I’m quite happy that I could get my camera working as usual again, without having to send it in for repairs and such – so today I thought about using a studio strobe again, haven’t done that in a while (since the photo shoot for school in early spring).
And I was just finished setting everything up and measuring the light intensity when my favourite model decided to relocate – so I’d had to turn, measure again, and live with a not-so-optimal kind of light. I’d loved to having added a second one of my studio strobes, but that one also didn’t have a power cable attached, and I would have to climb to reach it on its higher stand… so…
That’s what I came up with. Much better and sharper than yesterday’s photo using the incandescent room light of course; all measures are better once you’ll get a flash or studio strobe into the game – lower ISO, much better colour accuracy, shorter times (the camera is on 1/160th of a second, but the strobe was way faster than that which really freezes any motion), and you can close down the aperture a bit (here I was using f/4), all of which would give a better picture. Really, having a flash or strobe which you can bounce over a wall like here will make more of a difference than having a 1k€ lens vs. a 300€ one… (I was discussing that with a friend recently).
It’s hard to get the light just as you’ll want it and then have an animal sitting still at the exactly right place, these are rare moments. But it’s still fun and good practise to also try with not so optimal conditions, all of that will make you think, and see, and if you’re honestly judging yourself and your results, it will make you a better photographer in the long run… or so we hope… 🙂
Today I took a photo of our cat again, sitting on the chair at my computer desk, looking out the veranda door. I cropped that photo into a 5:4 format again, and made it black & white using first the Olympus Workspace, and then Silver Efex. Back in Linux, I added my usual midtoning in RawTherapee. Looks like this:
… keeps the doctor away, so the old saying goes. Well maybe the internet doctor in this case. Let me explain.
My boss has the same internet provider that we also use, it’s your usual cable ‘triple play’ provider who gives you TV, phone, and internet all via the same line. That has been pretty good until the beginning of this year, when services – especially internet and thus phone (which is nothing more than VOIP anyway) – stopped working, sometimes for days. So both my boss and I had days when we had to wait several hours until we could resume working, especially since the lockdown and stay at and work from your homes rules.
So our employers decided to give us LTE access points as a backup for the usual cable service, which means a mobile phone. And at our employer, the current standard mobile phone is an Apple iPhone. The colleagues who ordered theirs some 2 weeks before I did got the iPhone 8, and yesterday mine arrived – the brand new iPhone SE from 2020. And it’s small, see here:
There it is still in its packing which isn’t that much bigger than my mouse as you can see. One big plus of these phones – for me – are their “tiny” screens with just 4.7 inches, even the old Google (LGE) Nexus 5 had a 4.95″ screen (although with a higher resolution).
So by now it’s set up (through IBM, who are the owners of this thing, I’m only the user), and this is the normal start screen (learned to make a screenshot on an Apple device which is all new for me):
That screen has a resolution of 750 pixels wide and 1334 pixels high, so here you’ll have that screenshot in its original size. Not FullHD like the 1080×1920 size of the Nexus 5, but I tried and watched Wim Wenders’ wonderful “Paris, Texas” movie on it yesterday, and I haven’t been put off just because of the screen size – that’s still such a wonderful movie that you’ll forget about all that.
Played around only briefly with Apple’s free GarageBand until now because I don’t have an iRig or other interface to get my bass (or Zuleikha’s piano) attached.
But of course I had to try the camera – so here you go:
Nice colours, hm? And about 4mm focal length, here with f/1.8 (I think it opens up to f/1.4 if it needs to or if you want that), ISO400 in this case, and 12MP resolution. Not as good as our real cameras, but who’s complaining if you get that for free in a sub 400$ phone (and I really have the smallest and cheapest, with 64GB of storage, more than enough for what we do with them).
So would I recommend these, or even buy any from my own money? I don’t know, honestly. These Android phones like Mitchie’s Google Pixel 3a are damn fine devices as well, and even cheaper (seen that one for under 300€ in the stores already). And Android is still more open, that thing has both a better (but alas, also bigger) screen *and* a better camera, at least when the light gets dimmer (plus it has an old style 3.5″ headphone/microphone jack). Apple on the other hand has way more processing power under its hoods with their own ARM-based A13 chips, these devices multitask like the big boys without even breaking a sweat – which is always good for artists like painters, video guys or musicians. They cost a lot more money tho, especially the add-ons (look at pencils and keyboards for iPads for instance, or RAM upgrades for Mac computers).
But it’s always interesting to look over the fence or the borders of your own plates, and to learn something new can’t be bad as well. So thanks boss, glad we have these… (and let’s see if that’ll become my gateway drug which will lead to further addiction – but I’m still glad I also have Ardour on my Linux box) 🙂