Amazing Smart Phone Cameras

I am just amazed at the quality that’s built into a camera that I have with me almost all the time, now. It’s my smart phone. I have used an iPhone in the past, and now have an HTC Android phone. When the time comes, I may go back to a new iPhone. The manufacturers keep adding amazing new features and, even now, I’m not taking full advantage.

Lately, I’ve been shooting some open mic events I’ve attended. I play and sing at some, myself, but I use my phone to capture what other folks are doing. This shot is one I took under terrible lighting conditions. The stage was bathed in a green light and the phone recorded what it saw…but green light on skin? Yuck.

I knew that this image would have to go to black and white because of that…

Geraldines 20130805

Open Mic Performance At Geraldine’s In West Springfield, MA. (Click for original size image.)

Shortly after I shot this, I made a video recording with the same phone. After all, I was just standing there and all it required was the click of a different icon so, why not?

I managed to capture the last verse of the song, Wagon Wheel. Bobby D (on the right) sings this beautifully by himself most of the time, but this night, a bunch of the other “regulars” invaded the stage and accompanied.

I was leaning against a short wall in front of the stage and used that to prop up the phone. It was at the perfect height and the wall reduced the normal camera shake you’d get under these conditions. Luckily, no one walked in front of me and I got a useable video, too. Sweet.

Anyway, it wasn’t until I was reviewing the images on my 27 inch LCD monitor that I realized how much this image reminded me of Kodak 35mm Tri-X film. This was the ISO 400 speed B&W film that had a graininess that made prints come to life. The cell phone image, on my screen, was actually larger than what I would normally print from a 35mm shot. (I would typically go for 5X7 up to 11×14…with the LCD screen, the image was much larger.

Oh, and the image was a crop from the original. If I had been closer the resolution of the final image would have been even better. Sweet.

Perfectionists might quibble about the hot, burned out parts of the image (like the shiny guitar). Some might have gone into the enlarger for better contrast control. I was never into that too much. I like the photo as it is.

(The musicians, from L-R: Rich 2, Kenny B., Acoustic Dave, Brian C., and Bobby D.)

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