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365 Cellphone Pics, Day 11: Aug 11

But for the obvious lack of resolution, the cellphone camera may be the best thing that’s ever happened to street photography. The true photographer knows that you should never be without your camera ever. Pick it up when you get out of bed and carry it with you every where you go. To work, to lunch, to the store, to the gym, to the bathroom. You never knew when you were going to get that one killer shot. Of course, cameras can be kind of unwieldy, and so unless you were truly dedicated to the craft that might be kind of a problem.

But now, in 2010, in the United States of America, if you’re not carrying around a cellphone with a built in camera, then YOU are the weirdo. In many ways, the cell phone really does bring photography to the masses. In some ways, I guess that’s what this project is really about.
And if you’re going to have a camera on you at all times, then really, why not take up street photography as a hobby. Interesting scenes are all around you. It just takes opening your eyes and choosing the moment. The best thing is, in the old days, if you pulled your camera out and stood around on the street corner taking pictures of people they tended to get annoyed at you. But I’ve found that if you’re standing on a busy street today, there’s probably more people talking or texting on their phones than not. You can hold up an iPhone and snap away and no one gives you a second thought.
Of course, as I stated, the quality of these cameras isn’t quite up to par with what we’d probably like for truly brilliant street photography, but as always, the megapixel race is on and we’ll catch eventually. On top of that, cellphone cameras are starting to get better lenses and focusing mechanisms. In the meantime, using an impoverished camera can lend some very interesting results, especially if basic rules of composition are followed ahead of time and good post processing is used after the fact. Afterall, in a truly candid situation, one wouldn’t have the time to really be adjusting settings on a dSLR anyway. The keys are to be aware where your light source is and compose accordingly. Also, get used to making quick decisions and no how long it takes your camera to respond once the shutter button is clicked. There are no second chances to recapture that truly unique moment, so you have to get it right the first time.
In post processing I added a little more fill light on the front subject to make her pop from the shot a little better than the lesser subjects behind her. I really felt that she conveyed a nice sense of motion and “on-the-go” as she’s striding confidently while talking on her phone at the same time. Then, I obviously reprocessed the shot in black and white to add a more editorial feel to it. Finally, I cropped the photo to have the subject in the bottom right hand corner while the perspective of the road and sidewalk she’s walking down trails off in the upper left to really give her a sense of movement. 
I had a lot of fun with this style and it’s one I hope to revisit for other shots in this project.

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