I shoot high end DLSR’s for my professional photography work, and while those cameras and lenses are absolutely incredible pieces of equipment, they do not “make” better photographs.
I enjoy shooting old manual film cameras for landscape, but on this hot afternoon I had only my smart phone, a 2 year old Driod X. This is a beautiful hike up a 1,500ft peak, and offers sweeping views of San Diego Bay at the top. This particular trail wanders through thick brush and small creeks before sending you up (straight bloody up) the side of the mountain. On the way down, in the soft light of late afternoon, I took a rest at this beautiful little stream. The scene was beautiful, and I framed and snapped this shot using my phone. The light was soft and even and the camera did a great job of capturing the soft details in the shades.
I am a great fan of following the work of photographers from around the world on websites such as Flickr and Aminus3. The fantastic, creative, beautiful images posted by photographers from around the world have nothing to do with equipment and everything to do with vision and art. I am as happy with this little image snapped with a cell phone as I am with any taken with my expensive cameras.
I converted the color digital image to black and white in a two step process; first I loaded the image to Photoshop and opened in Nik Software Color Efex 4, and use a “Glamour Glow” Filter to saturate and contrast the image in kind of a dream like way. I learned this technique on Moose Petersons website www.moosepeterson.com, but take it one step further. Once I have saturated the image, I open in Nik Software Silver Efex 2 and convert to black and white, and use the controls to amplify blacks, sharpen and add contrast and border. I then save as a Photoshop file, flatten and save as high quality JPG.