About the SA Blog Network

Compound Eye

Compound Eye

The many facets of science photography
Compound Eye Home

Thrifty Thursday: The Mighty Cupcake

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

Email   PrintPrint

Thrifty Thursdays feature photographs taken with equipment costing less than $500.

Cupcake the Cat

[iPhone 4S - $330]

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Alex is phoning it in today and posting a cat. And you’d be right. Sort of.

I have reasons for featuring Cupcake on Thrifty Thursday, though. This photograph could not have been taken with my big SLR camera.

First, the dramatic paws-forward composition is the normal bugs-eye perspective of a phone camera lens. Paws are a lot more impressive when seen from a small lens than from a big one. Second, I simply can’t drop an SLR low enough. Not without cutting a hole in the floor. Look at how much lower the iPhone lens sits than the Canon 100mm f/2.8 lens! The extra few centimeters makes a difference.

Phone cameras have their strengths. If you play to them, you’ll take memorable photographs.

Alex Wild About the Author: Alex Wild is Curator of Entomology at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studies the evolutionary history of ants. In 2003 he founded a photography business as an aesthetic complement to his scientific work, and his natural history photographs appear in numerous museums, books and media outlets. Follow on Twitter @myrmecos.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

Rights & Permissions

Comments 1 Comment

Add Comment
  1. 1. nashuagoats 10:16 pm 06/27/2013

    Neat. I’ve had some similar experiences. With my little point and shoot I got this photo looking up at a dew covered spiderweb stretched between blades of grass in a mowed lawn. It would have been impossible with an SLR.

    Link to this

Add a Comment
You must sign in or register as a member to submit a comment.

More from Scientific American

Email this Article