I’ve had an iPhone for around three years, which I use about 80% for work activities (email, research on internet, calculations, and sometimes even to make calls). The other 20% of the time, it’s a toy. Before that, I had a Blackberry Curve, and assorted small flip phones. The cameras on these phones have steadily improved, and so while at first I used them merely to take a quick snap of a work site, a funny sign or a menu, pictures that I used once and then threw away, I’m finding myself using the iPhone more and more to record moments that I want to keep. I’m having fun trying out some of the new apps like Instagram, Hipstamatic, Camera! and ColorSplash. While I know a few people who might turn up their collective noses at the manipulation, I’m having a lot of fun playing with the filters that create the illusion of old pictures, or put interesting color details into black and white photos.
On my trip to Weyburn, Saskatchewan earlier this month, I passed by some abandoned farm buildings. A couple of these I took with my ‘good ‘ camera, and a couple with my phone. All of these were shot with my Nikon, then transferred to my iPhone and tweaked using one of the above apps.
(Note: I’ve owned a single-lens reflex camera of one type or another since I bought a low-end Vivitar for under $200 at Montgomery Wards when I was in college. I moved on to a Canon, then a Canon that automatically set shutter speed and f-stop (big time!), a Nikon film camera, and then a Nikon D40 and D80. I usually have what I call a pocket camera, something like a Canon Powershot that will fit into my jeans and be pulled out quickly. I’m not a camera-bug, though, so I’ve never had more than one or two lenses and a single filter. My needs are simple: I use PhotoShop just enough to straighten horizons or crop I just want sharp, clear pictures of my family and my travels, that are clean enough enlarge. Like most engineers, I’m enamored of gadgets and technology, but being a camera bore just isn’t my thing.)
Those old farm houses always amaze me. At one time, they were full of people and meticulously cared for. And then.. what? What happened that such a fine place was literally abandoned, and all the time, effort and money put into it was lost?
I watched one being bulldozed in Loudoun County, VA – one that I had passed for two years as I drove to work and such, and it made me very sad. At least when it was there, there was someone (me) to wonder about the people who spent their lives there. Now, there’s nothing at all.