Graffiti, 14th & Corcoran, Door

The camera you have…

A while back I posted an item about sometimes the best camera is the camera you have with you at the time you need to take a picture. Certainly, there may be other cameras that are better suited to the task at hand, but they don’t do you any good if you don’t have them with you. To whit, the first image. I came upon this bit of graffiti in an alley between two buildings. It’s almost as if it were an art installation in itself, the way it’s situated. When I first saw it, the camera I had on hand was my iPhone. It certainly did a good job of capturing the scene.


I promised to come back with my Rolleiflex to photograph it again, to see how different the two cameras’ visions were, and how they rendered the scene differently.

Graffiti, 14th & Corcoran
Graffiti, 14th & Corcoran

It’s not really a fair comparison, given that the sensor for the iPhone is the size of a Q-tip, if that, and the film in my Rolleiflex is 2 1/4 inches square, or about 300 times the size. Also, the lens has a different field of view- the iPhone is somewhere between a 28mm and 35mm lens’ field of view (moderately wide-angle), translated into 35mm equivalent, whereas the lens on my Rollei is a “normal” (50mm equivalent). The two cameras give very different renderings of the scene – the iPhone gives you much more of a sense of the space, whereas the Rollei makes the graffiti the star of the show.

Graffiti, 14th & Corcoran, Door
Graffiti, 14th & Corcoran, Door

Here is the locked gateway to the space where the graffiti is. Now you can get a sense of the drama of it – it’s hidden behind a locked gate, guarded like some treasure on display at more than an arm’s distance.

One thought on “The camera you have…”

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