Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Sn(app)s

I keep telling myself I don't need an iPhone or Blackberry, but honestly, my so-called need is based solely on the cost of using them. Unfortunately, my needs and desires aren't necessarily in sync about the phones. I see how much fun people have with their little devices, and it makes me want to come out and play, too.

Nevertheless, I have a nice, little free cell phone and a $35 a month Koodo plan, so why complain. Why? Because the phone's cover is cracked, it doesn't tell me who a missed call came from, but most importantly, it takes lousy photos.

I didn't know this until last week when I was with my sister and we were both taking pictures of my husband lying in his hospital bed. Hers looked good. Mine didn't. 

Before then, the only time I used my phone was to take pictures at a Black Eyed Peas concert. I pulled out my phone and right then and there taught myself how to take a picture of Fergie and, just to let my teenage daughter know that yes, her mother really was at a Black Eyed Peas concert, but more importantly, was having a ball. Unfortunately, the only thing that showed up on the screen to show her were flashes of pyrotechnics on a black background.

Not surprisingly, the lighting conditions for my sister and me to shoot in the hospital were nearly as bad as the Air Canada Centre. My photo of my husband came out dark, fuzzy and worthless. My sister held up her iPhone, snapped away, and her images were fantastic. "Send me copies," I asked, forlorn.

That's when I decided I wanted an iPhone (or more likely, a Blackberry because it's Canadian). I love the possibility of taking decent shots, anytime and anywhere, without lugging a camera around with me.

I'm a lapsed photographer who has yet to make a successful conversion from analog to digital. It's mainly because I photographed only in black and white with an SLR, and for some reason, I haven't had good luck with b&w with my new digital point and shoot. Actually, who am I kidding when I say 'for some reason?' The reason is clear. I haven't sat down and mastered all the camera's buttons and settings and whatnots, all of which probably have some useful purpose if I were to use them.

But let's not digress. More on mea culpas at a later date.

I haven't yet acted on buying a new phone, but I got a step closer this weekend when I read about some new photo apps for SmartPhones which allow you to take pictures that give the warm, fuzzy feels of good 'ole analog prints. 

One of the apps let you choose different lenses, film stock and flashes. Another gives a Polaroid treatment to your photo and gets you to shake your iPhone to develop the picture (how much fun is that?). One lets you turn landscapes into miniatures, and another lets you choose filters for special effects. 

Of course I haven't tried any of the apps because I don't have a phone to use them with. But I've looked at the websites, and if the companies offer what they've promised, I think you'll have fun trying one or all of these.  Who knows, maybe before long it will be "we" instead of "you" who will be enjoying these happy sn(apps).

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