Portability is Handy

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Blue mat stretching over the sand dune to the ocean.

One of the really useful things about cell phone photography is the portability of the camera. And telephone, and message machine, and search engines, and everything else that’s crammed into these devices.

Just north of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware is Cape Henlopen State Park. I went there a couple of days ago ostensibly to photograph at sunset the two WWII lookout towers that are on the beach. After parking my bike, I was pleasantly surprised to see a long, blue mat leading over the sand dune on the way to the ocean. I say “pleasantly surprised” because some of those dunes can make it hard going, especially in flip-flops.

I was still busy being “pleasantly surprised” when I noticed someone ahead of me on the mat cresting the dune. I got the feeling that a photo was in front of me but rapidly disappearing. Do you know that feeling? I quickly raised my phone (which happened to be in my hand at that moment) and just had time for one click before the woman disappeared over the dune.

We don’t as yet have many photographs on Instagram (and even fewer followers!) but this one got a pretty good reception.

Photographs can appear before you at the most unexpected times so it’s wonderful to have something so portable – and providing such high quality output.

Incidentally, the lookout tower shots didn’t work out as the sun disappeared behind the clouds right after I arrived and stayed there through the sunset. Can’t win ’em all.

Professional Looking Selfies!

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My iPhone 6s was close to giving up the ghost so I began looking into a replacement. The Xr looked like the one for me, but gee, so much money. The man at the Apple store looked at my 6s and said he’d give me $200 discount on a Xr (which, I discovered is pronounced ten r, not ex r). Had I waited until my 6s died I would have received bupkus so the moral is, (and I’m sure Apple would agree) get a new one before the old one dies. Incidentally, I’m also in the market for a new iMac and the latest version can be a little over two thousand bucks which is also not peanuts – this computer biz is expensive. Anyway, the Apple website claims my existing five year old iMac will yield a rebate of $570 so that helps.

Back to the iphone, the Xr is a little longer than the 6s (and I didn’t need that, but there it is) and there are several other changes. It’s good to have a battery that lasts longer than five hours and it’s great to have 64GB of memory instead of 16.

My favorite improvement though, is in the camera. So many pixels! Even my most boring shots have impressive quality. There’s a camera setting new to the Xr called “Portrait” that throws the background a little out of focus so the viewer can concentrate on the face and ignore background distractions. Of course, you don’t actually have to shoot a human to use it in portrait mode, I tried it on blossoms and you can see the results. Photographically speaking, I think this camera and I are going to get along.