technology

Just An iPhone Click Away

It doesn’t matter where I go, there are so many things to take photos of.   And thanks to modern technology, most of us carry a camera in our pockets, courtesy of our mobile phone. Unlike the chunky cameras of the past, today’s cameras are smaller, but incredibly sophisticated. That little window in the corner of our Smart Phone is capable of taking fantastic photos. Nowadays, great photography is as close as an iPhone click away.

In the Old Days……

I’m not going to say how old I am, but my first camera was a Kodak Box Brownie, back when they were the latest innovation in everyday photography.

StockSnap / Pixabay

Before the world of digital cameras, you had to

  • buy a roll of film
  • insert the film into the camera
  • take photos
  • remove the roll of film
  • have the film developed
  • cry over blurred photos

Too bad if you missed that once-in-a-lifetime photo, because the opportunity to take another one had probably long since disappeared. Imagine how it felt when you arrived home from your first trip to Europe – collected your six rolls worth of photos, only to find the special photo you took in Zurich – was blurred. Ughhh!!!! It’s not like you could jump in the car, drive a few miles, and take the photo again. It just didn’t work like that.

And then someone came up with the idea of the Digital Camera. No more rolls of film to be developed, and instant feedback on whether you had captured the image – or not. The digital camera revolutionised photography.

Could it get any better than this?

Oh yes!, and it did. The DSLR and Smart Phone Cameras, took photography to a new level. The Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera had been around for a very long time, but adding the Digital component brought them into the modern world. A zoom lens, added to a DSLR camera, brought the world up close, and very personal.

And Then We Got Really Smart

The mobile phone became smaller and smaller. The smaller it got, the smarter it got. And eventually it evolved with a built-in lens. As phones became more sophisticated, so did the camera. The quality of the Smart Phone camera today is outstanding. You simply aim the phone, take the photo, and check the image. Of course, there’s always the option to switch the camera around, aim the phone at yourself, and take a selfie. What could be easier than that? And photos taken with most Smart Phones are nothing short of spectacular.

And Now?

Now there’s a small camera with wide and zoom lens capability that you can attach to your phone. The Olympus Air 01 is, without a doubt, my favourite camera. It clips onto my iPhone 6S Plus easily, even when the phone is in a solid case. Photos are easy to take, and even in Auto mode, they are amazing.

I’m glad I gave in to that temptation!

When I retired from a long career in teaching, I took a cruise to Singapore to celebrate. And on that cruise, I was introduced to the Olympus Air A01 camera. Because I have always loved gadgets, and technology, I couldn’t resist the temptation, and bought the camera. I have to admit though, I deliberated on the decision for a few days before deciding it would be an investment in my future. At that point I had no idea what my future would look like, but I figured it would have to involve technology at some level. 

This photo was taken at ground level in front of the Statue of Liberty, with my Olympus Air A01 attached to my iPhone.

That tiny camera has delivered some amazing photos as I’ve tried out my travel-legs, in the first phase of retirement. There’s not much point in travelling if you can’t bring back lots of photos, and thanks to my Olympus Air A01, I’ve managed to take some amazing photos from my trips.

Small in size – big in content

The Olympus Air is so portable! The monitor is your phone. It doesn’t have to be an iPhone like mine – it works just as well with Android versions. And because it works through WiFi and Bluetooth, you simply select the Olympus Air WiFi setting, open the specific App (once you’ve paired the camera with the App), and start taking amazing photos. The zoom and wide lens are simply a setting away. No need to change lenses, it’s all there. The selling feature for me was the ability to enlarge a photo taken with the Olympus Air, without losing detail.

When you are not paying for rolls of film, and having them developed, you can take a few extra shots of that sunset, or the parrot in the tree. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t turn out the way you hoped, you simply take another photo – and delete the not so good ones. You can even use software to touch up any not-so-perfect shots.

There’s no such thing as a bad photo now that photos are just an iPhone click away.

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Posted by Maureen in Blogging, 2 comments
Where Were You When The Lights Went Out?

Where Were You When The Lights Went Out?

Sitting at my desk late in the afternoon, trying to sort out why my printer was suddenly being quirky and not cooperating, when suddenly the lights went out. The lights were only on because I had the shades down on the verandah to keep out the last fragments of the sun and heat, which made it too dark inside to see the fine print in the instruction manual. I managed to persevere for a while with the battery power left in my laptop and by seeking solace in the online manual. But when I couldn’t get any further, I found the torch (flashlight), investigated the edible remnants of last week’s shopping that didn’t require electricity (chocolate), and headed for the back verandah to sit in the cool and read Shantaram from the Kindle App on my iPhone (thank God there was enough battery left).

While kicking back on my fabulously comfortable outdoor sofa, with the shades now up to let the breeze and last remaining light of day in, I read, while half-hearing conversations drifting around me as my neighbours sought comfort on their verandahs as well.

And it was in that half-hearing of conversations that a simple sentence, delivered me smack-bang into a time when I was eighteen years old and living in a very old flat on the south-west side of Brisbane. The line wouldn’t have meant much to the younger generation, but to anyone from my era, it would probably have evoked similar memories and a journey a long way from now.

A couple had walked down the path between two buildings nearby, and my friendly neighbour in closer proximity to them than me informed them that the power was off. The couple made a comment, and my neighbour suggested that they “might need to put a shilling in the meter“. That was all it took to transport me to the kitchen in that old flat, all those years ago. The ‘shilling’ by then was in the modern, decimalised form of a 10 cent coin, but it still had the power to remind me of how far we have come.

For the purpose of ensuring an ongoing supply of gas for cooking, ten-cent coins were scrounged and saved and stacked high on a shelf near the back door. While the culinary masterpiece was simmering nicely on the ancient gas stove, constant vigilance was needed to make sure the gas supply continued to provide the necessary heat to keep the meal progressing in a forward direction. More often than not, the gas flame would flicker, splutter, and then die. Then, with the speed of a marathon runner, you would sprint across the room, arm yourself with a handful of coins, dash out to the landing and deposit the coins into the hungry jaws of the gas-meter. And then you would reverse the sprint, back into the kitchen, find the lighter and re-ignite the spark that would hopefully see you through to the end of the cooking.

Mission Accomplished!

I am truly grateful for the progress we’ve made since then. Now I put everything into the Thermomix, set the timer and the temperature and get on with more important things, like writing, or reading the latest novel while my dinner cooks. No more vigilant monitoring of the little blue flame of gas, with coins at the ready to feed the hungry gas-meter.

I love technology…

Except for when the lights go off!

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Posted by Maureen in Blogging, 1 comment