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365 Cellphone Pics, Day 34-38: Sep 4-8

I know I promised that I’d catch up soon on my 365 Cellphone pics. Well, I lied. But don’t feel too bad. I’m nearly two months behind on posting my daily self-portraits on flickr. But I’m working on it. So here we go, let’s try to get some of the pics from earlier in September posted.



On September 4th, I once again wanted to illustrate the idea of taking photos of everyday objects and trying to present them as art. Like a modern-day Dadaist, the cellphone photographer should always be on the lookout for “found art.”

By varying the angle and exposure of the shot to present a view of the object that we are not used to, we can draw attention to the image. Then by getting close to the object, filling the frame and paying careful attention to the texture and feel of the object we can force the viewer to look at it in a new way.
This image was heavily post-processed in Adobe Photoshop. It was sharpened more than normal in order to really make the texture of the worn metal really come through. After that, a soft-light layer was added with a diffuse glow filter applied to the image in order to over expose the background and allow the parking meter in foreground to pop.




The September 5th photo is much more of a classic photography image than most of what I’ve been featuring in here lately. This is a classic landscape shot, presented as a portrait aspect ratio in order to make it standout a little from the norm.

The image was post processed into black and white to make the texture and tones really stand out. The water of the stream I am particularly proud of as it the black tone it takes on is very murky tone.
The key to this photo, and what made me snap it in the first place, was the lighting. The shot is actually taken in a small tunnel. The light is peaking through the trees and just barely entering the mouth of the tunnel where I am standing. Enough ambience to get the shot, but leave the water with that dark and murky look.




On September 6th, I was working on rebuilding my main computer and had been using an old laptop as my backup. I set it down for a moment to do something else and was struck by the perspective of the keyboard out of the corner of my eye.

I’ve found that a lot of my favorite cellphone shots utilize extreme perspective. Given the lack of a means of varying the zoom on the iphone’s camera, it’s probably true that I gravitate towards these kinds of shots.
Some small sharpening was done in post for this photo to really simulate a crisp macro photography feel, but most of the strength of the photo comes from simply getting very close to time subject and filling the frame.




Perspective was again the critical key to the photo for September 7th. I’d actually been meaning to do a shot like this for a while.

Skyscraper photography with a cellphone is actually quite deceptively simple. The fixed lens is wide enough that perspective of large objects is automatically exaggerated.
The key here is to get as close to the building as possible. This shot was actually taken from across the street because getting any closer I would not have been able to fit the entire building in the shot.
The iPhone 3GS allows the user to focus on an arbitrary part of the frame by clicking on it. Here I focused on the base of the building and then shot up allowing the focus to fall off as the building trailed off into the distance. The lines on the side of building converge as it gets higher and much like other perspective tricks I’ve used during this project, this causes a sense of movement throughout the picture.




September 8th’s photo is anothere attempt at a classic photography example.

This glass was shot under studio hotlights. The key light was set to camera right pointing down at the glass with a smaller fill light to camera left to maintain a sense of form on the opposite side of the glass. This fill light and a small back light pointing at the glass from behind allow the glass to maintain separation from the background.
The iPhone was focused on the glare on glass. This has a nice side-effect with the iPhone’s camera. The sensor knows to stop the aperture down to attempt to not overexpose the point of focus. Consequently, the black backdrop becomes underexposed which leads to a solid black fill effect. Without the back light, background would be even darker, but allowing a little light to seep into the upper corner of the frame creates a more natural effect.



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