Thoughts on Photography

Those who follow my blog have read a number of posts documenting my recent trip to Florida. If not, that’s OK . . . I only mention them as a reference. 

All of the photos on those posts were taken, processed, and published from my SmartPhone. Mind you, I also snapped many photos with my Nikon (although not as many as some of my previous trips).

The thing is, the phone (a Samsung Note II) takes decent photos, and I use apps on that same phone to add interest, enhance the photos, and in general make them presentable.

This begs the question . . . did I need to bring my full complement of gear on this particular trip? Mind you, I would have missed out on some photos one cannot take with any smart phone, at least not any phone I am familiar with.

But, if the point is to share an experience, the argument could be made the photos I did share were sufficient to entertain those who were interested in the subject, and posting the photos taken with the Nikon using the very expensive (and heavy) lenses would not have added anything to the reader’s experience.

“Oh yeah? Prove it!”

“Why, that’s an excellent idea, Bob.”

Let’s start with the Florida Keys.

This was the first photo from the Keys.

wpid-20131126_120632_1.jpg

This is the approximate same photo from the “real” camera.

From Nikon

From Nikon

Now, this is not exactly apples and oranges since the one for the camera is smaller (an unfortunate slip in my awareness; I uploaded a slightly smaller size than I intended when I did the original post).

Still, one can immediately see a difference in quality and, somewhat important, the zoom. Now, one can “zoom” with the phone as well, but it’s what I charitably call Crap Zoom. You see, it’s not a zoom at all. They are just magnifying the original picture. A True Zoom (Optical Zoom) actually gives you more information, retains the clarity and detail, and it’s much, much better than Digital Zoom (a.k.a. Crap Zoom).

Here’s the second photo.

wpid-20131126121331_1.jpg

Now, I happen to like this photo, especially since the vulture was flying toward me at the time.

Here is a similar photo from the Nikon.

From the Nikon

From Nikon

Definitively, the resolution and color rendition is better. For one, I have more control in the processing of the Nikon Photo. For another, it has three times the resolution and better dynamic range.

Notice that on the phone photos I play with borders, shading, etc. to make the photo more interesting. I could do the same with the Nikon photo, but for this discussion, I didn’t bother.

Plus, here’s another thing about Optical Zoom. I can show you what the bridge looks like.

Photo from Nikon with Optical (not Crap) Zoom

Photo from Nikon with Optical (not Crap) Zoom

Oh, did I mention? You should be able to click on the Nikon photos to open the original in a new window, then click on it to zoom to original resolution (unless WordPress loses the links, as it usually does). They are BIG files . . . don’t click unless you have a fast Internet connection.

Edited To Add: WordPress did lose the links. HERE is the SmugMug album link. Bastards! That was a lot of work!

The zoom also lets you frame the subject in the picture. You have no control with the phone camera. You get what it sees.

From the Nikon

From the Nikon

The last photo from the Keys was of the vine on the beach.

wpid-20131126_123844_1.jpg

This is not bad . . . this is better, but not by much. 

From the Nikon

From the Nikon

Unless you click on the picture and look at it at full resolution. But, who the heck does that? I mean, I usually link to the SmugMug albums with the originals of the photos on these blog posts, and hardly anyone ever clicks on the links. (edited to add – album HERE)

So, from the Keys . . . I call it even. Unless I had made the comparison, most people would be, and probably still are, satisfied with the pictures from the phone camera.

Oh, by the way . . . here’s a couple from around Jupiter, Florida, which would not be possible with the phone camera, as both of these required a long zoom.

From the Nikon

From the Nikon

From the Nikon

From the Nikon

OK, let’s move to Epcot . . . Don’t worry; I won’t flood you with photos until the Magic Kingdom.

Here’s the one from the phone.

20131130_125940_HDR_1

Not bad, not bad. 

From the Nikon.

From the Nikon

They are not clipped or treated the same, and Alice is on the one from the Nikon, but I’m calling these a draw as well . . . maybe even a slight nod to the one from the phone camera. The casual reader would not care which I posted.

By the way, what the heck is Alice doing at Epcot? Never mind.

Here is one from Epcot that could only be gotten with the Nikon and my fast telephoto zoom.

From Nikon

From the Nikon

This is a crop (still about 2500×2000 pixels) of Gary Senise doing a reading. It does not look like it, but he was in semidarkness, about 100 yards away. Not a great photo, but I wondered about all the people next to me snapping away with their phone cameras . . . I don’t think they got anything usable.

Right . . . on to Magic Kingdom.

From the previous posts, using the phone camera.

20131201_152733_HDR_1

See, I kind of like this . . . it has the ‘magical’ feel of the place.

From Nikon

From the Nikon

. . . but I think this is better framed (and I could add the border if I wanted). Not only that, if you click on the photo go to the gallery, you can see the netting used for the lighting of the castle after dark. Again, not a necessity for the casual reader.

Here is the phone street picture . . . 

20131201_151911_HDR_1

How can anyone compete with a cute girl in a princess costume?

From Nikon

From the Nikon

For the purpose of showing there were WAY too many people, either photo will do. However, nod to Samsung photo for better processing and composition given the subject.

And here we are, the castle at night . . . 

From the phone, a random sampling.

20131201_193126_HDR_1 20131201_193009_HDR_1 20131201_210824_HDR_1 20131201_205602_HDR_1

Not bad . . . here are the camera photos.

Florida 2013, Magic Kingdom,

Florida 2013, Magic Kingdom,

Florida 2013, Magic Kingdom,

Florida 2013, Magic Kingdom,

Florida 2013, Magic Kingdom,

I think these look a tad better . . . still, enough to make a difference to the reader? Maybe. Certainly to anyone who looks at them at full resolution.

Plus, the phone camera could not capture these next ones, where the lighting was lowered, and different themes were projected onto the castle.

Florida 2013, Magic Kingdom,

Florida 2013, Magic Kingdom,

Florida 2013, Magic Kingdom,

Florida 2013, Magic Kingdom,

I think it would have captured these next ones because of the extra light.

Florida 2013, Magic Kingdom,

Florida 2013, Magic Kingdom,

But I know it would have had trouble with this one (as we were leaving).

Florida 2013, Magic Kingdom,

So here we are, and not done yet . . . 

There’s still a poll to take.

Personally, I think I will get less views from when I post my Nikon photos than when I posted the ‘live’ reporting from my trip. Which points to maybe paring down the amount of equipment I travel with. 

Unless, of course, I’m doing animal or landscape photography. For this trip, the phone was almost enough.

Well, that’s it . . . another lo-o-ong post in the can.

. . . and my throat is still very sore.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Escape by Sea

Escape by Sea

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

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. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Florida, How-To, Opinions and Stuff, Travel Stuff, Writing Stuff and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Thoughts on Photography

  1. oneowner says:

    Okay, I voted for the Nikon shots because, as you point out, they are better. Not obviously better in some cases but better overall. But the Nikon is no good if it gets in the way of having fun. I bought a little Sony point and shoot and it’s about the size of a phone but the photos are way, way better than the Samsung or HTC phone cameras we have. It’s the best of both worlds: compact, lightweight and fits in your back pocket but yet it takes great shots and it has an optical zoom lens, too. It’s not a Nikon but it’s good at what it does.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      I have a Panasonic (Lumix) that does both photos and movies well, has image stabilization, and a 12x optical zoom (300mm equivalent).

      I suppose I could use it, but if I’m going to carry a camera, the D7000 with the 18-200mm VR f/3.5-5.6 is preferred.

      Regardless if it’s a Point-n-Shoot, or a DSLR, it’s another thing I have to carry, and the DSLF is actually easier to lug around.

      The problem was that I had my bag with me, with all the lenses. And in part that was because we did not go back to the room between places. The 18-200mm is not a good lens for the night shots (I used Sigma’s 17-50mm f/2.8 with image stabilization). Realistically I could have left the Macro lens and my Sigma 10-20mm lenses at home.

      Really, it was just lack of planning on my part. Or, more correct, lack of awareness. I knew in each instance where I was going, and I could have planned accordingly, and not lug everything around in 80 deg weather and high humidity.

      Still, there is merit in mentioning the phone worked admirably (within its limitations) to letting me communicate was what was happening on a daily basis. There was no time to download and process the Nikon’s photos, so that had to do the brunt of the work.

      By the way, same holds true for the Panasonic. I would not have time to download the photos and process them for posting. With the phone, I could do processing as we waited in line, or rode the bus, and by the evening all I had to do was write and attach the photos that were ready. Also, much less post-processing on the phone, except for adding the signature. That was the most tedious, and I wish you could save it and just apply it.

      Thanks for the feedback.

      Like

      • oneowner says:

        it all makes sense to me now. When we go out I usually leave the short zoom on the camera and I just leave the tele zoom in the car if I don’t think I’m going to use it.
        If you are using Lightroom you can export with your signature for posting. i did it for a while but stopped when I started to blogging again.

        Like

        • disperser says:

          That’s the other difference between the two . . . The nikon shots are post-processed in Lightroom, then a DigiMarc signature is embedded, and then I output with the Creative Commons License. The phone ones I just write a copyright, although for some I have a file I can add to it that is the right size for the picture (not all). Some of the phones ones were re-modified once I got back to the room to add the signature using my PC, but the processing is from the Phone.

          . . . my wife insists I rob the joy out of just walking around enjoying stuff . . . but she does appreciate the photos after the fact.

          For that is the other reality. The phone camera is faster an unobtrusive to our meanderings, whereas when I grab the D7000, it becomes a major production worthy of DeMille (always one more shot, different angle, different exposure, ISO, etc).

          Like

  2. Wow. Really nice photos with both. My husband keeps telling me that for as few photos as I will actually take – and because I need a new phone – I shouldn’t buy a camera. He says I need to get a phone and take pictures with that. I think you’ve just proven him right. For photos of granddaughter, family, and just fun, I would be completely happy with the quality you’re showing above.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Yes, I think so. As I wrote elsewhere, people usually like photos because they trigger memories, and the quality and technical aspects of them is not as important as the content.

      That said, phone cameras have come a long way in both features and quality. As I mentioned above, I do plan to incorporate the phone in my picture-taking trips.

      As long as one knows the limitations (i.e. you’re not going to get a photograph of Gary Senise with a phone camera from 100 yards away) it should be fine for what most people are interested in . . . to capture memories with family and friends.

      Like

  3. I could do with one of those beaches, now that we have another winter storm comming in…

    Like

    • disperser says:

      When we left Florida, exactly a week ago, we left temperatures in the high 70’s or low 80’s and came back to -17deg (F). Roughly a 95° change in the space of 4 hours.

      I normally look forward to coming home after a trip, but I could have used another week there. Today we’re supposed to hit the mid-50’s, and as it usually does here in Colorado, the sun is shining brightly. This would have been better weather to come back to.

      Like

  4. AnnMarie says:

    Camera phone or Nikon, it’s the photographer that must get the final credit. I agree that for documentation and ease the camera phone does plenty well (especially in your hands), but I’m so glad you also used the Nikon to take photos. I love detail and color and contrast and your Nikon photos provide all that and more. I can’t wait to check out those shots of the castle in SmugMug! What a glorious treat!

    Like

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