I spy with Eye-Fi

This is my second year in a row to do a photo-a-day project. In 2011, I took a photo-a-day every day with a Canon DSLR. That was nice. I learned a lot. I’m happy that I finished the year. I did get tired of lugging the camera with me everywhere I went, though, and I kept feeling like I needed to put more time into it and/or spend more money on lenses and so forth if I really wanted to keep learning just as much.

That’s why I decided to take a break from “real” photography this year in order to do a photo-a-day project with my iPhone. That’s been fun, and some days I’m downright pleased with the results. The iPhone 4S has a nice camera in it. A nice camera for a phone, that is. But there’s only so much a phone camera can do, and that gets a little frustrating at times.

The biggest advantage of using the iPhone as a camera is that it is always with me anyway. Just ask Chase Jarvis. This really does make it the best camera.

Here’s an example.

Day 165: Angels coming out to play

I took some pictures of a pinwheel with my phone one day, just playing around. I noticed after I took this one that the cloud in the background looked like an angel. I went inside to get my real camera and came right back out. This took maybe 45 seconds, but by the time I came back out the cloud looked nothing like an angel. It looked like nothing in particular. The iPhone was the best camera for that shot because it was the only one within reach when the opportunity for the shot presented itself.

Yet…

I like to take a lot of closeup shots, and closeups are not the iPhone’s forte. I’m ready to shake things up with my photo project, but I still want to stick with a “keep it casual” approach for the rest of this year. Luckily, I have a plan.

I got an Eye-Fi card and put it in a point-and-shoot camera. The Eye-Fi is set up to automatically send the photos to iPhoto on my computer, and iPhoto is set up to automatically send its photos to my Apple photostream that I can then access on my iPhone. So, I can take a picture with my Sony Cybershot, and as soon as the camera connects to my home wi-fi, it will send the pictures to my computer for me. Within about a minute, I can open them on my iPhone and edit and/or post them in the same iPhone apps I’ve been using for my iPhone project. Thus, with a little game of automated photo relay, my Cybershot pictures become iPhone pictures without me having to manually walk through the steps of transferring them over.

Here’s a little example of the difference in an iPhone shot and a Cybershot shot.

Taken yesterday with the iPhone.

Day 173: Saying blackberry, blackberry, blackberry

Taken today with the Cybershot.

Another day, another berry

I think this is self-explanatory. The two berries (sorry, I ate the first one and had to get a new prop) are sitting on the same plate, and the two shots were processed with the same filter. The only thing different is the camera.

The Cybershot will fit in my purse, and I won’t have to remember to pack up a camera to take with me. It is still just a “fun” camera rather than a “serious” camera. I’ll still be processing the pictures through the iPhone only.

I don’t think I’m really changing my own rules to add a new camera to the mix, but even if I am, who cares? They are my rules. I get to change them if I want.

One day I’ll buy real professional macro lenses to go on a real professional camera in order to pursue my love for closeup photography. In the meantime, I’ll just be playing around with whatever I have on hand. Today, that’s a Sony Cybershot. This little camera is not the best at closeups, but it’s still way ahead of what I did yesterday.

And any day you would like to give me a few thousand dollars to spend on camera supplies, I’ll show you the next day what’s way ahead of my current setup. I take cash, checks, gift certificates, pretty much anything. Really. You’re welcome to give me camera money at any point.

Meanwhile, onward photo-a-day project.

Here’s my pic for today.

The color of thirst

This is a hydrangea bloom. I took the picture with the Cybershot and added a watercolor effect to it in-camera. I sent it to the iPhone, opened it in Instagram, and added the Amaro filter to it. And that’s the story of that.

If you have an Eye-Fi card and a little time to mess around setting it up, you too can get a little game of camera-to-phone relay going on. Why not?