invercargill estuary looking towards bluff

A Photo A Day

For the past few weeks I have been trying to take a photo a day and post it to my Facebook profile. For the most part I have been reasonably successful at it although on the odd occasion I have either missed taking a photo, or have sneakily added one from the previous day.

I am doing this – taking a photo a day – because I  want to see how difficult a task it is to achieve with a view to taking on a 365-day photo challenge that covers a full year. If I decide to do it in 2016 it will, of course, will become a 366-day challenge, as 2016 is a leap year!

So far nearly all the photos I have taken have been with my cell phone camera, the reason being that I nearly always have my phone with me. That’s the easy part – having a camera with you wherever you go.

The hard part, I am discovering, is spotting “that opportunity” and then taking a spur of the moment photo that is more, for example, than “here’s a photo of what I had for lunch today” (as is often seen on Facebook posts…), or “here’s a picture of me in the pub last night”.

What I am finding equally difficult is adopting an “I don’t care” attitude. By that I mean don’t care what people think when I stop to take a photo of something , that to an onlooker, is not worth taking a photo of, but has caught my eye.

I am hoping that sticking at taking a photo a day will become a habit (apparently it takes about 21 to 30 days to form a habit) and then I will be in a bit of a comfort zone and be more free about just snapping away wherever and wherever.

Anyway – here are some examples of my photo-a-day effort.  All images here were taken using the camera of my Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 phone.

Enjoy! And please feel free to comment.



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The best camera is the one you have with you

The well known photography quote “the best camera is the one you have with you” is widely attributed to American photographer Chase Jarvis.

So I had that quote in mind when, a couple of weeks ago I had to  buy a new cell phone because I dropped my old one into a muddy puddle and it didn’t survive.  I know there are cellphones with cameras on the market that feature multiple megapixels, and now some can even shoot RAW files as well as jpegs…but these all come at a price more than I was prepared to pay.

I searched around for a mid-range smartphone with a half decent camera on board. I say half-decent because in my own mind I am sure that the capabilities of a smartphone camera fall well below the capabilities of a modern digital camera. So, after searching around a bit I settled on a Samsung Galaxy Ace 3, with a 5 megapixel camera, and a host of other bells and whistles, most of which I’ll most likely never use.

The camera has a handful of shooting modes – auto, sports mode, night mode, close-up, continuous shooting, and so on. It also has a panorama mode and a “best shot” mode. I haven’t tried either of these yet, but in panorama mode all you seem to have to do is hold the “shutter’ button and pan slowly; and in best shot mode, the camera take several shots and you pick the best one to keep.

Unfortunately there are no ISO settings, nor is their anyway to override focus unless the you consider the macro mode a way of overriding the focus.

Nevertheless it is a handy thing to have in my pocket, so I’ll never be caught short so to speak.

So how good is it? It’s, well, okay.

Certainly you wouldn’t want to enlarge them too much; and you’d always want to be taking pictures in the best light. But it’s amazing what a little bit of PP can do to tidy up an image.

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