Sandias at dusk.

The iPhone will be ten years old next year. I was an early adopter. Not for the camera, which wasn’t much. But, for the potential. And, the ability to carry a pretty much fully functioning computer around in my pocket. Apparently, Apple thought so too. It got to the point that most of us who use Apple products to actually make something, believed they were forgetting us. The latest version of the MacBook Pro was evidence of that. It’s underpowered and not designed for people like me in mind. Who needs an SD card reader. Who needs USB ports? I do. I do.


Yesterday, they held sort of private press conference. They are upgrading the models that I care about, including the i-Mac, to a more professional standard. That made everybody smile. And, even more amazingly in this era of no apologies, they said that they were sorry. And, that they backed themselves into a corner. Mostly from a heat perspective. I appreciate that. We all make mistakes. We ought to own them. It’s easier to move on. From my point of view as a designer, they sort of put the cart before the horse. I believe that form follows function. They make very pretty computers, but the ones that I use are almost impossible to upgrade. Apple computers are very pricy. Your investment needs to last. That means upgrades.

What does that have to do with this picture?

I made it while I was still living in New Mexico. In 2008. At that point. I only made pictures with a dslr or sometimes a film range finder. I was running an errand at a local glorified strip mall when this scene appeared. If you look closely, you can even see the moon barely poking up above the mountain range, called the Sandias. But, I was cameraless. Even though I believe that you should always carry a camera, now and then it is freeing to not do that.

Then I thought, “Wait a minute. I can take a picture with my phone.” So, I did. Those original files were terrible. They were small and very noisy. They looked fine on the phone, but anywhere else, not so much. It took a whole lot of work to get the image to this quality, so that I can show it to you. I used a lot of little tricks to hide the noise and to make the picture just sharp enough to be viewed here.

Here’s a trick. If you see me add a lot of glow to an image so much that it sort of shimmers, it’s one of two things. It really does look cool to my eye. Or, I’m hiding something. About 75% of the time, it’s the latter.


This was the very first picture that I took with a smart phone. Technology has obviously changed the image quality a lot since those first days. Still, despite all the electronic magic going on in smart phones; they still use tiny sensors, fairly limiting lenses and a lot of processing to get them anywhere near close to real world quality.

Just so you know. I’m not going to stop banging that drum. Heh!

I have a question for anyone who thinks they have an answer. As you know I’ve been using Google Images for searching out old pictures and for storage. You’d think I could open it from somewhere on Chrome. But, no. It opens them on Safari. Huh? Why?