I was looking through a book of photos by Henri Cartier-Bresson and I learned that he never processed his own photos. While this is old news to many people, I couldn’t believe that some like HCB could trust half of his creative process to someone else! Then I thought, if he can give up control, why can’t I? So I did, and I haven’t looked back.

After I import my photos, I select all and convert them all to the same B&W preset that comes standard with Lightroom. Then in the grid view I am looking at what I think of as the digital version of a proof sheet, and I can go from there. Sometimes I will experiment with some of the other B&W presets, but for the most part I have one that I like and I stick with that. I will adjust the tone curve a little, maybe some noise reduction if I am shooting at 800, but I try to keep it really simple.

I feel that by placing this additional limitation on myself that I have really freed myself up to be more creative, in addition of course to the amount of time I free up by not parking myself in front of the computer. By shooting with one preset in mind it is like shooting with film, you can’t change mid roll, everything will come out in the end with the same treatment. I also get to know this “film” better the more I shoot this way so I can anticipate the results while I am shooting.