CHRISTINE NYBURG EPSTEIN, April 19, 2013
“Spring Flowers through the teeny eye of the iPhone (or yourPhone)”
Dear Mom and Dad,
I just thought I’d send you some pictures of my life here … there are some who would say we live in Paradise on Whidbey Island … at least in July and August.
I have taken some pictures of flowers for you. It’s spring here on Earth and I thought that you would enjoy them. As a photographer, Dad, you would be appalled at how little training you need to take good pictures with some of these “smart” phones. And Mom, as a painter, you would be delighted to know that practice at making pretty pictures is very useful, but not necessary.
I took all of the pictures with my iPhone 4S, which I am told is the latest thing in photography. Not being a photographer, of course,
I don’t have all that technical knowledge about F stops and stuff.
What I have noticed is that these little cameras are surprisingly good,
especially in low light!
The first two photos were taken on a sunny day, although I try to place myself in some shade so the images don’t wash out. Strong sunlight tends to make it hard to see any detail, and the very strong shadows can be distracting and visually confusing. The third photo was taken with a flashlight late at night, and the fourth and fifth photos were taken on hazy days; so slightly cloudy, which tends to be ideal.
The fourth picture I split – half edited and half just right off the iPhone as taken. As you can see, I play with the photos quite a bit. I use several apps I downloaded off the Internet. Most of them have been free, but I do think I paid $1.99 for one of them. (I can’t remember which, but I guess it doesn’t matter where you are).
My current favorite is called Snapseed. I will describe others in future letters. If you’re interested you can download it and experiment with the controls at www.snapseed.com. That is, if you can access the Internet where you are. There is also a tutorial on the website that really helps to get you started.
On the whole, Snapseed is an extremely versatile app and lots of fun to play with. I found it quite easy to learn. One of the tricks for me was to relax and take my time learning all of the functions.
You will pick it right up, Dad. Mom, you will have to concentrate on ignoring your inner critic. Maybe one of these times I will send you a step-by-step, knowing that you have lots of interesting things to photograph where you are. Have fun! Send me a mysterious noise in the night if you think of it.
(Photo #1 is at top.)
Christine Nyburg Epstein is a painter, encaustic artist, and freelance designer on Whidbey Island.