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What’s the best camera in the world? The one that is with you of course! Even if you have all the hot new Canon bodies and sharpest lenses in your backpack…you can’t create an image if it appears before you. The moment is gone. You haven’t even unzipped the bag fully. It’s so easy to miss the moment.

Lately cell phones have been getting pretty capable at capturing images. They are even putting out images larger than my first digital camera! (some early fuji finepix camera I think…maybe a megapixel or two…) Samsung has even decided to take the next step. Looks more like camera with a phone built in to me… I know its not late-breaking any more, but photographer Chase Jarvis lately put out an awesome app for iphones along with a book and website/community. The Best Camera… It’s definitely worth checking out if you have ever doubted your phone as a way to create images.

I captured the image above with an EnV Touch. No fun apps…but at least I have exposure compensation! (It also handles panoramas and parallax decently to my surprise.) The landscape was captured out of a car window. My camera was in a bag by my feet. I would have never been able to get it out in time. Lately I have found myself really seeing the world differently again. I feel somewhat liberated from equipment again just knowing that if I am in the moment, I can act as long as even my phone is with me. Go make images. Capture the world and show us who we are. If you have a phone…you have an image!

Now if only my phone could trigger Pocket Wizards…


I have had a project running long term that went unnoticed by me for a while. I was taking photographs of funny food faces that appeared on my plates. What do we do with long term photo collections? Display them of course!!! So I have posted a collection of “Happy Food” in my gallery. Most images were spontaneous and came from a variety of cameras! (Whatever was within reach at the moment) Watch out for more as they appear…and get eaten!
Click through the image to see the gallery!

Kali Orexi!!!

Happy Food

Happy Food

It is 2009 and we are in a year of amazing resolutions! No, no, not exercise or painting the house…sensor resolution! Phase One has their P65+ 60mp medium format back, Nikon has the D3X @ 24.5mp, Sony A900 @ 25mp, and the Canon 5DmkII and 1DsmkIII @ 21.1mp. Even point and shoot cameras are hitting 15mp!!! Just a year or two ago, getting in the 20+ mp range would involve spending $20,000 – $30,000 US on a digital medium format system and lenses.

So, everyone knows this already. Why post about it? I have finally gotten a chance to experience this first hand. I have been using 5Ds since their release several years ago. I am familiar with what they can produce, how much I can stretch the RAW, and how much I have to work with in terms of printing large. The 5D is a serious workhorse that always impressed me. I’ve got my 5DmkII upon release in December 2008. It really felt like a modern and refined 5D. Fantastic quality in the images, amazing print size for a 35mm, and some great new features. Ok. Great! Until…yesterday.

I have begun shooting a new body of work this past week. When I loaded the work into Bridge, I was stunned. I myself have never seen work from my cameras that contained such detail. 21+ MP can really do some amazing things! I don’t remember shooting with other 35mm cameras that revealed such minute detail. Mosaic tiles, marble, columns, inlays, etc… all reveal themselves with intricate detail on these images! At the distance I am from these features, I am just absolutely amazed at how distinguished details can be resolved with good glass, technique, and these new sensors!

Here is one example, downsized for the web. This is a combination of 3 images left completely default in ACR and combined in Photomatix. This shot is using a 24-105L @ 105mm, f/13, 1.5s, 6s, and 20 second exposures. ISO 200, Highlight tone priority on, and all noise reduction is off, except for long exposure noise which is set to auto. I use a tripod with a spherical panoramic head. I shot with a cable release, 2 second timer, and live view on. (quick and easy mirror lock up!)

© 2009 Ancient City Photography

© 2009 Ancient City Photography

For a sense of scale, the altar with the purple cloth at the center bottom of the image is approximately 4.5 feet high. I was a couple hundred feet back.

Here is a center crop @ 100%.

© 2009 Ancient City Photography

© 2009 Ancient City Photography

Here is a corner crop @ 100%.

© 2009 Ancient City Photography

© 2009 Ancient City Photography

I am sure sharpness would be even better with a fast exposure and an uncombined shot, but I am looking at real world results for the work I need to produce. I think this is simply stunning from a 35mm camera. Adjust contrast, add some sharpening for output, and it’s just awesome. So…I wonder what we will be working with in a few years from now! Some people spend all their time looking at 100% crops for sharpness and splitting hairs…but I am impressed no matter what.

These new cameras are simply awesome.


Give love, give time, give silence, give sound, give patience, give understanding, give hope, give passion, give inspiration, give all, and be all.

The thought of “giving” is interesting. In order to give, we must have. So by giving, we are making a statement of having. Which in turn makes a statement that we have received. The inverse can hold here as well. By wanting to receive we make a statement of not having, which makes a statement of not receiving. That seems to place you in an endless cycle of want/not receiving. So why not always give? In order to continue giving, you continually have, so you will continually receive. The ways in this happens may not always be apparent to the naked eye, or to are minds at first. Experience it, be aware, and open yourself to the amazing power that surrounds us. What a mindset. Giving. By giving, you will eternally be supplied, and filled anew. There is no want in giving. Give love, give time, give silence, give sound, give patience, give understanding, give hope, give passion, give inspiration, give all, and be all.

Love All, Love Always.

Love unconditionally. Love with no expectations. Love with nothing required in return. Love the worst moments, and the best. Love those who love you, and those who hate you. Love yourself more than any…but love all others with that same passion. Love opens all doors and breaks down all borders. The greatest gift is the freedom to love and to choose your every moment. Love others, they are in the same process of choice and creation as you. How different a world should everyone wake up and love the process and everyone’s choice for what it really is. Divine.

You do not need to find love. You already are love.


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