Friday, January 31, 2014

The photographer that came in from the cold

It's cold at the moment. I'll make no bones about it that I don't particularly enjoy the cold weather since I have become so used to warm weather. It used to be the other way around - I hated the warm weather because I could hardly breathe. Now it gets down to the kind of weather I used to consider shirt-sleeve weather and I practically freeze to death.

What with working, I tend these days just to use a cellphone to take photos most of the time. It's always at hand and it really doesn't take bad photos. Google even adds really cool animation effects. I do like the fake snowflakes.

The images produced aren't of the highest quality but they're pretty good and very usable. At web level, they're perfect. I've not tried printing them. I must try that one day - see how they work at 10x8 or thereabouts. Certainly for ebay they're just about perfect. Who in tarnation wants to spend the time putting up a picture perfect image of some bauble or other when it's going to go for next to nothing whatever the quality of the image? Actually, that's my gripe about selling stuff - you only ever get a nominal amount for it that makes selling things a bit insulting really.
Even at night, the built-in phone camera is quite good, thanks to its tiny LED flash. Without flash things tend not to be too visible but I'm quite happy. There are things of course that I can't do with my phone camera. People deride phone cameras but I just don't see the problem. I would rather have an unrepeatable moment photographed on a phone camera than not at all. A phone camera is pretty much always in my pocket and the pictures are automatically backed up online.

The disadvantage of photography in the dark and in snow is very much that it's just so darned cold. Because it's never cold in the South, my cold weather gear is all in Britain. I brought back sheepskin mittens and a fur hat from my time in the former USSR. People all cry foul about fur but honestly, it's a load better than the modern stuff and it lasts a load longer too. None of my fur is new - it was all secondhand. It still works and was both cheaper and better than synthetics.

One of my friends complained today about getting her fingers frozen taking photos in the snow. I'm right there with her. I've become a big softy living in the South. If the temperature's not 64F or above, I'm cold. That's 18 centigrade and I used to complain that anything over 10 centigrade was too hot (50F). I have not ventured out much in this cold weather and have no intention of leaving my nice warm workplace or nice warm house to get out there in the cold either.

I'd love to get out one weekend when the weather's warmer to take some Milky Way photos though. The advantage of that is I can drive to a remote location, point the camera upwards on a tripod, get into my nice warm car and operate the camera remotely.

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