Thursday, July 18, 2013

Little Red

It's time to pick back up my little red Canon camera. Instagram is a lot of fun, and having a camera always handy on my iPhone 5 is great, but I'm starting to realize its limits. The iPhone 5 camera distorts what it sees. It tilts parallels inward so buildings and horizons don't line up with the frame, and it distorts the proportions of faces, turning them into funhouse mirror versions of themselves. Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit. But I'm starting to get frustrated that what I see isn't what I get.

On my little red Canon on the other hand, when I do get the picture, it's more satisfying, even if a little blurry. The colors are rich, the dimensions true, the details layered and the lighting nuanced. I realize that the Instagram pics I love best are those taken with a non-phone camera and imported to the app. And looking at the photos I brought back from Jamaica this last time, and also from my son's graduation, and I'm starting to feel as if I missed recording some precious memories by relying on the surreptitious ease of my phone. Not that I haven't got some wonderful photos with my phone, especially outdoors. But when it comes to the fleeting moments, it's a crapshoot (pun intended?).

All this to say, I wasn't really happy with the photos I took when I was in Jamaica with my mom and the rest of my family two weeks ago. I'm sorely missing the photos I neglected to take. I think the key is intention. With my Canon, I raise the camera and frame the photo and I mean to take the picture. With my phone, I'm snapping haphazardly a lot of the time, and hoping to catch something worthwhile. Just for fun, here are some random photos taken with non-phone cameras and run through Instagram. They don't prove my argument or anything. I just felt like putting them up.

Photos from top:

1. My daughter and my mom in St. Lucia two years ago.
2. My husband at the orchid show last Spring.
3. With Aunt Winnie before she was bedridden and when my girl was still in braces
4. My son and my niece replicating a pose from when they were tiny humans.
5. The original picture. Maybe he thought the dress was cake icing.


  1. I have become way too lazy and dependent on my iPhone camera too. With my photography "skills" being what they are though, I don't know that it makes much difference.
    You, however, are a real photographer and so yes, there is a difference. I love all your pictures.

  2. It doesn't matter to me what you use to take the pics; they're all beautiful. The one of your daughter and mom? Heart melting.

  3. I'd be interested to see the same shot taken by both the iPhone camera and the Little Red camera, side by side.

  4. I know exactly what you mean. The moment I notice any distortion from a lens, that distortion drives me crazy. I have that problem with my main camera lens, actually. It tilts and bends lines at the margins. I guess all lenses distort things at least a little bit, and I know some of it could eventually be corrected, but still -- it makes me nuts.

    It's hard to beat the convenience of a phone, and phone cameras these days really ARE quite good for most purposes. But I enjoy having my "real camera" handy as much as possible.

  5. I know exactly what you mean, Angella. One thing that bugs me about the iPhone camera is the lag time - maybe newer models are better (I have an iPhone 4) but I lose several seconds while I'm trying to access the camera and wait for it to come up and be ready to go.

    Whichever camera you choose, I always love your photos.

    In the bottom photo I especially love the way she's just looking at him, chewing on the dress. :)