Friday, January 7, 2011

Hipstamatic Hike

North of Crescent City Wednesday; accidental shot putting iphone in my pocket. I once shot the beach in San Diego similarly; all the way down at the other end of california.
Beach at Crescent City, CA, Andrew D. Barron ©1/05/11
Hiked one way up Cape Sebastian today (Friday). I often forget to shoot with the Hipstamatic.
Looking south at Myers creek beach, Andrew D. Barron ©1/07/11
Andrew D. Barron ©1/07/11
Andrew D. Barron ©1/07/11
I stood in the same spot on 4/24/10.
Andrew D. Barron ©1/07/11
The slowness of the Hipstamatic app on 3G and the notoriously short 3G battery life means Hipstamatic shoots are short-lived. When shooting color, I use Pistil and Ina's 1969 film often. The Helga Viking lens works well. I like the Lucifer VI lens for BlacKeys B+W and Supergrain B+W black and white. Once in Photoshop, I adjust the levels and sharpen some. Today I tried a new technique to sharpen the lightness channel in lab mode, which is PS terminology for HSV or HSL color space. I'm well versed in the concept from LandSAT satellite imagery. LandSAT 7 contained a 15m panchromatic visible spectrum band in addition to the normal five mulitspectral bands at 30m. A common practice when using this imagery was to convert a multispectral composite, usually described as something like "7-4-2 as RGB", into HSV color space. Then, you replace the "V" or value (similar to lightness) with the 15m panchromatic band. When recomposited, the output 30m appears to have the 15m resolution. That was 1996. To think of sharpening on that band is obvious, but just never occurred to me. It was this post that got me thinking about sharpening in this way. It was originally described in Scott Kelby's book.

Tuesday in Roseburg I had a mind to test my H1 on a monopod. I zoomed into a building and shot full automatic (below left). Then I put the camera on a monopod, switched to aperture priority at the minimum f-stop and adjusted the EV monitoring the histogram (below right). Both shots took about the same time to capture. The difference should speak for itself:
Andrew D. Barron ©1/04/11
If not for the comparison, the above left shot would seem fine. To think that 100% of my 50,000+ H1 shots are handheld is a little sad for me. Where was my critical eye before? I suppose the fun of traveling, shooting and composition kept me going for a long time. The results got me thinking about shopping for a quality monopod. The one I'm using is a predecessor this TrekPod. It's not bad, but it's not mine and offers no tilt adjustments in tripod mode. After only one week in the new year, it's already to the point where I hesitate to shoot handheld and I'm bummed when I leave without the remote shutter release. What has happened? :)

Crystal ball for camera sensors
My H1 was an early SuperHAD CCD camera, a sensor type they kept until the h50 in 2008. In 2009, Sony introduced a new sensor in it's compact super zoom, a Exmor CMOS in the HX1. A year ago, I considered the HX1 as a logical upgrade. None of this really matters, but I have a notion that understanding the physical fundamental characteristics of the sensor is important. It is akin to choosing Kodak, Fuji or Ilford film, and will be an important aspect in the years to come. Canon seems to be surging ahead with mega CMOS sensors.

But shooting with the junky hipstamatic is fun too. The interface is a brilliant breakthrough; I especially like thinking about 'changing films' with a physical swipe and distinct branding of the 35mm-esque 'cartridges'. Lenses are the same fun. I haven't bothered with the 'flash' options because they are only simulations and I rarely like or use a real flash.
Macbook through the iPhone as I write, Andrew D. Barron ©1/074/11
iPhone shoots through the 7x hand lens, 5:4 aspect ratio.

Instant film has arrived! Hopefully the sun will come out this weekend.
Fuji instant film 3000B and 100C, Andrew D. Barron ©1/07/11
The reviews at amazon pointed towards the 3000B instead of the 100B for b+w instant shots. They are very pricey either way, $1.20/$1.07 per shot. The opted for the extra 13¢ per shot. I need to wire in the AA battery holder and hope the 320 actually works!

In July when my interest in instant photography emerged from handling an SX-70 and a Land Camera 100, I also drifted into the daguerreotype work of Jerry Spagnoli. Jerry's images are amazing.

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