Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cell phone "photography"

I was at the Appaloosa Library in Scottsdale with my daughter yesterday. This is the newest library in the system and one of the coolest buildings. It is one of those "green" buildings. Anyway, while we were walking in I noticed some neat geometric lines... the kind that you see often in my work. I did not have any cameras with me... so I [brace yourself] took out my cell phone and made an image with it. [horror... shock... quiet came over the room...] I did have to have Lindsay show me how to do this ;^)

OK, calm down... I only did this so I would have a visual record, remember, I'm 50 now and my memory is going south. I plan on going back with the 4x5 and 8x10 cameras to get this puppy in both B&W and color. I have actually photographed this building before, earlier this year and on the other side, with the 8x10 but haven't done the film yet. I'm saving developing for when it's a little cooler.

I have several "library" images and plans for more, hopefully producing a portfolio next year. Anyway, back to cell phone "photography".

When I was photographing the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles a couple of years ago I remembered going into the gift shop the year before on a short vacation. They had "Cell Phone Photography" of the building on display and for sale. $125 for a 5x7" inkjet print. I remember all the BS in the artist's statement about how great this work was. It was crap.

Now, after making my cell phone image I feel even more strongly about this. The image from my Motorola Razr came in at 320x240 pixels (77kb) at 72 dpi. The color was awful, too. To put this amazing image quality into perspective, my 4x5" camera's "native" resolution is approximately 20,000 x 25,000 pixels (500MB). My 8x10" is 40,000 x 50,000 pixels (2 GB) and my 11x14" is 55,000 x 70,000 pixels (3.8 GB). My smallest camera (4x5") has 6500 times more resolution! I don't even want to get into the math for the big cameras!

A color corrected (best I could do) version and a B&W version are below.

My conclusion on this subject is that I'll have to go spend tons of money on a new iPhone so I can get some better photographs! ;^)

No comments: