Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Weekly Photo (Week 31) Café Curtains

My quest to master my smartphone camera continues. The Nokia Lumia 900 provides an amazing camera. Yet the differences from gear that I am used to are many. No viewfinder for one. Having to hold the camera at arms length makes aiming rather awkward for me. Without manual focus I have to rely on the little brain in the camera to decide what to focus on. I still can’t figure out what it sees, but I am making progress.

The camera can focus to about four inches, I have yet to prove that to myself. The shutter will happily operate at exposure times much to long to hand-hold successfully. That I have amply demonstrated.

Here is a photo, “snap” as my British friend would say, from today, taken under difficult light. The setting sun was just to the right of the edge of the photo. The camera did alright.

Café Curtains

The statistics

  • Aperture: f/2.2 – As with all cell phone cameras, all photos are taken at the full aperture.
  • The shutter speed was 1/720 second. Continuous variable shutter time sets the exposure.
  • The geographic location coordinates are about 80 feet from the actual location of the photo.

Most photo locations are right on, some are missed, like this one – maybe I did not allow the phone to acquire the GPS satellites. Not something I had to worry about with my “old-fashioned” photo gear.

The learning curve still looms steeply ahead.


© 2012 Ludwig Keck


  1. Ludwig, you don't have to hold it far away from you, and as I have found out (by trial and error) the way to focus on a certain aspect in your shot (such as a particular flower or something else) is tap on the touch window where you want to focus. Let's say your taking a shot of a plant pot in a windowsill. In the screen you have the window, the plant pot etc. Simply press your finger on the plant pot. It should now be in focus whilst the window, sill, etc are out of focus. It does take some time to master because as you tap on the screen to focus on an object, you have to keep the phone still. Just a tip.

  2. Thank you T.G. You are still the teacher! I will try that "tap-to-focus" technique. As to where to hold the camera: I use trifocals which makes it a bit tricky for me. The phone is not my only problem.

  3. I am constantly amazed at all the things one of these newest model phones can do, but not yet sufficiently dazzled to want to get one. Now when they make one that can take care of the house and do the laundry, then check back! But really this photo post was quite amazingly well done...are you getting ready to get rid of your bulky digital SLR equipment? Somehow, I think NOT.

  4. LOL! Just received a call from Redmond. I am told by Steve B. that I should note that my only remaining friends are using Lumia phones and promoting Windows as well regardless what I say.

  5. Beatrice, I definitely will keep my "old" cameras. The phone, however, is a really neat, always handy, camera. Especially when considering all it can do. House work, laundry? Surely it won't be long before there is "an app for that"!

  6. George, we are using Microsoft products because of what you say! Knowing the shortcomings of the tool and the maker makes it more familiar.
    The Nokia phone is an amazing product. I just hope Nokia can survive being cut off at the knees by Microsoft.

  7. Ballmer's buddy Steven Elop is buying Nokia shares this week...and the shares are rebounding a small amount against most analysts recommendations.