Why do we take photos?

Being on exchange has brought about the companionship of my camera, but also an absence of a smartphone, resulting in a new collection of pictures, with a new goal in mind during their creation. You no longer take social photos on a digital compact – it’s not an SLR, so it doesn’t elicit a pose, nor is it an iphone. What I’ve found is that we pose differently depending on what kind of camera we are facing. The quick, quiet, unobtrusive snap of the iphone leaves no-one the wiser and lets us get away quickly with posing – if it didn’t work…too bad so sad, if it did…we can lol about it after.

I don’t have a smartphone here. I miss snapchat, I miss instagram. Or even simply, mobile uploads, where the selfie is validated because of the device it was taken on. We can pull faces, be idiots, because the mobile-phone camera does not hold an underlying history of preparation for a photo, of the one-off, the value of the exposure (and cost!). Mobile photography is designed to be quick, to be multiple, to be unobtrusive.

We don’t mind the SLR at the odd party or event. It gives the occasion some formality, and of course gives the one standing behind it a certain level of credibility.

I don’t quite know where my camera fits, the Powershot G1X. It’s really great, with full manual functions and a DSLR sized sensor, but it still gets in the way of the social photo; it takes it’s time to focus, it is kind of bulky and bigger then your average digital camera.
People have started saying, wow what a great camera, that takes really good photos. Soon I will reply, it’s not all down to the camera…

My photos are only on flickr or on this blog, I don’t want no Facebook owning my work! ha.

Mum asked for photos of my surroundings which has inspired a collection of grunge-type street photography, aimed at capturing spirit and life in Montpellier (yet still not really featuring any true Montpellier-ins ….) we’ll work on that.

“There’s an app for that…”

New(ish) to the world of the smartphone I have enjoyed finding applications for my phone.
Supposedly, apps can make our lives easier, simpler, and more seemless – sometimes this is true, yet often apps need further development…

Apps or applications are just simply computing programs or pieces of software designed and written to fulfill a particular purpose of the user. They have been around since the birth of the computer, however it was the rise of the smartphone and subsequent need to create smaller more compact pieces of software that has led to the boom of the app that we have seen grow in recent years.

For a brilliant overview on apps, and some great facts – see this infographic!

Apps themselves have changed – they have become ‘smaller’ (more accessible, and not as large as traditional applications for computers that one would have gone to the shop to buy – eg. Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop etc), cheaper, and easier to access. We still can buy the BIGGER apps instore (however they are becoming  increasingly more available online).
The platforms and marketplaces where we can get them have also changed.

Pros:

  • easily back up work
  • easily link work across devices – through sync-ing devices to the web
  • you can get the same app on your mobile phone, laptop, tablet making it easy to work or socialise
  • free/’lite’ apps offer a trial version which

Cons:

  • free apps generally contain advertisements
  • cheap and free apps often freeze
  • some expensive apps don’t offer much, and rely on users buying in-app content

MY suggestions for apps:

  • Evernote – a great, free ‘productivity’ application I use it to take notes and record lectures at uni. I have it on all my electronic devices.
  • Angry Birds – probably my all-time favourite game =) and it’s free on Android =))
  • ABC iview – this is great because they upload si much of their on-air content and because it’s ABC it’s full of interesting TV
  • Facebook – …everyone has it, so why not have the app for it too

…for more great ideas see appSmitten – a website dedicated to finding the top apps (you can even sign up for their newsletter if you are that keen)

In my view, the challenge for apps, and their creators is to fabricate apps that all users to ‘break the rules’, such as watching videos of all formats on Apple products (ipads, etc.)
Being less ‘controlled’ or regulated, the Android market has more space to allow this, and if Apple doesn’t catch up, they will fall behind.