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Instagram From Paris

9 Apr

I’ve found myself defending my use of Instagram to other photographers.

I’ve heard the saying that goes “the best camera in the world is the one you have with you”, which oftentimes is just my phone. Even when I’m carrying a full SLR or two with me, I’ll still take my phone out and take pictures, to the amusement of people around me.

Below are some photos I took in Paris on a recent trip there.

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On this flight, I was required to check all of my camera gear, so the only camera I had was my phone. This is a moment that wouldn’t have been captured otherwise.

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Often some of the photos I take are relevant in the moment, but having a small, ubiquitous camera allows for capturing images that have a feel all of their own, a feeling of spontaneity. If I were to take a full DSLR out, meter, get the settings right, the moment would be over. Sometimes, there are just situations where it’s just not really appropriate to whip out a 5D.

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Sometimes I just like the aesthetic, and the instant filters available. Half the time I can have a polished, processed image right away, something I’d be happy with if I had later edited the image with the computer.

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And other images I don’t think I’d have bothered to take out a DSLR to shoot, but in the moment, seemed like an interesting composition, and later, I was glad I did.

These I took while bored and waiting for a train:

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These I took because it didn’t seem appropriate to take out my DSLR at the time, although in hindsight I wish I had:

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I think the “tilt-shift” filter can be super cheesy sometimes, but when used in certain contexts, has a really nice effect:

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And, of course, I seem to have a strange obsession with stairs.

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You can follow me on Instagram if you want to see my phonecam images as I take them.

Happy Earth Day

23 Apr

I guess Earth Day was technically yesterday. No matter, Andy and I stumbled on a lovely toxic dumping ground a couple of hours ago, just east of Cut Bank, Montana. I shot with the 5DII, but I shot these with the Hipstamatic app on my phone. I rather like how they look, so here you go.

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From afar it was an interesting visual trope, but up close it was a mess of mud and snow, with bits of crunchy plastic and rusty metal sticking out.
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A leaning and long neglected sign identified it as a recycling yard, but we were in the middle of nowhere. It was sandwiched between the highway and a pair of railroad tracks. A solitary pickup truck passing by and a jogger who looked to be having a very long run were the only people we saw.
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Empty drums of who knows what horribly toxic petrochemical lay in piles, some rusted, some horribly dented. “Caution: corrosive” was legible on many of the labels.
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A slow moving freight train broke the depressing quiet and we decided to get back in the car and keep making our way East. Andy picked up a broken shard of plastic and used it to scrape the thick mud off of his shoes before tossing it back into a rusty pile of appliances and tires. “You’re a part of the problem” I said sarcastically. We both knew that there wasn’t anything we could do. (more…)