film diary: the best camera


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...is the one that's with you. This phrase came about when Chase Jarvis, an American photographer, released his book of iPhone photographs. He also had an app called Best Camera. This is something that has slowly taken me time to learn and accept. If I don't have my DSLR with me, just my iPhone, I could become a bit sad because I'd rather have the ability to shoot RAW, but I will still take a picture. Recently, a few people have said to me,"I wish I were photography savvy" or "I need a better camera; I like to take pictures." No, no, no, people. You've got it all wrong!

Do you like to take photographs? Do you have a device or actual camera with which to take photographs? Then you've got the tools you need! When I was thirteen, I was bitten by the photography bug. For Christmas that year, I asked for a camera. I should have been more specific in that I wanted a digital camera, despite the fact that it definitely was not within our means to get that kind of gift just for me. I pasted a smile on my face that I got a camera, period. I also got the Bell Jar and Red Hot Chili Peppers cd. I was excited about the camera. I put the battery and film in and began shooting immediately, but also being cautious as to preserve the film. I took that camera to middle school, taking awkward flash photos of my eighth grade friends. I brought it along on a Mitchell Park Domes field trip, those same friends in botanical conservatories. Those photographs are so clear in my mind, it's as though they're in front of me right now. I would have to search many boxes for those specific pictures, but they do exist. Eighth grade graduation, us frozen in that weird adolescent transition from middle to high school. But underneath it all, I just wanted to take photographs. I had sketchbooks full of awful drawings, and although I got into abstract painting that year, I wanted to capture moments. Those years, I became an observer. Things changed even more significantly after read The Perks of Being a Wallflower. In becoming more observant, I was able to frame things with my minds eye, always itching to take photos. If I forgot my camera, I was so bummed. I carried extra double A batteries at all times, for fear that my now monstrous digital camera (2.3 MP!) would die at the worst moment!

These days, things are significantly different. Late to the smartphone game, only within the last three years have I had the tools to photograph with me at all times. I still carry my DSLR, but I do mostly shoot with my phone. Some people don't feel that's enough, but if you look at photographers like Amanda Jasnowski and Kevin Russ who have built careers with the very phones we carry with us each day, you can see that it's not the camera itself, but how one uses it. I have demonstrated to people how to adjust brightness and focus by simply touching the phones and they are amazed! It is all about how you choose to use the tools given to you. You can learn by practicing and exploring all the different settings and options available. Don't be afraid of using the camera on your phone. You'll be amazed by all of the things it can do. You can also search how to improve your phone photography, if you so choose. There are many great posts here and here that can show you how. So if you want to take pictures, just do it! Go out there, stay inside- all that matters is that you are fulfilling what you want to do and that feels great.

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