iPhone saga: Finding art in a food court


Having a camera with me at all times has allowed me to take photos in unexpected places. Most of the time, I’m not shooting for the sake of photography, but mostly for documentation: that pretty flowering plant I might consider for my backyard, or interior design ideas in that model home.

However, every once in a find, an opportunity presents itself and even with an underwhelming 2MP camera oddly out of place in, what is now an indispensible tool for me, an iPhone, a fresh perspective can be found.

I was enjoying family time with parents, my brother, his wife, and their 3-month old baby Sonia (woohoo, I’m an uncle of 3-months!), doing the things this family does best, which is hanging out and eating good. In this particular case, given the propensity of babies to eat and poop, those not involved when baby Sonia is being cleaned of the latter propensity, including me, were sitting in the food court of a rather empty mall in Cupertino.

Here I spied the interesting patterns formed by empty table and chairs, and the black and white tile formation on the floor. After trying different framing, I ended up with what I thought wasn’t too bad a shot.

Food court

Food court

While the artistic aspect had some merit, the technical side with the dullness, color imbalance and unexposure needed work. In my iPhone, which I’ve taken to call George, I fired up Photogene to do a little bit of technical adjustment, and then CameraBag to see what I can do with it in terms of “looks”. CameraBag allowed me to try different “looks” such as the Holga look, the Lomo look, etc. Among the different options was Cinema, which gave it a tight horizontal crop pretty much down the middle. Now this was interesting! I fiddle it some more, and ended up with this one.

Food court II

The image is quite pixellated given the tight crop of an already small file, but I like it! I love how the object on the right still says “chair” and how the tile pattern leads from the top left corner to the chair.

Sometimes you find art in unexpected places.



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