I used to be a photo snob, and I rejected out of hand the cheap point-and-shoot cameras and the awful cameras that came with cell phones. I spent a lot of time and money buying good cameras and lenses and an inordinate amount of time trashing any of my images that weren’t magnificently focused. Then I took the Pink Waterlily photo and realized that not every good image is in tack-sharp focus. I’ve also been seeing a lot of technically inferior photos that are just plain intriguing, or even visually stunning. So, I’ve relented a little on what I think makes an acceptable photo.
Okay, so a lot of the cheap cameras and those on cell phones are still pretty crummy and they don’t always have the best focus or the best optics around. But I’ve gone over to the dark side and allowed that, even without being perfect, the simple cameras can be a lot of fun because they’re so spontaneous.
Recently I downloaded an application called Retro Camera onto my Droid smartphone after my husband downloaded it and showed me some of his pictures. I looked at the fun interface and decided that I had to have it.
Retro Camera recreates four different cameras. You select your camera and then select the color option or black-and-white option. Here I’ve shot my birdies (oh, noes!) using the “Xolaroid 2000” for Zim’s portrait and “The Little Orange Box” for Peachfuzz’s portrait.
The camera on my phone won’t replace my nice Nikon SLR and the lenses that I own, but it’s much easier to carry around, and with applications like Retro Camera it’s a lot of fun to play with. There’s something to be said for spontaneity, after all.