Sunday, February 5, 2017

Scene & Story - January 2017


It was about this time last year that I began to become disenchanted with iPhone photography and the driving force of social media linked to iPhone photos - Instagram. I can't put my finger on one specific reason for the dissatisfaction. Two things do stand out though. First - I had grown extremely lazy with my photography. My iPhone and various apps. could do everything for me and fix almost any technical error. Second - Instagram, something that had once been a community of "my people"  had turned into one more way to prove my self-worth based on how many "likes" a photo received. I was posting to post and to get likes, not to create and that bothered me.

Over the course of the year I continued to fall off, at one point even temporarily suspending my account, I needed a break for a while. Eventually I did reinstate it, probably prompted by a class that encouraged Instagram sharing.

Some really good things have come out of this disenchantment; I use my big camera on an almost daily basis now, as opposed to my phone, I also feel my photography skills have grown with my recommitment to my dSLR. Using my Canon has also made me strengthen my Lightroom and Photoshop skills, as well as, learn some new programs like Topaz Texture Effects and Impressions. I have also rediscovered Flickr and some pretty amazing groups there.

A couple things I have missed with my iPhone: the easy portability, and apps. like Stackables, iColorama, and Brushstrokes. I will probably never return to the level of obsession I had before, but I am slowly finding a place for it in my life again.


This photo was taken with my iPhone on a cold, damp, foggy day in January at the Lake Michigan beach near my house. The day was too cold to lug my dSLR around and freeze my fingers off fiddling with dials. Seeing the potential in this shot, I did some editing in Snapseed and Stackables and created the image at the beginning of this post.

No matter the camera device or the editing software, I still love the creating.



21 comments:

  1. I know nothing about iPhone photography and don't use my iPhone for it, but it's interesting to see what can be achieved and hear about all the different editing possibilities!
    I'm not quite ready to put up my Scene and Story on my blog as I only recently put up a new blog entry on 'Slow Living' which I'd like to leave a little longer. I guess it's OK if I add my link mid-week? I'm looking forward to see what others post here also. It's such a nice idea organized by you and Lee!

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    1. Sandra, the link will be open for a week. We'd love for you to join in whenever you feel ready.

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    2. Thank you for replying, Lee! My last recent blog posting just needs a little bit more space before I pass onto the next subject that I will post on my blog with the link here.

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  2. I've never really enjoyed photographing with my iPhone. I use IG for certain classes. At least now it's so much easier to move my images to IG from Lightroom while completely bypassing the need of my phone to do that. My favorite places to post my photos is still on my blog and on Flickr. I also am having so much creative fun with Topaz Texture Effects and Impression.

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  3. The only phone I have is my home phone. I don't post to Instagram but I do post on Facebook. I dislike the "LIKE" button. It is meaningless and is for people that are too lazy to leave a comment about their thoughts. I used to think it was wrong to edit photos in any kind of software. Then it dawned on that my digital camera was editing my photos with various settings using "Picture Styling". If you have not done so yet I suggest you download Google's Nik Collection. It used to sell for $200.00 but is now free and is a plugin for Lightroom and Photoshop. I use it with ACDsee Pro 9. It is a powerful piece of software and I suggest you watch some videos on Youtube to get the gist of it. That's rant for today. (:

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  4. I often forget that I have my iPhone with me - although I'd really like to use Instagram a little bit more. I really only use it as a fun way to capture snippets to share with friends. It's definitely my social media of choice - I ignore Facebook most of the time and have cut my friend list down to the few people who no matter what they post, I'll care. It's all a journey - and you're learning so much on yours. Keep on creating - and while it's great to share, it's really for yourself. Thanks for hosting!

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  5. Over the past year or so, I've been doing nearly all my photography with my iPhone. I do very little artistic or creative editing, just a bit of tweaking in Snapseed if needed. Just recently I've begun using my Nikon more and can feel myself moving back in that direction. I've never been very involved with Instagram, and I forget about Flickr unless it's for a class or group. I only occasionally post photos on Facebook. My blog is really my preferred place to share my photographs, because I love being able to write and share my thoughts about them. It feels more like sitting down with a friend and having a conversation. Sarah, I've loved watching your photography (and your writing) mature and evolve over the past few years. You've come such a long way! I love the photo you've chosen this month...the original just as much as the edited version.

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  6. I am amazed at your knowledge and creativity.
    I think I need to go back to school . . .
    Loved the photograph . . . both.

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  7. I do enjoy having my iphone with me for those unexpected photo opportunities and also to be able to text my mom and sister pictures. Even if I have already taken a picture with my Nikon, it is nice to be able to share with them. I haven't artistically edited many of the iphone pictures in a while. Lately I have been taking more pictures with my Nikon and finding features I have never used on it before. One of my goals for the year is to use it everyday. I have also been exploring Lightroom more closely...still looking for my 'style' of photography, there are so many to choose from. Why do we equate 'likes' with self worth? Where did that come from? Even though I know it isn't true it is still hard to let go of... I love your image. The lone tree in the background really draws my eye into the frame. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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  8. Having my smartphone with me all the time is very convenient when I see something that I love or find interesting, but it certainly doesn't take the place of my DSLR. I feel more creative when I use the big camera and get more into the "zone".

    I can relate to a lot of your thoughts. Only last fall did I start Instagram, and so far I like it. I have completely stopped looking at "like" numbers, and that was very freeing. However, I am not that much on Flickr anymore, and I don't really know why. On Flickr I never had the feeling that a real connection happened. It's so tempting to just hit the star button or copy and paste some group-comments (this is something I never got used to and probably never will).

    Anyway, no matter big camera or iPhone, I have always thought your photography containing a lot of heart and thoughtfulness. I feel a certain mood and often calmness when I look at your images. A simple "like" couldn't express all that.

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  9. No matter the tool that you use, Sarah, your photographs are always wonderful.

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  10. Your story resonates with me, Sarah. My Android phone has an excellent camera that is easy to use, but I'm trying not to let that become my camera for everything. And some of the social media sites are to much of a drain for me, especially Facebook. So I am deliberately trying not to be in front of a screen so much, but I need to find a better way to get into the habit of using my DSLR. It is a work in progress!

    I have to agree with Lisa's comment...your images are always wonderful indeed.

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  11. No matter which you use, your camera or iPhone, you take amazing photos. They all come from your heart! I'll have to check and see what groups your posting to on flickr. I'm just posting with two.

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  12. I'm sorry guys, but I do use my iPhone all the time and I do very little editing. It's the one camera I have with me and with me wherever I go. I find that there's always an opportunity to take a photo someplace and I love it. I'm actually new to photography, I started to incorporate photos with my blog posts and just fell in love with it, now I can't imagine publishing my blog without a photo included in the post.
    I am considering buying a camera. I would love to join this group but am a bit hesitant.

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  13. With my DSLR or my phone I love photograph! Love editing and love seeing how others see the world around them!

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  14. I have found myself caught up in the same dilemma - my conclusion is sometimes one social media, or camera is what your time and energy can afford. Instagram has let me explore a different side of my creativity and allowed me to share during my recent return to work full time when I found my time and energy less amenable to the demands of blogging or the mental agility of using the 'real' camera. I am sure I will return with a more steady blogging, just as I will set aside time to go out with my DSLR. In short - you are not alone.

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  15. I understand what you are saying about Instagram. I felt that as soon as I began using some hashtags, so emotionally, I detached myself from the likes. When the host of a certain hashtag will post the "favorites" , I knew I didn't want to put myself in the position of being judged just on the merit of it fitting their aesthetic of four images matching each other. So I join in the hashtags when it suits me and fits my day and that's the end of it. I love Instagram in general for the ease of use and that has been so fun for me and my family. I never got comfortable with flikr. I was always lost when I tried to navigate it. Maybe I should try again.

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  16. I just took a look at all of the people that commented. I am the only guy that commented. Don't worry. I am also a minority in my own family. The ladies out number me there also. LOL

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  17. As a professional photographer, I, too, have succumbed to the "ease of the iPhone". There was even a time when I said to myself..."Oh no, pro photographers are out of business due to the advancement of the Apple products." However, in the grand scheme of things, nothing compares to the images of a DSLR and the fine-tuning aspects of it in regards to depth of field, and portraits. I will admit, some of my posts are "suitable" for an iPhone photograph or an "Instagram quickie" as I call it. But I always try not to lose sight of the amazing capture of a DSLR. Have a great weekend and keep up the inspiring work!

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  18. My smartphone is not smart enough to take good (or at least decent) quality photos so I'm spared the dilemma... but I've seen wonderful photos taken with an iPhone, much better that I was able to take with my DSLR, so I think that eventually it all comes down to creativity and visualisation, the tool is just the tool. I love what you did with the image, so powerful result!

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  19. I find it just fascinating to read about your story and then read all the similarities and differences with everybody else's. Just shows how diverse our experiences can be within a shared love of photography. I came late to iphonography after years of working and learning with only my DSLR. I do love the portability but I have yet to find it anywhere near as rewarding as my full-frame for photography. That said, I often love what others do with theirs. (You for example, Sarah.) I do IG for fun and certainly not for likes -- mostly for quick hits -- and to see what others are doing. But my heart is with my DSLR and the endless potential for creativity it offers.

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Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)