We’re currently involved in industrial action at work. We’re not on strike, but we are conducting that is now referred to as ‘industrial action short of a strike’, which in the old days used to be called working to rule.
For me, it’s actually working out quite well. I’m leaving for home on time, I don’t have to do some of the weird stuff that’s creeped into my job over the last few years (most of which whilst someone else was doing the job, but hey-ho), and also, crucially, I’m getting out of the office for my lunch break.
It’s amazing that, when you are stuck in a small office with no windows for most of the day, that you can forget that you’re in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world.
On Friday for my lunch break, I headed out along the South Bank, aiming to head away from the supermarket I always end up buying food from. It was a cold day, but bright and clear; a typical sunny winter’s day (it’s about time we had one, it is December after all).
Presently I found myself wandering through an Xmas market. I was so distracted by the colours and sounds (and fudge) that before I knew it I was standing in the shadow of the London Eye.
As is typical for most work days, the only camera I had on me was my iPhone 4, so it would have to do.
The lens flare on an iPhone always looks interesting; I guess it must be due to the size of the camera components. However, shooting into the sun, or indeed any strong light source, adds the strong red colouring you can see in the image above.
However, when using bright sunlight right, you can get some very good results with an iPhone.
The iPhone always had a reputation for having a bad camera on it; it was considered an afterthought, a pointless extra. However, since the iPhone 3G S, Apple have been steadily improving the camera. The iPhone 4’s camera is a fantastic 5MP point-and-shoot camera (and currently the most used camera on Flickr), and the iPhone 4S was recently described by Annie Liebovitz as the “snapshot camera of today”.
I really love the clearly identifiable silhouette of Westminster Palace in that image.
The only problem with the iPhone as a camera is it is a fixed focal length lens, meaning you either have to be in just the right spot or resort to cropping. The other end of this problem is that, when photographing big things, the lens isn’t really all that wide.
In this photo I really like the sun poking through the frame of the wheel at the bottom, and the gradient of the sky moving from yellow to dark blue.
This is another spot I should return to with my DSLR. There is only so much justice a smartphone camera – no matter how good – can do to a subject. Plus, I’m pretty sure this next image looks a lot better when it’s dark: