More from my phone camera

A couple of nights ago I played around some more with the camera in my new phone, taking photos out of the back bedroom window. The weather was rather grey, showing promise of a good sunset but not producing one. It did however produce some nice clouds, which in my book are much better to look at than the featureless blue sky described by many as “lovely weather”. (Apparently, weather is “good” when it saps your energy and makes you permanently uncomfortable as a continuous stream of sweat runs down into your eyes, soaks into your clothes, and makes your hands sticky; the weather in which your nose runs non-stop, the air becomes steadily less and less breatheable and everyone gets skin cancer from the direct sun . . .)

Yes, I’m glad that the hot weather of the beginning of last week has now subsided. I don’t like the summer.

I initially decided against posting these photos, but people on Twitter seemed to like them so I’ve changed my mind.

Unfortunately the silhouetted skyline in the first one isn’t as sharp as it might be. Maybe I forgot to set the focus to infinity, or maybe the camera moved. I like the sky though:

Clouds over Manchester

Clouds over Manchester

The second one is a lot sharper:

A more in-focus skyline

A more in-focus skyline.

To produce these photos, I first found an exposure setting which showed as much detail as possible in the clouds, and took the photos. Then I used the phone’s built-in picture editor to adjust the brightness and contrast, so as to make the skyline (nearly) black and highlight the cloud detail. The next step was to adjust the setting the phone calls “colour balance”, which I think is actually the saturation level (it has grey at one end of the scale, and unnaturally strong colours at the other). I wasn’t aiming for a realistic picture: I wanted to show the shape of the clouds as dramatically as possible, and to show the viewer why I think they’re worth looking at. Finally I did some cropping to get the composition how I wanted it. (On the phone for one of them, and in Windows Paint for the other.)

For reference, this is how the weather actually looked. It’s the original version of the first photo above, before I adjusted the contrast and colour.

How the weather really was: unedited photo

Original photo, before enhancing the contrast and colour

Don’t complain about the “bad” weather. Enjoy it, and point your camera at it!

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