Trees, a dog and a Pixel 3

Do you remember the time before mobile phones? Do you remember the time before smartphones had decent cameras? Me neither. The cameras on high end (and stupidly expensive) smartphones have become so good, so efficient that it’s difficult to take a “bad” photo. The software powering the camera leaves nothing to chance. Auto-focus, motion enabled, HDR and low light enhancement… They are all great leaps in photography. However, they have largely removed the requirement of craft or skill in the person taking the picture. I understand why many serious photographers sniff at smartphone images and disregard them as “proper” photography. Fair enough. But the smartphone does enable the enthusiastic amateur (me) to concentrate on the subject and composition. Which is a good thing, right? I simply wouldn’t be quite so much into photography without a smartphone. It’s been a major revelation for me in the last few years.

And so this is why I chose to buy yet another expensive smartphone instead of a “proper” camera, such as a Canon or Pentax DSLR (Don’t bother me with actual film, I’m digital all the way). For me, a smartphone is primarily a camera, with nifty sharing and online banking. It’s interesting (to me, and maybe to you if you’ve read this far) that I chose to get this Pixel 3 smartphone instead of a Canon for photographic reasons. But of course, it’s obvious. A smartphone is always in your pocket and you can whip it out and take photos on the fly, or the dog walk or whatever. And share them instantly ad nauseum.

Why the Pixel 3 and not, say a top of the range iPhone or Samsung? There are a few reasons. I really am not a fan of iPhones in general. I had one once and it took nice pictures but I disliked almost everything else about it. I think Apple charge crazy prices for average kit. I’ve been an Android user for a long time and prefer it over other platforms in almost every other way. Also, it’s familiar. I chose the Pixel 3 over other Android devices with great cameras (and there are quite a few to choose from) simply because of the reviews. It’s consistently described as the best smartphone for taking photos. So, simple really. Once I justified the cost of one to myself it turned up the next day. So far, so good. It takes really nice photoand does it with minimal lag. There are several very nice features and gizmos that it provides, and once I get a handle on them I may have more to say about them. I’m not going to give a full blown review. I just want you to look at the pictures I take of trees and my dog.



You may have missed the live instagramming of my walk through Cuckfield woods earlier today. It was quite an adventure. Muddy trainers, overgrown paths. A pheasant! Slippery branches pretending to be bridges across shallow streams.

Most of the time the life of a freelancer is hard, hard graft but sometimes I get out of the house and mange to get into some trees. And then it’s worth it. Always.


The Rumour of Bears

Day 3 of the ‘Acorn Island’ Twitter game. I was a little disappointed that the vote went against finding out more about Timothy 2 Cans life at sea, but I managed to sneak a nautical reference into today’s drawing.

If you’re not aware of what this is all about, ‘Acorn Island’ is an Inktober project where I post a drawing on Twitter every day of October. People can then vote on what happens next, and so influence the next day’s drawing. It’s a game! Below is today’s (Day 3) poll, maybe you’d like to join in:


Oh, and Inktober is an online festival of drawing, which anyone can get involved with. Simply draw something (preferably with ink, I’d say) and post it somewhere online (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc) with the hashtag #inktober2017