The modern camera

I have it as an article of faith that the great photographers of the past – your Weegees, your Franks and Francks and your Bressons – would have embraced the camera phone with passion. Others may disagree – in fact I know they do. You can’t move on the interwebs for tedious dribblers telling the world that some 35mm photographer would have used a top of the range 20MP DSLR because they wanted technical perfection, completely ignoring the fact that if they’d wanted technical perfection they’d have been firing away on something medium format. But, forgive me, I digress.

I have now taken possession of a HTC Desire, largely because my phone provider gave it to me for free. I’ve downloaded apps for pretty much every important bit of my life: baseball, cricket, boris bikes as well as one for the rather decent on-board camera. Vignette is the name of that and I’m already a little bit in love. Film is a more beautiful experience, (D)SLRs more versatile and suited to quick reactions and high speed but the combination of Vignette and Desire is within the first twenty-four hours already producing results. A photographer who knew what they were doing could do some serious work on this. (Pixel peepers can stop scoffing: it’s people like you that strangle the life out of your photographs with pinsharpness as priority and balanced histograms the be all and end all).

But, anyway … this shot taken with one of the Vignette film filters as the sun set behind the Hyde Park memorial to the victims of the 7/7 bombs is a case in point. The camera hasn’t been panicked by the difficult light (it was all in auto) and the filters and effects have come together to produce the exact image I wanted when I pressed the shutter. Good cameras and good programmes make photography simple and that’s exactly what happened here. The hardest part was not being knocked over on Park Lane as I sprinted to catch the last of the light.

You can see more about the photo here.


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