Picture making choices - Fuji X100s, Nokia 1020, Blackberry Q10 - HDR documentary photography

The above images were taken yesterday using three cameras. Fuji X100S + teleconverter, Nokia 1020 and Blackberry Q10 smartphones. Now I wasn't planning to use the last one, but the battery on my Fuji ran out of power, as it does quicker than it should and I wanted to keep on shooting square images and see that square when I took the picture, which the Nokia doesn't allow me to do. 

Since I now carry both phones with me all the time I'm out, the Blackberry for phone calls and emails and the Nokia for the web, I've usually got three picture making devices with me. The size of the phones makes that possible. (Though I wonder whether I can describe the Nokia as a phone. I have now actually made one call on it, but I'm essentially using it as a 'mini tablet when I'm out with it.) It also allows me the opportunity to work with the cameras and lenses I have left.

The Sony A7 has gone (again!) as have the Panasonic GX7 and GM1, plus a few lenses. There's more to go when I get round to it, but as per usual, I don't like to sell stuff, even though I may not use it much. Because different camera / lens combinations offer different things and for me at the picture taking end that means something. Where I've ceased to see any meaningful use in discussing the gear I use is when the images become a reality. (If a digital images consisting of 0's and 1's can be considered 'real'.) Consequently I haven't said which camera took with pictures.

Many of you will be able to work out what I took the above images with anyway, but ultimately it's unimportant. I've never subscribed to the 'best camera you have is the one you have with you' philosophy, because I see it used too often as an excuse for poor images and I make sure that the 'best camera(s) I have is (are) the one(s) I choose to take with me. And at the moment I'm very happy with my options. 

Finally I thought you might like to see how I've processed the above images for some (not all) picture libraries. i.e. the ones who are keen to put together 'smartphone stock.'

This is a look that I've been working towards for a while and it's one I like very much. It's also proving popular with the aforementioned libraries who are trying to promote that 'smartphone aesthetic.' It has to be said the people who buy pictures seem to be able to take it or leave it currently (mostly leave it!) But since I've got tens of thousands of images sitting on library sites with a more 'conventional' look, I like shooting editorial or non released documentary images and at present the market for that is in it's early stages via microstock, I'm prepared to give it a go for a while. 

I've got an article in preparation about this and the processing choices I'm making and that should be ready in a few days. But the shorthand version is I wanted to shoot some documentary or 'street photography' (god I hate that term with a passion and can hardly bring myself to write it) images and I wanted them to look different. And I'm not that bothered about their commercial potential (or otherwise) at the moment. So that's why I'm doing it. 

Anyway, after a period of time when I was working non-stop because of the weather, I'll have some time to post on the blog a bit more now, since the weather has reverted to type and today (a national holiday of course) it's raining and actually quite cold. So in between hours of editing I should be able to fit in some more regular posting, instead of the 'bus' type nature of what's been going on lately. The 'You wait ages for one then lot's come at once' scenario. 


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  • N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) at the bottom of this post.


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