Blogs > 37th Frame

Photography, notes, commentary and much more from former Reporter Online Editor Chris Stanley.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fun with Droid

To call an iPhone or a Droid a phone is like calling a computer a word processor.
Yeah, it makes calls, but if you look around at people using these things, the vast majority of time they aren't making calls at all. They're texting, Facebooking, watching videos, Tweeting, scanning bar codes, transferring files, checking maps or about 200,000 other things. Some actually have a separate old-style clam shell phone for calls, since smart phones are actually pretty uncomfortable to mash against your face for any extended time.

I didn't think too much about the camera aspect of a Droid until I got one - I figured the Droid camera would just be a good way to get a quick photo on our web site for breaking news, or as an emergency back-up if I didn't have a real camera handy.

Then I started playing around with some of the camera apps - Retro Camera (simulates photos from old cameras, including a Brownie and a Polaroid), and my new favorite, Camera 360 which offers a good variety of artistic effects such as sepia toning, b&w modes, sketch conversion, fisheye lens simulation and more.

The one that really got me shooting was the HDR (high dynamic range) mode, which has become very fashionable among professionals recently. Normally this involves shooting several frames of a scene at varying exposures. Then, using software, you combine the photos to create an amazingly detailed final result with details in all exposure ranges, from deep shadows to bright highlights. It is a great effect.

Camera 360 has a HDR simulation mode. It uses software to simulate this range instantly, and while not as good as a real multi-exposure project, it captures the effect pretty nicely. Here's some examples:

Note the details in every range - this effect looks even better on a large screen.

Here's another very cool option: tilt-shift. Normally this effect is accomplished with special lenses or lens mounts that allow you to mis-align a camera lens with the film plane (or digital imaging chip), giving a unique soft-focus effect.

There are many more. I'll post them as I try them out. But don't call me to talk about these, I'll probably have the phone turned off while I am taking pictures with it.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home