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Thrifty Thursday: The Mighty Cupcake

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


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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 an Illinois-based entomologist who 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.





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  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. http://www.nashturley.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/20120731-lawn-water-web.jpg

    Link to this

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