Remember the beginning of the era of the smart phone? I was a late joiner because they cost too much and other carriers told me that they’re cheaper “smart” phone was the iPhone killer or the Blackberry killer. I fell for it, even though in the end the company that owned Blackberry proved to be the Blackberry killer because they didn’t roll with the punches. Turns out, phones didn’t need keyboards after all. Turns out they needed as much screen real estate as possible and decent cameras.

The stop gap for me was the iPod. I had the dumb version of the smart phone, but I also splurged and got the new all screen iPod. Was it for the music? No, it was for the camera. The idea of mobile photography intrigued me in a way that made me search for some way to join to cool kids who were taking photos with their iPhones. The cheaper iPod had the iPhone camera and I was on my way.

I enjoyed it so much that I created a website and Tumblr (does that still exist) just to show off my iPod photography. Eventually, I could afford and iPhone so I kept it going. It was a sketchbook of sorts. My true photography was and is still with a full fledged camera with some awesome lenses to achieve different effects.

But the iPhone priced itself out of my range. Additionally, when Steve Jobs passed, the company stopped innovating and decided the way to sell more iPhones wasn’t to make it the latest and greatest. Instead the company made the decision that they’ll just make the old phones stop working. So my interest in smart phone photography whithered away.

Until recently.

My old Android phone had seen it’s best day a while ago. The giant crack on the top of it from a relatively minor fall was starting to be felt where it wasn’t before. And, let’s be honest, Misty got three phones since I got that one, so my ego decided it was time.

My search for the phone I could live with was rather involved. You see, all smart phones do nearly the same thing these days with only varying degrees of processing speed to differentiate them. The deciding factor would be the camera, which almost brings me full circle. As I did my research, I knew my price range, which was not iPhone compatible, and I knew I wanted a camera that could do the job that first excited me about mobile phone photography originally.

A reasonable surprise came up with the release of the iPhone SE. Cheaper smart phone with the benefits of their mobile photography expertise. The strike against it was that you know Apple is going to make sure it doesn’t work whenever they feel like it. Motorola also had a contender that came out of nowhere in my opinion. I hadn’t looked at a Motorola phone since the StarTac looked like Captain Kirk’s communicator.

In the end, after exhaustive research and the fact that you can be locked into inaction if you look too long, I chose the Google Pixel 3a. The camera is fantastic, though I wish it had more manual controls. And, since the Pixel 4 was about to come out, I figured I could get a deal.

So if I’m going to do a real full circle, I better start posting some mobile photography photos snapped with the Pixel. That’s where my new WordPress site comes in. Just go to http://www.PXLpeep.com. The sketchbook style photos will go there, all taken with my phone. And there will be the occassional photo I like so much, I’ll post it on the main site. Because of COVID-19, you’ll see a lot of my cats at first and a few of Misty if she let’s me, but it’ll expand when things go back to normal. Whenever that is.

However, how sweet is it to make good photos with phones again without having to sell internal organs to pay your phone bill?

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