Thursday, May 26, 2011

Glue a Camera to My Hand

There is only one camera in my apartment; it's never out when I need it, and it also belongs to Jon.  This is excluding our cell phones, though I probably should include them considering my Samsung Fascinate is the only thing I ever use to take pictures.

Frog king, dog toy at work.

I've always thought I was a crappy photographer, but I think the problem is that I have the brain of an ancient caveman person; I don’t know how to work a contraption with so many damn buttons and photo options.  Plus, even though I consider myself to be very adept at setting up a shot and recognizing proper balance and proportion within the frame, I have a very difficult time noticing when something would look good photographed at all.  I simply don’t think about taking photos when I’m looking at every day objects, or places I pass every day, or when I'm spending time with friends.  (Or, for example, the boring stuff I see at work everyday—hence these photos.)

The camera that comes pre-installed on my phone is… well, it’s a camera.  It takes pictures that look totally normal—sometimes that’s good, other times the pictures are straight up ugly.  Mostly, they’re just boring.

View from my balcony at work.

My friends who have iPhones are lucky enough to be able to use the Hipstamatic camera.  (You know the one.  If you're anything like me, your Facebook feed is constantly inundated with artsy shots.)  It’s the only thing about the iPhone that I prefer over my Android (otherwise, there’s no question, the ‘droid is far superior)… 

That being said, no matter how much I adjust settings on my FXCamera or RetroCamera for Android, I always revert to taking Polaroids with them, which is the only semi-natural option.  Most of the choices are just too stylized—seriously, who needs a series of photographs that resemble a Warhol art show?—when all I really want is something to appropriately capture the things in my life… with a little bit of saturation or whimsy.  Nothing I’ve found looks as good as my friends’ Hipstamatic prints.

Thursday's food special, from Deli Espresso downstairs: Veggie Rice, also known as "crack".

That is, until now.  I finally discovered an app for Android that creates not only beautiful photographs, but also has enough options to give my simple-minded brain an aneurism.

Vignette Camera is my answer to not having a fancy Nikon or 8-inch lenses or an iPhone.  It has some crazy features like my previous camera apps, but it also has a lot of less brazen photo options as well, which means I can finally take a photo of my dog without him turning green, or having aged watermarks on his face.

Cody, the Giant Campus CCO (Chief Canine Officer) and his crab.

Since my phone is pretty much with me at all times, this means I need to start looking at the things around me a little differently.  It’s no longer a phone, but a camera glued to my hand.

Don’t worry; I have no intention of becoming a photographer or making this blog a place to showcase my ‘art’, such as it isn’t.  Hopefully this will simply make it easier for me to document the things going on in my life without having to constantly pull beautiful photos and prints from other people (though, I’m sure that will still happen), or hunt down my boyfriend's camera.

Me at my desk, where I definitely did not spend all day playing with my phone.

How about you guys?  What kind of camera do you own and use?  Or are you a slave to your iPhone/Android apps like I am?


  1. Oh Hipstamatic. I can't go a day without busting it out. Although it does have some qualities I don't love. The view screen doesn't show you the exact parameters of the shot you're taking, which can be obnoxious.
    Other than taking pictures of Henry, I am terrible at remembering to take pictures of things. Not just the everyday or the ordinary, but of events as well. I get so caught up in whatever it is that I don't get any pictures. Which is good, I suppose, but then it means no fun pictures and my iPhone will have 2,000 pictures of my soon drooling everywhere and none of me having fun with adults doing adult things that don't involve teething toys or poop. At least I hope I'm never doing adult things that involve poop.

  2. I wrote this comment at 4:45 in the morning. It is my son who will be doing the drooling, not my soon.

  3. Def the iPhone. Though I'm considering forking over $500 for a Nikon D40 as a birthday present to myself! I've gotten lazy and need to start treating San Francisco like all the cities I used to travel to, photographically speaking. Your phone shots are looking great though! My fave is the self portrait :)