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Galaxy S8 Landscape Photography

“The best camera is the one you have with you.”

… a phrase you will see in photography gear forums all over the internet. However, it doesn’t hurt if the camera you have with you is pretty damn good. The Galaxy S8 is one of the best point and shoot cameras I’ve ever had. It is right up there with the Ricoh GRIII (the camera I used to shoot almost all of my street photography). 

It’s not just the camera itself that makes the the S8 a great everyday camera, it’s that it comes with a smartphone attached. Having the computing power to not only shoot fairly high resolution images, but to edit and share them immediately, puts it above a lot of stand alone cameras for me.

All photos need a little post production love to really make them pop even if they were shot by big expensive DSLRs. In order to edit those images all you need is to do is download Snapseed. I’ve been using Snapseed to edit all of my cellphone photos for years. It was originally developed by NIK software which was purchased by Google. I highly recommend checking out the NIK Collection if you use Lightroom or Photoshop. It’s now a free plugin. Snapseed is essentially the mobile version. It’s just enough to bring out the details in images and color-correct. Not that you need to “fix” the color as it and the white balance is pretty spot on right out of the camera. Granted you can do a lot of what Snapseed can do in the Instagram app; Snapseed had the tools long before the Instagram app did and is continuing to improve on them. Plus, it offers a lot more options for saving and sharing and setting file sizes.

All of the these images were shot with the standard camera app on the S8 and edited in Snapseed. Often, they were edited right after I captured them on site which means the edits reflect the feel of the shot more so than trying to remember it later during editing. This may not be a big deal to some, but I feel images that capture the mood are usually better than ones that are simply “technically” correct. It’s a more accurate sketch of a place.

I’m not talking about the overused faded crap you see on Instagram either. Anyone can do that, it’s neither artistic nor inspired, it’s simply trying to distract you from the fact that 99% of those are shitty photos with a filter added. Literally, filtering a turd. What I’m referring too is that the edits done on site use blurring and vignette because that’s how I saw the shot, I was squinting due to the bright sunlight. The highlights appeared to bloom and glow as a result and the finished images reflect this same character. 

The image below isn’t so much an example of great landscape photography as it is an example of being able to take a decent picture in low light and edit it right on the phone. In this case, a sudden Thunderstorm appeared out of nowhere during a little league game. I was able to get the shot and edit it while we waited for the storm to pass. 


Wedding at the University of Pennsylvania’s Morris Arboretum

I don’t normally shoot weddings, but good friends of mine asked if I would shoot theirs. I decided it would be my wedding present to them. What I didn’t expect was how much fun it was. Not that I’m going into the wedding photography business anytime soon, but I definitely would consider shooting another one. If the right person asked and if the venue was half as nice theirs, I would do it again.

These are some of the shots from Chris and Carolyn’s wedding this last month at the University of Pennsylvania’s Morris Arboretum.

Comparing Renderings to Photography

Interior 3D Rendering

Interior Photograph

The project shown here was an in house project for our new showroom in our west coast office.

As I’ve also mentioned in other posts, it is not often I get to see the final results in a project as I am usually involved early on in the process. When an opportunity comes up it’s good to see how close I was able to get it.


Which one is the photo?

There are a few differences in the images.  First off, the rendering was completed a few months before construction began. It was created using only the CAD drawings provided by the designer. Changes were made in the interim between when I completed the rendering and when the final photo was taken. The design of the space, the furniture, placement, and materials were affected by these changes.

The “final photography” (was not shot by me) it was shot with a cell phone by a sales-person. The format is slightly different, the white balance is off, and the verticals are not vertical. The rendering was adjusted for all of these as part of the process.

Regardless of the sight differences, the two images are quite similar. Important things to note in the comparison is the color and scale of the materials as well as the lighting. These are areas that need to be correct in order for the clients and designers to make decisions. Often times when looking at renderings we get lost in the artistic aspect of the image itself forgetting that the point of the image is not only to convey information, but to convey that information accurately. Architectural renderings really should be extensions of the architectural drawings themselves, in that they are as useful as a plan, section, or elevation.

The above images are not part of the same project, but due to the poor white balance in the photo, it’s pretty clear which one is which. 

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