Colour or B&W

The eternal question, does a picture look better in colour or black-and-white. The following two pictures highlight the dilemma. The colour picture I like for the character of the boat and the fading colours. On the other hand, the black-and-white looks atmospheric and interesting. What’s your preference? Pictures taken with a Panasonic Lumix TZ30 and processed with Lightroom 4.

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iPhone Photography – Part 2

This is part 2 of my series about photography using the iPhone. The pictures below were taken with just the phone, and attempting to reach the closest focussing distance. No post-processing of the images done to alter the images from the camera.

The first two pictures are those of comfrey flowers. Comfrey has known medicinal properties and generally tends to grow as a weed in the United Kingdom. One particular use of the plant is to soothe the skin from nettle rash, handy considering that these are invariably found growing close to one another!

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Honeybees find the comfrey flowers irresitible.

The flowers range in purple to blue and seem to change colour with age of the flower.

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Comfrey flowers

The flower below is about 2 cm across and grows in the undergrowth. Unfortunately I’ve no idea what this flower is, so if anyone knows, please let me know :-).

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As yet unidentified flower

Given that the iPhone can take really interesting photographs without having to use software apps (Instagram etc)  if the lighting is good, I’m not going to have that awful moment of panic when I realise I’ve forgotten my camera at home!

iPhone Photography – Part 1

Continuing with the theme of using the iPhone camera for some standard shots. The following pictures were taken using the Camera Awesome app. No post processing done.

I must admit that the iPhone camera is pretty decent and with a minimum focussing distance of about 3-4 inches, and with the Camera Awesome app I can adjust both the focus and exposure areas.

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The problem with the iPhone camera remains that the lens is off centre and it takes a little time to get used to it. And in the absence of optical zoom, keeping the phone far away from oneself just increases the shake. But at the end of the day, its a phone with a camera, and a good one too!

Experimenting with Camera! on Iphone

I don’t know how many photo apps I’ve been through since I started on the Apple iPhones. With each release of the iPhone the camera gets better and so do the apps that support more functionalities. At this moment, I have snapseed, camerabag, instagram, camera! and a few others installed on the phone. No one app does everything I want, which mean tweaking and manipulating pictures across multiple applications.

The one that seems to come closest (at the moment) appears to be camera! (with the exclamation). I like this because it allows me to choose an exposure point and focus point separately. This is useful as I can under- or over-expose my pictures based which part of the image I wish to use to lighten or darken. The filters are decent too.

Here are a couple of these pictures processed with Camera! with the originals for comparison.

Wetlands near the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (Processed)
Original Image taken from within the application

The next set of pictures are a closeup of one of the plants. Given that there are about 255000 different combinations between the choice of preset, filters and textures (cost £6.99/$9.99), the possibilities are endless.

Processed with Camera!
Unprocessed image taken from within application

The application is free and comes with only 36 free presets, filters, textures and frames (9 each), but I like it (so far!), and I’m sure there’ll be something else in the future which I will like even more!

Two of a kind.

Two of a kind.

A beautiful pair of Tulips. Keukenhof, Lisse, Holland. May 2012.

Nikon D80, 1/3000 f/7.1 with SB-600 flash at 1/16. 105mm f/2.8 Macro Lens. I used a high shutter speed with flash to keep the background underexposed and give a studio effect to the object in the foreground. No post-processing or increase in blacks.