“I love my camera that is in my mobile phone, BUT”

Not A Cell Phone Photo

Did you see a flash? Why is that so dark? Maybe it will look better once it is uploaded. Are you sure you didn’t see a flash? Hold on don’t move I just have to put in my password. Oh you moved… Ask Eddy to come over here he knows how to do it.

While I was catering a party today these were just a few of the comments that I heard while the guests were gathering around to take picture of the roasted pig that had just been removed from the oven and placed on the table for display. Typically I will leave the pig to sit and cool a bit and this gives a perfect opportunity for the guest of honor to come behind the table and have their photo taken with the pig. Most times my wife will put a knife in their and help pose them or grab their hand while they’re holding the knife and stab the pig. That usually gets the crowd going and cameras moving.

But what I want to talk about today is the camera being used. I have said before and I will say it here again just because I like redundancy. “I love my camera that is in my mobile phone, BUT” it is in no way an acceptable camera for taking a memorable and meaningful photo of a special event. Now before you go getting all defensive and showing your worm like qualities (for those Apple iPhone geeks) and telling how the iPhone 5 equates to the Holy Grail and Steve Jobs is your savior and all Einstein like. Let me set you straight. I’ve been doing the BBQ catering for over 15 years and for over 15 years I have stood at that carving table and I have seen that roasted pig represent many memorable things to people. From weddings, graduations, birthdays, anniversaries, Christenings & Baptisms, winning races, ground breakings, surviving cancer, surviving a war and the list goes on. So you’re convince me that my child just came back from the war (in one piece) and we’re having a big celebration and we’ll document it with my iPad or other hand held device that is also the same device I use to play Angry Birds.

Not A Mobile Phone Photo

Not A Mobile Phone Photo

So let’s just look back at those 15 years. In all that time I have seen thousands of photos taken of my roasted pigs. Some taken by professional photographers but most often the photos are shot by the average party goer. And up until recent everybody had a point & shoot of various brands and designs that got the job done quite nicely. I never heard any of the comments that I listed at the beginning of this post. Most often with the point & shoot camera you may hear “hold on I have to change the battery.” Now, it really is a circus of fumbling fingers, smudged screens, dim flashes, and jpegs with horrible color cast. But it appears that people love it so much and the point & shoot is becoming a thing of the past. Today I witnessed a crowd of about 40 people all with cell phone cameras looking like morons. Has the cell phone really made our life any better? Sure the “phone” part of it can be a real life saver. When that idiot in front of you on the road slams into something while talking on his cell phone and he’s lying there dying, you can use your cell phone to save his life. Now I don’t care who you are… that right there is way cool. All joking aside the mobile phone is a great invention and has revolutionized the world. The camera part… in my opinion is just giving us all crappy photos that we can fill up our hard drives with. Or… oh I know… better yet… let me pay a monthly fee for cloud storage so I can keep my crappy photos safe in the cloud, after all that seems to be a good place seeing how that is where my brain appears to be… in the clouds.

Folks all I’m trying say is that speaking from a photography stand point our photos are moments captured of our lives, some very memorable moments and others just not so memorable. My mother had her Kodak 110 instamatic and captured many memorable moments and I sure your growing up was similar. So obviously we have progressed from the 110 instamatic, but now it seems we are regressing but down a different path. She brought her 110 out for something that was memorable, now we have people who take photos of so much stuff I ask “is that really worth taking a photo of?” Please…

It’s not the first time we have given away something that was good for a so called modern convenience that really wasn’t all that much better. Look at how propane stole the flavor out of America’s back yard. Sounds corny I know, and you can laugh all you want. But it is the god’s honest truth. We cooked over wood charcoal that had an awesome flavor to our food but the convenience of the gas grill came along and we all had to have one. It is quick and easy and has less flavor but we love it. Why? Because we are lazy. And now it appears the mobile phone has done something similar to our personal photography.

Again I love my camera that is in my phone. I use it more a documenting device. With GPS capabilities it’s great for remembering were you were at a given time or you want to show someone something, so you just send them a quick photo. One time I had a friend who asked if I could send a photo of the barcode on a paint can so he could get the same color, it was a custom mix. I sent the photo, he brightened his screen and the guy at the paint store just scanned the photo right from the cell phone screen, and I think that is amazing. But really… taking photos of your child’s homecoming from the war party or your young child’s first soccer game and you are using a cell phone…

Cell phone photo??? I think not. 1/50 sec at f/2.8 ISO 200 190mm © Richard G Smith Jr

Cell phone photo??? I think not.
1/50 sec at f/2.8 ISO 200 190mm
© Richard G Smith Jr

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