Sunday, September 16, 2012

Self photography rant

Hi all,

Wow, it's been a while since I made a post. I haven't been keeping very well to my 'post a day' promise that I made to myself. Well I'm only human after all and perfectly fallible in my intentions. But I'm back now and we'll see how this goes. Tonight I want to rant about pictures, more specifically people taking pictures of themselves to post online. It's getting ridiculous and the pictures are getting more ridiculous.  I know there are the classic 'my space' style of pictures, changing the angles and striking a pose and looking fake as hell, but that's only half the issue, read on to see where I'm going with this.

Everyone today has a cellphone, which means everyone has a camera. Since everyone has a camera, everyone can take pictures of literally anything they can think of. There are a plethora of apps for iPhones and Androids dedicated to picture taking or photo editing, one of the most popular being Instagram. Those pseudo artsy photos aside, I'm talking about the self pictures that people are taking and posting to Facebook, Twitter and other sites. I'll even provide some examples that I've taken to illustrate.

Granted the best way to get a good picture is to have someone else take it for you, but there are a lot of people who insist on taking self pictures and posting them all over for the world to see.

First there is the method of taking a picture in a mirror, it lets you see the screen and see yourself and take, for the most part, the picture that you want. But the main problem, at least that I have, is that the phone or other device is in the damn picture as well and it looks stupid. It's not a fitting portrait, it looks dumb having it in the picture with you.  Here's one I took on my iPhone and one on my iPad.

iPhone Picture

iPad Picture

See how ridiculous the both look? The iPhone is bad enough but the iPad in the picture is just unreal, and yet people post pictures holding these devices and, in the case of the iPad, it takes up half the damn picture! Even more frightening, they think these pictures look good.

Now what no one seems to notice is that both of these devices, and other phones on  the market, have a camera facing the user, just above the phone screen, that can be used and look a hell of a lot better. Granted you only get a head shot most times, but it's still way better than having the device in the picture with you. Again, here are two examples.

iPhone Picture

iPad Picture

They look a lot better than having yourself plus the camera in the picture with you don't they?

"But Steve," I hear your say "They're too close, you can't see all of me in the shot."

Well thankfully the technology people have thought of that as well. See there are these wonderful things on real cameras called timers, they can be set to delay the taking of a picture so you can be happy with the framing and then get the shot that you want. There are apps for just this purpose, they add a time delay so you can get a better long shot instead of just a head shot.  Simply place your device on a table/chair/shelf/whatever and line up the field that you want and then set the timer and get your ass in the shot.  It works much better than holding the device in front of you.

Don't believe me? Here take a look.

iPhone Picture
See the difference? Yeah it's a little crooked, but that's not the point of the picture. It's a good, full shot of me and I took it all by myself using a timer app on my iPhone, and the app was free. Now granted I have a tripod that the iPhone was sitting on, but any level surface will do.

The end result is a picture that looks so much better than a picture where you have the Phone/Camera/Tablet in the picture with you. It's not perfect, it's not "professional", but it's not as softmore or moronic as a picture taken in a mirror of you holding your camera.

It didn't take me long to find the app, even less time to install it and it works with the existing camera, I just open the app and pic the time delay of 5, 10, 30 seconds or a time delay of my own choosing.

So there you have it, a quick and dirty way to improve on quick and dirty pictures.



1 comment:

Amanda. said...

My favorite part of the post was that there were lots of pictures. I agree with you most selfies look awful because the person taking them doesn't care. Thanks for the information and I'll look up some apps tonight.