Sometimes we all need some simplicity in our lives, and that extends to photography too. In a hobby of more pixels, raw files, lightroom, monitor colour profiles, focus stacking, exposure stacking, and everything else that some enthusiasts see as absolutely necessary to create good photographs, sometimes it feels like less is more.
As the cost and complexity of long haul travel has also been anything but simple, this year I’ve visited Barcelona several times instead, as I can leave home in the morning and be there for a late Spanish lunch.
It’s an easy going city that’s easy to navigate, and offers a fine blend of history, arts, entertainment and of course the sea.
At the recently opened viewing deck at Torres Glories there’s a multimedia installation that explores the relationship between man, the city and the environment. I found it quite inspirational, and it made me want to look at the city differently – less Gaudi and more urbanisation.
To add to my simplicity, I haven’t been travelling with a laptop for backup and editing duties, instead using the Sony Imaging Edge mobile app. This allows jpegs to be automatically or manually copied from your camera to your phone as 2Mp images.
Editing JPEGs on a phone is simplicity itself, and can be done from a coffee shop, a park bench, or even the beach.
When contractors working in the street tore out the fibre connection to my home, I bought an inexpensive 5G phone so I could continue to work as normal. It has a 108Mp camera but produces photos around 12Mp, all those pixels used for digital zoom or down-sampling in low light, making very clean photos at a claimed ISO 15,000.
Out of curiosity I compared similar photos taken with my phone and my Sony A7S, also 12Mp and a camera that for me redefined available light photography. The results on a small screen were surprisingly close.
One day towards the end of my recent trip I couldn’t be bothered to take my camera out, so instead I took a “snap” with my phone. A few simple edits on my phone produced the picture below.
Pascal and I were both surprised at just how well it had coped with shooting straight into the sun.
In a world of increasingly complex and expensive cameras, my phone offered the greatest simplicity to take, edit and share photos. The photographic industry really should take note.
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