/ photography

Lo-fi/Hi-fi

Speaking of digital photos taken on older devices, David Friedman recently posted some shots that were taken on a Game Boy Advance in 2000 in New York.

Pretty amazing. He picked some good ones to show.

After looking through my photo library for shots of Sakurajima this week, it’s clear that some old digital cameras could take lo-fi images that are now enjoyable exactly because of the limitations of the camera.

It’s obvious that the Game Boy Advance had such a camera, in all of its gray-scale, near-field, pixelated glory.

Along those same lines, one thing I now miss about shooting on the iPhone 4 is the limited detail the sensor picked up. Not to say that the iPhone 4’s camera was extremely lo-fi, but there were small nuances it could miss. Thus the resulting photos were well suited to the kind of high-exposure, high-contrast caveman photo editing I like to do. During the edit, smaller nuances would disappear and larger shapes and textures would show their fangs.


On my new camera, I find that my old editing processes don’t translate directly. This camera sees everything, almost to a fault (for me).After I first got the camera a few weeks ago, I was waiting to board the subway near FM802 in Osaka. Just as a test, I wanted to retake a shot of the station sign that I had taken on the iPhone 4 a couple of months prior.

I snapped the first shot, then had a quick look at the result. There were a couple of faint bright spots towards the bottom of the frame. “What is that?” I thought, imagining the camera lens or display screen might already be broken. I zoomed in on that part of the photo.

Enlarged on the screen it was clear: there was a dull reflection on the wall tile on the opposite side of the subway tracks.

This sort of distant detail didn’t show when I took the original shot on the iPhone 4.

Now that I have a camera that pulls in every visible detail of what it’s looking at, I have to adjust how I shoot and how I edit. And how I see.