I wasn’t expecting to be doing an interview series, it wasn’t on my radar (or I doubt anyone else’s in the building) but a few month’s ago Mike Kubeisy called my husband and said he thought we ought to start an interview series that focused more on the photographer’s and instructor’s personal side but the surprise suggestion he threw in at the end of the conversation was that he thought I should be the one to do it. I think my husband said something along the lines of, “There’s no way she’ll say yes.” Hahaha! My husband’s response made total sense because it did take him five years to get me to record an iPhone class, but for some reason, the thought of just sitting with someone and listening to them tell their stories hit me just right at just the right time, and I said, “Yes.” We picked my husband up off the floor, and “The Personal Side” series was off and running.
Yesterday we released The Personal Side of Tim Wallace and if there is any way you can go and watch this interview I ask that you do just that. During Tim’s interview I had to remind myself to breathe. His story is beautiful, inspiring, humbling and in the end, quite obvious that Tim is Batman. (I’m only half kidding.) It was my great pleasure and honor to be there and to be a part of this interview. I am grateful for how much he shared with all of us. Thank you, Tim. (aka, Batman)
…is that they’re still calling them phones.
Bear with me for a minute because I don’t limit this to just a problem with the new iPhones (or any recent iPhones) but also any recent Android smartphones too, like the Samsung Galaxy Note8. The problem is that we’re still using the term “phone” when we talk about them and especially when price becomes part of the conversation it can get silly — fast!
By far the typical comment for smartphones upon a new release is, “That much — for a phone?!”
I think any reasonable person would agree that spending $700 to $1,000 for just a phone would be ridiculous. In fact, $500 or $300 or maybe even less would also be ridiculous because a “phone” is simply an electronic device that is meant to transmit sound or speech to a distant point. I think the conversation needs to change because the “phone” sure has. These smartphones like the iPhone X have now become our:
- Cameras. And what a wonderful world it became for me when the first iPhone came out with its camera. Honestly, it changed my life. It helped me be a more creative person, a more spontaneous creative person and allowed me to capture moments that I would never have been able to capture before its invention. Then they introduced Portrait Mode, and now they’ve made it better. For the technical reasons why visit the specs page at Apple.com
- Lighting. There is a flash and a flashlight built right in.
- Post Processing. Don’t get me started. Hahaha! One of my favorite things to do is the post processing of my images on my phone. So many, incredible, apps that make it easy, fast and fun!
- Theatres. This is big too. We watch movies, sure, but we live-stream TV, YouTube, and Training — we learn and improve our lives with these devices.
- Communication. Finally, we get to the phone part of our “phone.” We can make a call, video chat or text someone. Although it really can be frustrating to get interrupted with a call when I’m trying to take a picture. Hahaha! The fact is that most of us are using our phone for an actual phone less and less. We do use it for all the Social aspects of communication like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and GooglePlus.
- Work. This one gets overlooked by those who don’t use it for their work, but I do a lot of work on my phone because a lot of my work is communicating (with my office and with others). I need to write, edit, read and sign documents and contracts, and collaborate on projects. Sometimes, I’ll even take and edit photos for work. Using this device means I don’t always have to lug around a laptop or even a tablet and that is glorious!
- Play! Here’s one I don’t use it a lot for but there are loads of games, and now with the addition of the augmented reality, it’s about to get nuts!
- Banking. Some do all of their banking on their phones. I know people that haven’t been to the bank in forever because they bank from their phone.
- Reading. Every day we read the news, books, novels, devotionals and more on our phones.
- Sharing. We share our lives with others through the images and videos we’ve taken and keep on our phones.
I could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it up by reminding us not to forget how these devices inspire our sense of design and technology (inspiring companies and products to try and match or outdo one another — and that’s a good thing)! These pricey “phones” really are giving us some of our glimpses into the future. Just the camera advancements alone are amazing. I know a lot of photographers that would like to see cool things happen as often with DSLRs. I can’t help but be reminded of a Louis CK comedy routine about people complaining about flying. He talks about how their drink doesn’t get there fast enough, the wireless on board isn’t working, the fare is too high, and then he cleverly reminds everyone that they’re in a chair, flying through the air! Hahahaha! Sorry, as a pilot, that one always gets me. Somewhere along the line, we stopped being amazed at what these things are capable of, what they add to our lives, how much research and technology goes into them. Add to them that they come water resistant while charging wirelessly and it makes me wonder if our expectations haven’t gotten just a tad too high.
At 64GB the iPhone X lists at $999. For the same 64GB, the Note8 lists $929.99. I do prefer the iPhone. I enjoy its experience and am most comfortable with it. I have friends who feel the same way about their Galaxy phones, and none of us have an issue with what we’ve spent because none of us feel we’ve spent “That much — for a phone?!”
Hel-lo! Did everyone else hear “improved portrait mode AND real time studio lighting effects?!” Built in — on the front and the selfie side cameras — be still my heart! And wonderfully, finally, we now have an OLED screen that fills from edge to edge (except there are no edges of course) for true blacks and richer more beautiful colors. I’ll be moving from a screen size of 5.5 (my 7plus display size) to now 5.8 on the iPhone X. The telephoto lens (super important for low light situations) went from f/2.8 to f/2.4. Something that I’m thrilled to see improved and honestly will always be glad to see improved no matter how good it gets. Better in low light will always be better.
Believe it or not, one of the things I will enjoy the most is the size. The 7plus has always been just a little too big to hold comfortably, and this X goes down in size, but magically the screen size goes up. Well, not magically, it’s because of edge to edge but magically sounds so much more magical.
Lots of other cool additions like face recognition to get into your phone (I’m pleased that the recognition stays on your phone and doesn’t get stored on a server) which also lets you animate emojis and doesn’t that sound like fun. And the last thing I want to mention, which is no small thing, is that they increased the battery life by two more hours! But I was waiting for the camera advancements and hoping the new phone would go down in size, and I got my wish on both counts so sign me up!
Once I get one in my anxiously awaiting hands, I’ll write a review and let you know more.
The first two images were taken with the selfie lens on my iPhone7plus. I wasn’t planning on using that lens but I started experimenting with it at the first phase of the Eclipse and I really liked it. The final image is the more expected (and cropped) 82% Eclipse that we experienced here in the Tampa Bay area. We had a lot of fun at the office celebrating with a cookout and trying all sorts of ways to shoot the event. I hope you all had a good time too!
Here are some simple steps to take to shoot the Eclipse with your iPhone. First, to protect your eyes, please wear some approved eclipse glasses before looking at the Eclipse and the sun. Now onto the tips! 🙂
- Make sure you’ve cleaned the lens on your phone and turned off your flash. (The first part of this tip will make you happy, and the second part will make you and everyone around you happy.)
- If you have one, use a tripod. One that bends, grips and attaches anywhere is a good bet so you can put it on a branch or a truck mirror or wherever you might find yourself in this situation and since it’s low light (and you’ll be excited), a tripod is recommended.
- You don’t have to put a filter on your phone lens (especially when aiming at the sun for just a few seconds) but if you’re going to use one anyway or if you’re going to use autofocus (which I don’t recommend because it will probably distort it with too much light) you can simply use the filter from a pair of eclipse glasses. Just remember, if you use the ones from your shiny, happy face, you can’t then look up at the eclipse, have a second pair — please.
- If you want to skip autofocus (I will), you can manually focus. To do that just click and hold on the brightest part of the Eclipse for Auto Exposure/Auto Focus Lock. Once you get that you’ll see a little sun looking icon (to the right of the yellow box), that’s to control for exposure. Put your finger right on top of it and move it down a hair to knock down some of the intensity of the light. It will help to keep it from blowing out your photo. And, if you accidentally move your AE/AF because the icon is way too small (I hope they make that bigger in an update), don’t panic, just hold it down in the brightest spot again to refocus — it just takes a second.
- Shoot. That’s it. *Option to shoot. Burst mode: Click and hold the shutter button on your phone to get ten shots per second. You can also use your apple earbuds (for less shake) by clicking the volume buttons.
I hope these tips help and even if you don’t get one shot of the Eclipse I hope you watch it and I hope you enjoy it. If you miss your shot I hope you laugh about it and get a shot of that and then get some photos of the people around you — celebrate being there — I like that about you. 🙂
Happy Eclipse Day everyone!
It just made me happy.
Times like this make me think about something my mom always says, “Sometimes your house has to get messier before it gets cleaned.” Sounds funny, right? But let me give you an example that she might give you. Let’s say you’re cleaning out that “junk drawer” in your kitchen because one day you’re going to have to pull out all the stuff you’ve been throwing in there. All the stuff you didn’t have time to deal with, or you didn’t know what to do with, or you thought you might use later but then forget about. One day, that junk starts falling out of the bottom of that drawer or onto the floor every time you open it, and that drawer can become so full and heavy that the knob starts to come off when you pull on it. Sometimes it gets so full the drawer can come completely off track. There’s no getting around the fact that eventually, you’ll have to start pulling everything out of that drawer and take a good look at what you’ve let pile up out of sight there, put everything out in the open and sort it all out.
“Hopeful people make me nuts!”
Hahahaha! I love my friends. I love our conversations just as much. ☺️
Happy Thursday everyone!
View from the Heceta Head Lighthouse B&B on the Oregon Coast.
Maui, Hawaii 🌺
I like that about her.
Actually, I love that about her. 💖
Yittle by the sea.