Documenting the seasons of coastal Dorset. I'm a complete amateur so don't trust I'm always right. If ever you see I'm wrong - whether with identifications or in anything else - do say!

Monday, 23 March 2009

SEEING THE WORLD IN COLOUR (AND THE BLACKTHORN IS FLOWERING)

I've seen a car I want. It's rust coloured (matte) and like an oversized VW Beetle only wider, and taller - which is just as well because the hair of the young man driving it had been cut as a flat topped mohican. It looked as if he'd stepped straight out of 'The Incredibles' and he wouldn't have fitted in the car if the roof hadn't been so high.
I don't approve of cars (with a few exceptions) and I don't drive. They fill up the roads and towns have become little more than collections of car parks with shops and dwellings scattered loosely between them. They're not much good for the atmosphere either. But if I had a car, that would be the one.
* * * * *
I saw this car when I was walking into town to buy a replacement for the camera phone I dropped down the loo. It was going the other way.
* * * * *
So far, I've spent nine hours walking in and out of town, trying to buy a new phone. One and a half hours of that was when I was returning a phone I didn't like and left the charger at home - which meant I had to go back to fetch it and the journey was wasted. (It's three-quarters of an hour in each direction.)) Another hour and a half was spent going to buy a different one and finding I'd left my purse behind so I had to go home for that too.
Reasons for Returning the Phones
(Remember, I don't want to phone on a phone but to take pictures with it.)
One - was five times as expensive as that I've been using. It was on a contract, which made me nervous, so I'm glad I didn't like it after all but everyone seemed to recommend it - on the internet, in the shops - so I plunged in.
How come I'm the only one not to like it?
Well, to me, it made the world look murky.
This has challenged me about the way I see things. Perhaps the world really is murkier than I've imagined. Almost all the photos I took on the old phone came out with what were, to me, true colours. There are few exceptions. One is some bark which looks yellower than in real life - but the patterns are crisp and interesting so I used it on Pictures Just Pictures all the same. And the walls of the tunnel in the Roots and Water post aren't as brightly orange as they appear. But at least you can see them, so I used them. But almost everything else has come out just right - leaves and trees and skies and toadstools and all.
This is where the car comes in. There are some things, things as well as people, that one simply bonds with - as I bonded with my phone. It's light. It fits in my hand. It and I see the world in the same way - so we are friends.
* * * * *
Presumably, the people in the shop and the people on the internet who recommended this other (expensive) phone must see the world differently from me. They must see the world as shown by its pictures.
The young men who sold it were very kind and patient. I could tell they were trying to see things from my point of view, understand my interests. They explained how the camera on the phone searches for faces and focuses on them. It will even wait until the people in the picture smile. (I didn't ask for how long.) (Nor what it would do if some people smiled and others didn't.) So, I told them about my blogs, and how I take pictures of plants. So they talked about how to take photos in the snow, or on the beach, about front lighting and back lighting . . . for instance, they said, if you were taking a photo of a plant in a night club and the strobe lighting was on . . . they even showed me which buttons I would need to press.
* * * * *
Since taking it back, I've been trying to see the world as that camera sees it - all dull and murky and bland. And I can. It takes a bit of effort and it's taken me a while to do it - but, now, I can.
It's like listening to a huge orchestra and picking out one instrument, intentionally being more aware of the 'colour' of that sound than usual. I'm not meaning exaggerate its influence or listen to its tune or rhythm at the expense of others, just being more aware that it is there.
* * * * *
The other phone was more straight forward. It didn't focus properly.
However, before I took that one back, I had a go at the black and white setting. Strangely, the focus was sharpened - but its idea of black and white turned out to be not in the least like mine - I saved some of the photos I took on it and am using them to liven up this post.
Talk about seeing the world differently!
P.S. It had a 'grey' setting too. The photos on that setting came out . . . grey.
P.P.S. I've found a phone like my old one, on ebay, new . . . fingers crossed . . .
If it's an identical twin of my old one (which can't be guaranteed, every single object has its own character, there's no such thing as a clone . . . )
Well . . . perhaps in a fortnight . . . I'll be up and running as usual.
And happy.
_____
P.P.P.S. The Blackthorn is flowering.
PHOTOS IN THIS POST
Header - Rambling Rector Rose and Spanish Broom.
Then:-
1. Tea Towels on Washing Line.
2. Antarctica Fern.
3. Rambling Rector Rose (again).
4. Shoes and Broom (of the sweeping kind).
5. Cordyline Palms
6. Trunk of Madeleine d'Angevine Vine and Japanese Anemone
7. Wild Blackthorn and Gorse
_____
For the Post Before This - I've Dropped My Phone Down the Loo

18 comments:

flowrgirl1 said...

amazing photos. Black and white always seems to speak so loudly. I took a photography class which was black and white only. We used SLR cameras, no digitals. It was an incredible experience.

garden girl said...

I'm glad you found the right phone Lucy! I've had similar dilemas replacing phones I liked that weren't available anymore, and not wanting to pay the hefty prices of newer models that I didn't want anyway.

The blackthorn is beautiful. I love the photos you took with the black and white setting on the phone you returned - definitely a different way of seeing the world!

easygardener said...

The black and white pictures look like etchings to me. Obviously that phone had artistic aspirations.

Lucy said...

Hello Flowergirl1.

Glad you like the photos. They are a bit startling, aren't they!

I like the immediacy of digital photography - and how it doesn't matter how many pictures one takes because there's no film to use up. But there's something very physically satisfying and engaging about an SLR - and I too very much like black and white photography.

Lucy

Lucy said...

Hello Garden Girl.

I hope it does turn out to be the right phone! One can never be sure with sending away for something - but, hopefully, it will be ok.

Phones . . . while acknowledging a camera is in itself an 'extra' . . . they do seem to have rather a lot loaded on to them. In order to have the supposedly superior lens on the expensive one, I also had to have GPS navigation, a pedometer to keep me fit, a radio (of course) even television! (Television!) There were all sorts of other things too that I didn't investigate.

The sound, though, was excellent. I'd quite like to get into sound recording and that phone would have been perfect for it.

The blackthorn . . . for a reason I can't put my finger on . . . the photo of it is reminding me of the black and white film of Daphne du Maurier's 'Rebecca'. Odd.

Lucy

Lucy said...

Hello Easy Gardener.

The broom certainly looks like an etching.

Some of the other photos look like lino cuts or prints on material.

Whatever it is, it's not 'black and white' as I have previously known it! It's not even negative photography. I expect, if I had hung onto the phone for longer, I would have worked out what was going on!

I really like it - but I couldn't keep the phone just for this one setting! (Unfortunately.)

Lucy

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Cars are a pain but it's a bigger pain int he US (esp. in the Motor City area) to get anywhere without one as there isn't much mass transit to speak of and sidewalks don't exist everywhere. Sigh. I do have an economy-level car (I couldn't have gotten to work without it) but she's a 2001 model and I plant o drive her til she dies. Despite the fact I named her (Sandy), and I'm used to her, I don't get my identity/status from a car. I have a pay-as-you-go cell phone and don't use it much. It doesn't have a camera. My camera is a bit bulky, but I like how it takes photos. It seems they're always adding new "features" onto things that everyone thinks they can't live without and I don't even want! By the way, speaking of strobe lights and plants, I can just imagine a big ole Saguaro dancing under a disco ball (in color!).

Gordon Mason said...

Great images ... like Xrays!

But ...
"I saw this car when I was walking into town to buy a replacement for the camera phone I dropped down the loo. It was going the other way."
This car was coming up the u-bend of the loo??

petoskystone said...

nice black/white blackthorn! some years back when my daughter was taking a photography course, part of it was learning to develop your film. which she enjoyed, but preferred to stick to color as it was (& is) a lot cheaper (whether you develop it of send it out). hope the phone you ordered is the right one!

Plant Mad Nige said...

Hope you'll be doing more B&W pics, Lucy. Yours are fantastic anyway, but the latest batch add a fascinating new dimension.

Do you ever actually phone people? Ought we to be looking for a camera which can also be used to ring people up?

Lucy said...

Hello Monica.

You raise so many interesting points in your comment.

Right out the top, for me, is the of lack of provision for pedestrians. Public transport here isn't too bad. (I mean I can think of a lot of things to gripe about, none the less . . .). But councils and roadbuilders forget about feet. There are shops and tourist attractions which are only safe to approach by car. And if you are trying to walk from town to town or village to village on foot - well, it is very difficult. The verges are lumpy and bumpy and with overhanging branches (where they exist) and drivers hoot because you are there at all - which puzzles me, I mean, they are staying on the road and not needing the grassy areas to drive on.

Cameras / camera phones. Lack of bulk is one of the things which attracts me to the phone version. That and the positioning of the lens and the 'take' button on some which makes taking photos one handed with arm outstretched perfectly practical. It's really important that one feels 'right' with one's camera, as you do with yours. The first SLR I used was a borrowed Olympus OM1. The only automatic thing on it was the light metre so one had complete control. And it felt nice and balanced in one's hand. Of course, by the time I could afford to buy one of my own, they'd stopped making them!

And as for additions . . . the phone I took back which I didn't use for this post . . . you could watch television on it if you wanted!

(Really!)

Lucy

Lucy said...

Gordon - I'm glad you like the photos.

X-rays . . . yes, some are like that. I didn't have the phone long enough to know quite what they are but I like them. Couldn't really hang on to it just for this one setting though. (Unfortunately!)

Lucy

Lucy said...

Petoskystone . . . I'm only just beginning to accept that taking digital photos can be as much fun as developing one's own. Never rose to colour, I'm afraid, only black and white - and absolutely loved it. Part of what I miss is the smell of the chemicals. They came, for me, to represent intensely concentrated creativity.

The cost of having black and white film developed professionally is ridiculous. The people who do it don't bother with the quality either and it's very frustrating - at least it was until digital photography gave photographic power into the hands of the people.

Lucy

Lucy said...

Hello Nigel.

I don't suppose I'll be doing more black and white ones like those in this post because my usual camera doesn't have a setting quite like it and the one I took these on is back at the shop.

If the one I've sent for from ebay really is a replica of my old one . . . I'll be taking black and white in the conventional sense when summer comes and there are more contrasts in the natural light.

Making phone calls - no. Hardly ever do that! It's handy to be able to make a phone call in an emergency but only immediate family members have my number and I find it difficult not to get irritated with them if they phone when I'm about to take a picture.

And I don't make many outward calls from it either, preferring to use a public phone box (or the landline at home of course). It's the campaigning spirit, you see, trying to preserve an endangered species! There are fewer and fewer of them round here. I wonder if they might find a place on the Red List?

Lucy

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Such an interesting post Lucy!
The images are wonderful.
Sorry you dropped your phone - were you photographing the loo at the time? Fingers crossed you get a good replacement on e-bay.
K

Bren said...

Delightful work you have shared. I can't wait to follow your blog!
Happy Spring New Friend.

Lucy said...

Hello Karen.

Glad you like the images. I'm mourning that setting. The black and white on that phone means precisely what it says - no subtlety, no grey. I don't know how it decided there are squares on the leaves of the Cordyline though!

No - I wasn't photographing the loo at the time. I have yet to meet that challenge!

I have tried taking photos in the loos in cafes - interesting heating equipment, skirting boards, taps, corners . . . I haven't used any on the blogs because they didn't come out very well, possibly because I was too self conscious about being in there for so long that I couldn't concentrate properly. I'll have to grow braver!

Lucy

Lucy said...

Thanks Bren. And thank you for becoming a 'follower' too. I look forward to hearing more of your comments.

Lucy