Phone Cameras and Flickr’s Picnik

I went out to Half Moon Bay’s Dream Machine event, where machinery was displayed from cars, steam engines, hybrids, motorcycles and airplanes were featured. One of the things I love to do is meet up with Scoble and Thomas Hawk to watch them photograph interesting things with their professional Canon cameras. Check out Scoble’s and Thomas’s amazing photos on Flickr. I certainly don’t have the budget to spend 5-10k on camera gear, but try to go for the opposite approach and see how much I can do with camera phones. I’m demoing the ‘social media phone’ called the N85 from Nokia, a 5 megapixel camera, which I’ll give away to someone after my trial.

I relied on a few settings such as exposure and white balance, focused on getting the right angle and lighting, then use the Picnik online photo editing software that is available in flickr for free (click “edit” photo from your flickr pics) to change color, contrast, saturation, cropping, and sharpness, I never opened photoshop. While it’s no where near the quality of Robert’s or Thomas’s pics (you can go to their large images and see how the photos stay crystal clear) I had fun.

I just want to make the point that soon, great pics can come from consumer cameras on phones and free online software –you don’t have to be a pro or a pro-amateur. Technology is enabling. Check out Michael’s videos of the day, he picked up some great coverage using a flip camera.

Big Green She Smiles hellfire USAF Red Baron
Ace Maker The ol' girl Regal hell bike Flight

Also, I have a real affinity for the USAF, my grandfather was a well known Chinese American fighter pilot in WW2, see his plane, the “San Mateo Belle”. Sadly there were no thunderbolts at the show.

15 Replies to “Phone Cameras and Flickr’s Picnik”

  1. Hi Jeremiah,

    I am curious to know if Nokia asked you to write about the camera phone in exchange for the trial… i.e. is this post considered sponsored conversation? If not, why not?


  2. Such a bummer that I wasn’t here. I love that event, but since I’m coming for the entire summer on Mary 17, I couldn’t justify another trip right now. glad you were there.

  3. Nice shots! – Having an eye for light & composition is probably more important than the gear. Have a couple friends with thousands worth of gear and they might as well leave it at home as they have tin eyes.

  4. Francine, PXlated, thanks it was a fun event. I agree, having an eye for it is important.

    Bill, fair question. vendors give analysts, press, media, journalists trial devices to trial in hopes they will write about them that are related to their coverage (mine is social technologies). I disclosed and wrote from the heart (as always) and don’t keep the review products.

  5. Hey Jeremiah. A good time yesterday for sure. Thanks again for the donut! 🙂

    Your images are great and goes to show you what can be done on a relatively inexpensive budget with a little creativity.

    Some of the best images I’ve ever seen have come from cameras costing less than $50.

    Picnik is a good resource for Flickr. Google’s free Picassa is another good editor.

    Good to see you again yesterday!

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