Photos from My Phone (V.)

It’s been months since my last update – the semester came and went, and is nearly over. And though I’ve done some light traveling in the past month, I must admit that I am starting to get rusty with both my blog-writing and photography skills!

I’ve sat down a few times to write an update, but each time I do so, I don’t seem to be into the subject I was writing about. I had some photos from Kansas City, MO that I was going to make into a post, but I just didn’t know what to write and how to approach the subject. I will probably write a photo-dump post soon to reflect on my (hopefully) growth as a photographer in the past year.

For the first few months of moving back to school, I had left my charger for my camera at home. I procrastinated on buying a replacement charger (which literally only costs $7 on Amazon), and instead used my phone’s camera a bunch. With the new camera software updates from Android, I’ve been able to experiment with some new camera modes (i.e. the selective focus mode – which is akin to iPhone’s Portrait mode).

I didn’t think much of these photos until I saw Camila Cabello’s Havana music video in vertical mode, directed by Sam Lecca. (I actually love this video so much more than the original music video, which I thought was kind of boring and forgettable.) I was really inspired by the unconventional use of a vertical filming and it made me realize the potential we each hold in our compact cell phones!

So I selected some of my favorite photos and I played around in VSCO with some new filter packs that I purchased (Vibrant Classics and the Aesthetic series). I’ve been able to snap some pretty cool pictures with my phone, since it’s always on hand and I never miss a beat! While Marcus (my Pentax KS-2) delivers superior quality, I find that, in general, people tend to be more receptive to the camera on a phone than the lens of a heavy-duty camera. Some of my favorite portraits have been from my phone. (Plus, a phone is generally more inconspicuous than a camera, so it makes taking sneaky candids way easier.)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this set of photos – and don’t forget to let me know what you think!


Writer’s notes: 
1. Curious about the specs of the photos? Or want to see them in greater detail — click on the photos to enlarge and learn more technical information about them.
2. Triva: the cats in the last set of phots are actually two different cats!
3. I’ve been playing around with the theme of the blog — let me know if you have any thoughts about the dark background. I think it helps to make the photos pop, but I’m worried that it will compromise readability. LMK what you think!


Photo Diary: Summers are Grey

I can’t believe it’s already been two months since I last posted! The summer has taken me by a whirlwind, as it always does. Three months of scheduling freedom is more of a nightmare than a dream — I’m someone who thrives on routine. I like knowing when to do what, so long as I’m given creative independence.

Speaking of creative endeavors — I’ve been taking Marcus out pretty often, so I’ve amassed quite the collection of photographs. I would have updated more frequently (in fact, that was my plan), but every time I sit down to write, life gets in the way (but again, when does it not?). As I looked through my trove of photos on Lightroom, I began to play around with the black/white filters and ended up really liking the effect.

I especially love the way you can simplify the image and play around with the lighting to give viewers subtle cues. Plus, by manipulating the light curves, I’m able to create sharp lines and edges — two things I love in photos. A more aggressive style, if you will.

I’m still trying to learn more about Lightroom (I recently purchased the Creative Cloud Suite from my school). Since I’m more comfortable with Photoshop, I end up using it to put finishing touches on my photos. It’s not ideal, as I would prefer to have everything condensed into one program, but I figure it’d be the best way for me to get my feet wet with Lightroom.

I must confess, I’m not particularly proud of a lot of the pictures I’ve taken lately. I don’t think I’ve been as careful with the composition as I could have been. In previous posts, I’ve spoken about how I find photography to be a calming exercise; when I’m stressed, I like to take Marcus out for a quick spin.

But recently, it seems, I’ve forgotten my mantra. I’ve been in a constant state of restlessness — so much so that I’ve forgotten to take a deep breath and practice my patience. For the next month, I want to take more time when capturing my photos, waiting for the “decisive moment”, as Cartier-Bresson would say.

For now, here are some of the photos from my summer adventure in Cleveland.

I’ve got a few post ideas up my sleeve, and I’m really pushing myself to get a few more of these babies in before the school year official starts in two weeks. Until then, please use the comment box to let me know what you think and if you’ve been to any fun places this summer!