Florida Photo Journal #2 ~ 6 Sunsets, 3 Different Cameras
With the exception of those who own a DSLR camera, more people than you could imagine tell me how their point-and-shoot camera or camera phone is not up to the task of capturing great photos. This frequently happens in workshops and public talks when I ask people what type of camera they use. Some usual responses include “I only have a point-and-shoot camera so I really don’t expect too much” or “Well, I usually use my camera phone and the photos are OK, but nothing like I could get with a DSLR camera.”
As part of this Florida photo project I wanted to show how it’s possible to create equally lovely photos with a point-and-shoot camera, camera phone and a DSLR. And, I also wanted to demonstrate how photos taken with those three types of cameras can look remarkably similar.
One of my top five favorite places in Florida for photography is along the the Overseas Highway–the southern most roadway in the nation. It spans 120 miles (193 km) of roads, 42 bridges and dozens of islands, and connects Miami to Key West Florida. This area is excellent for swimming, snorkeling, fishing and experiencing some of the state’s unique features such as its hardwood forests, mangrove swamps, marshes and exotic flowers like birds of paradise and orchids. It is also home to many rare sea creatures such as sea turtles, crabs, sponges, roseate spoonbills, coral formations, crocodiles and dolphins to name just a few.
The entire length of the Overseas Highway is surrounded by views of the water on both sides. Because a trip from Miami to Key West takes travelers in a westerly direction, it is also an ideal location for all types of late day and sunset photography. On a recent trip there, I captured a variety of late day photos for this blog using three different cameras; a professional DSLR, a moderately priced (under $200 USD) point-and-shoot camera and a camera phone. Six of those photos are shown below. Without reading the caption at the bottom of the illustration, try to determine which photos were made with which type of camera. NOTE: Because different camera types create different size images, the only thing I’ve done to these photos is to crop them to the same size for easier comparison.
Sunset On The Overseas Highway
Photos Made With Three Different Camera Types
Photos Made Using a Point-and-Shoot Camera (Top)
DSLR Camera (Middle) and a Camera Phone (Bottom)
Because all six photos above were made in late day light I used a tripod, self-timer and manual exposure settings to make all of these photos, including those with the camera phone. As you can see in the examples above, the photos from all three cameras are strikingly similar in quality and colors. Because camera phones capture lower resolution images, however, the only noticeable would be seen in those camera phone if they were printed in a large size.
Tips For iPhone and Android Camera Phone Users. With an iPhone, I use a Glif to attach the phone to a tripod and an Olloclip to add the power of a macro, wide angle and telephoto lens. Also, to have the most control possible over the iPhone or Android camera I use several inexpensive photo apps instead of those that come standard with the camera phones. Some of these apps offer a built-in self-timer, exposure controls and many other features. I use Camera+ and Camera Genius for the iPhone, and Camera ZOOM FX or Self Timer for the Android phone.