Chase Jarvis & The Best Camera Trifecta

Chase Jarvis has been one of my favorite commercial photographers for years now.  It’s been sort of dream of mine to someday become a successful professional photographer like Jarvis, Joey L or Annie Leibovitz, despite the fact that I shoot primarily fine-art style photography.

Back in September Jarvis released a sort of trio of unsuspecting photography tools based on his famously popular iPhone photos.  You can view many of his iPhone snaps on his TwitPic stream.  His photos get thousands of views by other Twitter users, more often than not bringing up the question, “how did you do that?”

The answer came out in the form of The Best Camera iPhone app, a social photo site The Best Camera.com and a fantastic book full of inspiration, illustration and annotation.  He says it best, check out the video below.

The idea behind the project is simple, the best camera is the one you have with you, something Jarvis has proven this to be true time and time again.  From photos of sewer grates to open fields to elevator steps to the decontextualized, his photos rarely fail to capture a certain photographic spirit.

The Best Camera iPhone app is a solid photo manipulator.  It’s not meant to fix problems with photos but by stacking various filters allowing the photographer to create something truly unique.  You can easily share your photos with your Twitter followers and Facebook friends as well as the applications aforementioned social site..

Jarvis’s book is essential the printed version of his TwitPic and Best Camera photo streams.

The photos are well printed and laid out in a way that somehow seems to work.  With such a comprehensive and yet random subject matter, making something cohesive must have been difficult..  Most photography books I’ve picked up have been about one particular subject.  This book is different.  It captures everything, a sort of stream of consciousness.

Everything Entrace Exit
Blades Stranger

Some of the cropping and effects used in his iPhone app seem to be a bit overdone, I subscribe to a sort of less-is-more faculty when it comes to these sorts of things.

Cropping down so many of the photos to fit the square book along with the exaggeration in color had me questioning the power of the photos themselves.  Would they have been as interesting on their own or do they rely on the effects in the program?

Perhaps in the end these sorts of questions don’t matter.  If the photos come out beautifully, carry a narrative or simply peek interest, perhaps they’ve done their job.

For under $15, this book is a steal.  It’s really a blast to browse through the photos, to see how the limitations of a camera can become a tool.  When I switched to a 50mm prime lens from a 18-135 zoom, I found myself taking much better photos.  The same seems to happen with the iPhone.  This book serves as a sort of illustration and guide to what is possible, though ultimately the limits are endless.

You can get the book at several resellers including, my favorite, Amazon.com.  Click here to check it out.

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New Rig, New Dig, No Job!

I’m Back!  (Once again)

New Computer Setup

My family has finally left the building.  For the past two weeks I have had either my mom or my grandmother with me, taking care of me, etc.  It was great to have them over, they were of infinite help to me, but a little space sure is nice haha.

My family has been very concerned about my health as of late.  With the seizures and extreme changes in blood pressure and pulse, I guess they have some reason to their paranoia.  Still, I wish they wouldn’t worry about me.  Despite being put through the ER three times in a week and then being put on a “toxic” dose of medicine on accident… I have been doing ok.  I missed about two or more weeks of school, much of the time I don’t remember care of Keppra, Depakote and Ativan.  Yay for perscriptions.

I haven’t seen much of Ryan during this time which has been the worst part of it all.  You really don’t what you’ve got till family comes in town and it’s gone…  Something like that.

Alley Lights

Either way, a wonderfully good thing came of the visit.  I came out to my mom, for the fourth (?) time.  This will be the last, we talked openly and things just really seemed to work out.  She understands now that it isn’t a choice, that I didn’t hide it from her/the family because I wanted to have a secret and… well, it just is no longer that big ol’ white elephant in the room.

Speaking of rooms…  I have been doing some remodeling at the apartment.  I have much more to do yet, new chair, new couch, new TV, new coffee table, new dining table and chairs.  Once I change out all that to smaller, thinner, sleeker items, the large livingroom will appear full sized again haha.

As you can see in the top picture, I have done a little re-arranging of my workstation.  I added an Epson Perfection V500 Scanner, a Wacom Bamboo Fun tablet, two shelves for my photography toys and a new light.  The light made the biggest difference, I swear.  No longer do I get down sitting at the computer, it really, and literally, brightens up my day.

You might also notice the new laptop sitting next to the iMac.  Yep, I got a new Macbook Pro!  It’s so wonderful, I’m using it right now to write this post!  Got a stellar deal on it at the bookstore.  Chase and Ryan got one each as well!

Carnival

Now that I’m back to feeling better, hopefully I will be able to post more often and do more photography.  First, and unfortunately, I have to catch up on my class work and make my nearly thirteen doctor appointment.  Even more unfortunate is the sad story that I had to leave my job at the hospital in order to make these doctor appointments and catch up with my school work.

That means that I will be having a social life again, eventually, but also means I will be poor and won’t be able to buy all the things I’ve been wanting… Sad story!

But having friends and keeping them is more important that having fun toys, any day.

Time for bed.  Going to finish the load of laundry for Ryan.  He takes flight later today for Miami and then a cruise.  Lucky!