Waking up the Creative Side of the Brain with the Apple 3Gs iPhone

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On the way to a teaching gig in the city I stopped to make a few photos with my Apple 3Gs iPhone. One of the great things about most mobile (cell) phones is the extra capabilities included within the device. In my case this is the first mobile phone where I’ve even considered using the device’s camera.

Now it’s important to note the fact that its meagre 3 Megapixel sensor is not designed for making enlargements and, while postcard size prints are possible, the ability to produce prints with smooth tones and ultra fine details is dubious. (I’II report on this after I complete appropriate testing). However, when your mobile phone is the only camera with you, then, to use a current catch cry, it’s the best camera you have.

Taking out a DSLR, particularly when accompanied by extra lenses and one or more external flash units, requires some effort. Add a camera backpack and tripod and your outing has become a serious endeavour indeed. It’s interesting to note that the words serious and fun are rarely used together. They are indeed strange bedfellows. So, let’s not kid ourselves, carrying all that gear is a hassle. But, like so many achievements in life, we gladly put up with the hassle in the hope of making great images. Though few indeed are able to maintain the effort on a daily basis.

So what about all those days when there’s no time for picture making? Our lives are so busy that we spend most of our time working or commuting. Some are able to put aside time at weekends for their photography. But, for most folks, duties relating to family, house and garden, etc mean any spare time is most likely spent on the couch in front of the tube.

The solution is to include your photography in most of your activities. Why not bring it along to your kids sporting events, parties and school functions? How about getting off the couch, grabbing your camera and taking a short walk? Radical thinking indeed! Instead we all fill our lives with excuses. Little Johnny and Big Teddy have a cold. Fine, put them to bed, set up a nice still life and use window light to make a great image. The very act of organising fruit or flowers for such an activity will help wake up and engage the creative side of your brain.

So, what about weekdays when your job rules? You can start by thanking the great man Apple founder, Steve Jobs, for the Apple iPhone 3Gs. We don’t go anywhere without our mobile phone, which means we no longer go anywhere without a camera. It’s so easy to use and its great fun. I often catch myself smiling gleefully when I use the device. It’s just so much fun and, with a keen eye and a good understanding of lighting contrast and composition, its easy to make good images. I don’t expect to print many of them, but for social networking and as a way to stimulate the creative side of my brain (which can only help make me a better teacher) it’s a wonderful tool.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography
Glenn Guy