Ah the selfie. No more shall we surrender control of our photogenicity to others. We can shoot to our heart's content, or until we get an acceptably fabulous picture of our naturally beautiful selves.
But what are we missing? As we switch to front camera, what's going on elsewhere? Are we really the most interesting thing in our space today?
I am not a great selfie taker. I always end up squinting or looking angry (although, admittedly that could just be my face). So I decided to play around with the idea and show both the selfie (yes, my ugly mug) and what was going on on the other side of the camera at the time.
Work in progress.
the first in a series of posts about the beauty of mobile phone photography
You wouldn't need to go back even a year to have found me swearing I would never be writing this post. I certainly wouldn't have expected to be not only writing it but writing it on a mobile.
Of course, it was all out of ignorance, and a little bit of hard-headedness. My only exposure to Instagram was witnessing the inevitable death of creativity as it succumbed to retro-style filters and selfies and photos of feet on beaches. The idea of owning a smart phone almost literally made me vomit. Why were people paying large amounts of money to effectively isolate themselves from the world around them? (note: in many ways, this point still stands)
Having said all this, there had always been a sticking point for me; I had quickly got tired of carrying my chunky DSLR camera around everywhere and was therefore frustrated that I never had it on me. I'm not talking about going on safari. I'm talking about popping down the shops for bread and spotting something interesting about the peeling paint on the florists' walls.
The original photo was just me playing around with a bit of geometry (can you work out what it is?) but as I was looking for the best places to crop the photo, I started noticing the people on a few of the balconies.
So I cut them out of the photo to stand alone, forever looking overboard.
So this is pretty much my first go at the latest fashion in digital/web-based photography - the moving GIF. GIF files are just image files that move, or rather, a serious of image files that run continuously. You'll most probably have seen them used to show humorous clips from films that repeat themselves over and over again.
Well, someone had the great idea of using this file format to produce moving pictures. What's great about them, and what differentiates them from video, is that you isolate an area of the image that you want to show as movement, whilst everything else remains as a still photo. This allows you to draw the viewer's eye to elements of the photo, something that you would normally do through composition, lighting or focus, for example.
The principle is quite simple but in practice it doesn't always come out as smoothly as you'd like. One of the most important factor is a steady camera, so make sure you use a tripod. The effect works best when you choose a movement that is, by nature, repetitive (e.g. swinging, flapping, dripping) because then the final result won't look unnatural. Some things simply don't work well, others do. It's all about trial and error.
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