My Weekend Experiment with 3GS iPhoneography

Palm Treo 700p

I’m not an early adopter when it comes to phones. In fact, until late last year I was the happy owner of a 2006 Palm Treo 700p. But I started to have challenges syncing my phone to my computer (running Windows 8). So when Mr. GeoK acquired a shiny new iPhone 5, I was pleased to inherit his old iPhone 3GS.

After I figured out how to sync my contacts and calendar to the new phone, I carried on pretty much the same as before. I downloaded a few apps to help pass the time when I’m stuck in a waiting room or whatever, but I had games like Scrabble and Solitaire on my old phone, too.

Fast-forward to this weekend, when I started thinking about next week’s adventure. I’ll be one of about a dozen parent volunteers accompanying 50 grade 8 students (and their teachers) on a 4 day/3 night tent camping trip to Jasper National Park. Although the students will be leaving all of their devices (except cameras – but not camera phones) back in the city, parents don’t have to follow the “no devices” rule quite so strictly.

So in addition to my Olympus E-P3 I’ll be bringing my iPhone 3GS, with plans to share at few photographs in “real-time”. But since I’ve never bothered to figure out how to do this before, I decided to work it out the this weekend, while I still have access to wi-fi.

After a few hours, here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Seems obvious, but I need to be careful not to obstruct the iPhone camera lens…my phone case has a magnetic flap closure that partially covers the lens when it’s open, so I have to take care to hold it out of the way.
  • DON’T use in the in-camera digital zoom. Maybe it’s better in newer versions of the iPhone, but I was pretty disappointed with my photo of last night’s sunset over Cascade Mountain, which was a little zoomed in.
  • iPhone 3GS digitally zoomed photo of sunset over Cascade Mountain

  • I spent a couple of bucks so that I don’t have to rely exclusively on the default camera app. So far I’ve downloaded FX PhotoStudio and Camera+. I bypassed Instagram only because my usual screen name has already been taken by someone else. If there’s an iPhone camera or photo developing app that’s your “go to” choice, I’d appreciate it if you’d leave a comment so I can check it out. I’m particularly interested in something that will let me group 3 or 4 photos into one mosaic before posting.
  • I’m not going to become a dedicated iPhoneographer any time soon! Overall, I’m finding the photos just too muddy and flat. Admittedly, I haven’t had much practice with the iPhone 3GS camera. Since it’s my only option for “real-time” sharing from Jasper National Park next week, I hope the results will improve with experience. I’ll probably share a few highlights as the week progresses, but will feature photographs taken with my Olympus EP-3 for any blog posts I put together after I’m back in the city.

I’m thinking this might be one of those cases where nothing is better than something, but I’ll have a better idea at the end of the trip. What are your thoughts?

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