The Gathering Storm

I shot this first picture on Saturday as a storm gathered on the horizon over First Beach, in Newport. I believe there is a gathering storm on the horizon in photography too, and it is the cellphone camera. I took all of these with my new 5S iPhone "mobile device." I am constantly amazed with the quality of the images I have been getting with this camera . See for yourself.  Please click on these thumbnails to see them enlarged. The camera is great right out of the box. The video is wonderful, too. The pano software is truly amazing, and can be used in a number of ways to achieve different effects. In the first two pictures I used the pano in the "conventional" way, sweeping it around from way off to the left all the way to the right. Doing so introduces a fish eye effect that can be quite dramatic. This works either left to right, or right to left, or even vertically. Moving the camera in an arc or jiggling your phone during the exposure produces surprises. Another way to use "pano" is on moving objects. Sweeping with or against the subject direction will yield unusual and interesting distortions. 

And yet another result is achieved by quickly turning the pano on and off while moving the camera, as I did with this red abstract on the sidewalk.

Of course it is the spontaneity of the cell phone that is really what this is all about. It is so very easy to get into the act of "seeing" with this little device, not have to think about f/stops and shutter speeds. I am free to see!

There's no doubt in my mind that the ubiquitous cell phone will become the camera of choice for most casual photographers and many serious visual artists.  As I have half-jokingly said to friends,  "Eventually, all those expensive digital SLRs we own, and all those fancy lenses we paid so many dollars for, will just gather dust in the closet." Maybe not this year, or the next, but it will come to be. This is my prediction.