Senior moment forces 'plan B' into action
Have you ever went to the airport and forgot your tickets, or went to the supermarket only to realise your cash card is sitting on the kitchen table? Well, something like that happened to me today when I traveled to the bay at Old Hartley, Northumberland and realised I hadn't put the memory card back into my camera. Oh the shame! Still, I had two choices. Turn around and go home or take some photos on my Samsung Galaxy S6 mobile phone. The first option wasn't really in the runnings to be honest so the phone it was. I knew it was able to take some good quality images, as I had used it 99% of the time on holiday in Mexico last year, so it was defiantly capable of taking decent images in the North East of England.
It just so happened that my wife's selfy stick was in the car and the phone holder fitted perfectly on my tripod enabling a steady, long exposure or two. This could be helped along, by holding my neutral density filter in front of the phones lens to get even longer exposures. Putting the camera into pro mode opened up a load of manual control functions, as well as enabling me to shoot in RAW, so that I could get as much detail as possible out of the images when processing them back at home. Wow, the performance of the phone really impressed me. I managed to get a load of great images in the two hours I spent in the bay.
It was my first visit there but it will defiantly not be the last. The rock formations and colours are perfect for photography and couple that with a good tide, you can’t help but come home with the goods. Using a phone camera meant that I only had one focal length lens at my disposal today. Usually I use zooms but the fixed lens forced me to get the composition right by moving closer or further away rather than turning a ring on the lens. Quite refreshing really.
The sunrise was a bit disappointing colour wise but the light was perfect for the type of images I was after. One thing I wished I had the use of, was a shutter release cable so as not to disturb the camera through the long exposures but after looking through the settings I found something better, voice activated photo taking. All I had to do was say “shoot” and the camera would take the photo. Amazing.
Back at home once I had the images loaded into lightroom I was very impressed with the detail and exposure latitude of the phone. Seemingly burnt out areas of the sky yielded loads of tone when the exposure slider was moved to the left and the shadows retained just enough detail to balance the image out. I’m planning to make a few test prints and will post my results later.
It just goes to show that its not all about the gear you have but the image you capture. If people only realised the power of that little flat box they carry around with them every day they may be surprised just like I was. Although I may not be ready just yet to hang up my DSLR camera, this S6 is a real contender when wanting to travel to a location but not take all the heavy camera gear usually associated with such adventures.