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© nevada wier 2012 Iceland, Skogafoss Falls

iphone 4s; App: Camera Bag, Italiano processing

Whoever said “the best camera is the one you have with you” hit it straight on the mark. Recently I was in Iceland, enjoying its summer of eternal daylight and plethora of amazing waterfalls. I shy away from deeming myself a “nature photographer”. One either is extraordinarily lucky to be in great location with amazing light or they are persistent in order to be in that great location and finally have amazing light. I am not that patient and luck is fleeting. However, in Iceland there I was, on a tripod (ack!) photographing its abnormal number of incredible and accessible waterfalls. It felt as if every day I was at the bottom or top or side of yet another mind-blowing thundering cascade. At the first one, I used a neutral density filter for that languid slow shutter – de rigeurs for any water enthusiast. At the next I made panoramas. At another I played with multiple exposures (actually I really like what I did with the multiple exposures; it sure took Canon a long time to put that feature on the 5D camera!) and at yet another I even tried the new HDR feature on the Canon 5DMarkIII, even though I am not a fan of HDR. Finally I thought “Screw it, I’m just going to go look at the next waterfall!” But, grabbed my iPhone at the last minute. And, of course, at this particular waterfall I had the best photography opportunity of all because there was a wedding party of hardy Icelanders braving the cold spray for their photographers. People! My métier! Naturally I tagged along… with my iPhone. In my opinion, the iPhone is as “serious” of a camera as my SLRs. What type of camera one uses is irrelevant; it is how you use that matters. So there I was making the best waterfall image of the trip with my iPhone.

After my initial frenzy of photo app buying and fiddling with photos in a ridiculously small screen, I decided that I only have the time and patience to use with two apps that does the processing for me. Since I don’t crop my images I found that Hipstatmatic (usually John S lens and Kodot film), or Camera Bag (I use Lolo, Italiano, and occasionally Magazine). that I liked best for my images. I have zero desire, or time, to spend messing about with other app processing. I already spend too much time in front of the computer editing my images and processing the RAW images I use in my assignments and personal projects. Two apps are plenty for me.

During my travels I am usually carrying a Canon 5DMarkIII, with a retinue of lenses, for color images and a converted Infrared camera (I have a Canon 5DMarkII with a standard IR conversion and a Canon 5D with an enhanced IR conversion). And, I have the iPhone. That’s a lot of cameras to keep track of but I enjoy all the creative challenges.

I’m heading off to China today to photograph the hill tribes in Guizhou. I have my arsenal of SLRs, lenses, flashes, accessories… and my iPhone! I bet I use it a lot, and not just because I left my other cameras behind.

The following is another images I made this past spring in India at a vintage car museum in Gujarat. I used my iPhone4s to create a preconceived collage of images.

© nevada wier 2012 India, Vintage Car Museum, Gujarat

iphone 4s; App: Camera Bag, Lolo processing

I am not a big telephone fan. I have three different numbers (land, mobile and fax) and rarely use any of them. There is a message on my cell phone “Forget about leaving a message because I rarely pick up this phone”. Verizon even called me a couple of years ago to ask if I had lost my phone since I had no charges on it. Last summer I decided to get an iPhone, not for the telephone part (ATT is hopeless in Santa Fe) but for the aps! When I first got the phone I learned how to use all the stuff on it, including the camera, but then never thought about it again. I know there are a growing number of iPhone photographers who are doing great images but I have never been interested. I did get some photo aps awhile back but never bothered to learn how to use them. Basically I am either out of the country in some back-water, side-lit, off the map place, where phone coverage is a whisper of an idea or I’m at home, near my land line, staring at a computer all day. When I get down to cans of tuna fish to eat and have to go into town then I take the iPhone with me, but mostly to get my email.

So there I was last Friday being wheeled into the Denver Health ER on a stretcher with a broken neck (more on this later) and I thought, “I should record this! I was holding my phone in my hand but couldn’t remember how to use its camera. I fumbled about and managed to make a photo. (I realized later that this was only the third photo I had ever taken with this phone.) It wasn’t easy doing a self-portrait, having to turn the camera towards me and twist my fingers around so I could push a button I couldn’t see. Somehow I managed it (you can see the photo after the jump) and I thought “Wow, I’m a convert!” (Yeah, it would have easier with new iphone, I know… but I’m not getting it until Verizon comes onboard; crossing all digits for that.)

Actually this is just a convoluted way of saying that I was in a car accident last week. Now before you rush to send me an email, text, pigeon, or flowers, I beg you to resist. Please go outside and wave all kinds of white light in my direction or scream “Get well Nevada” into the universe. The kindest thing you can do for me is not to email me, otherwise I will feel badly if I don’t respond (it is just the way I’m wired).

I have always said that I’m safer traveling overseas than driving in America. I sure hate that I was proven right about this.

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