One big technical reason I’m pulling out images processed ten years ago is because of the quality of my iPhone 11 Pro Max’s OLED screen. These screen shots, from the last two Retrospective posts, match what I see when I view my work on my iPhone’s screen. It’s the same quality I see on my iPads and on my MacBook Pro screens. To me it’s something of a revelation and has helped to re-kindle my interest in creating new photography.
I remember when I struggled to hit the “right” balance on a much older Dell Windows 7 computer. Those screens were barely usable for photography. To compensate I had to carefully use Lightroom’s charts and curve editing, as well as just work with the camera. A digital camera is a wonderful tool for adjusting and trying different settings, which works well with good post-processing tools. And yes, all of these were done with RAW files from all the cameras.
It’s not just the OLED screen itself that you have to consider; I’ve looked on quite a few Android handsets with the same OLED technology and I’m not all that impressed with the results, even now.
Does this mean I like the iPhone camera? Not as much as I once did. I started to use the iPhone camera with my first iPhone, the 6 Plus. I continued to like and use it with the 7 Plus. Unfortunately I did not like the results with the 8 Plus (I skipped the iPhone X), and I’m still not impressed with the iPhone 11 Pro Max camera. Instead I prefer working with the dedicated Olympus cameras I currently own. The iPhone 11 is a great content viewer, but as a camera, not so much.
My wife had a rather serious back operation last Thursday. She and her surgeon spent over five hours working to clean up all the damage due to psoriatic arthritis around her back and spine. In addition, the surgeon implanted a new pain-control system to replace one manufactured by Medtronics, and which, as far as I’m concerned, has been pure junk. My wife believed that this operation would be like her others, that’s she’d be out in two, three days tops. But because of all the work the current surgeon had to do, she’ll be in the hospital a good week before she’s discharged.
The first day she was in, the day of the surgery, was a very long day that spanned from 4am until she was moved into her room at 7:30 pm. Over five hours in surgery, another five in recovery. She checked in at 5:30am, and the operation started three hours later. A long tough day for both of us, far tougher for her being under the knife. But she is recovering, and her voice is getting stronger every day. Tonight she was back to her usual tone. But she’s still got a ways to go yet . She hasn’t even started any in-hospital physical therapy.
All of this time gives me time to clean and clear out as much space as possible around the house for when I bring her home. I can’t wait to bring her home.
While I was there visiting yesterday evening I witnessed what appeared to be a get-together of some sort. I didn’t stop to ask as I didn’t want to intrude, but I did grab a quick photo.
If you’re curious the flag itself was black and white, not red, white and blue. I believe the hashtag refers to the Austin Strong Foundation ( http://www.austinstrong.org/ ). I photographed this late afternoon. When I left to go home two hours later, it was dark. And the entire street was filled with what looked like big-rig tow trucks, with all their yellow lights on. Again, I don’t know what it was all about, right there. But I can guess.
The Cameras I’m Using
Once again I used my iPhone 11 Pro Max. I did have my Olympus E-M1.2 with the 12-40mm PRO, but the hospital won’t let me bring it in, and so I left it concealed in my car. I’m also continuing my conversion of the photos I take into black and white using Snapseed. In Snapseed I use a bit of HDR to flatten the exposure range a bit and bring up detail in both shadows and highlights. I then use the B&W tool to increase brightness a bit as well as add a bit of contrast.
I am, at best, an enthusiast. Unfortunately camera equipment has gotten so expensive that I will never be able to afford any of the latest releases from any manufacturer. It’s no accident I waited until just recently to purchase my E-M1.2 for $850. To me that’s still a lot of money, but far less than the original $2,000 introductory price five years ago. It’s a great camera, and the lenses I have for it range from great to incredible (again, all purchased on sale). But the camera on my iPhone 11 is no slouch in the right kind of light. Florida can provide an awful lot of good light, which makes for great photo opportunities. And while I like out-of-focus areas in my photos from time to time, I’m more interested in documenting the story. Either camera (iPhone and Olympus) is quite capable of that.
Unfortunately the writing is on the wall. The camera companies are building and selling new cameras that only the very well heeled can afford. These stratospheric prices are going to drive the rest of us to our smart phone cameras, and those cameras are more than capable of giving excellent results for a fraction of the price.