How I use a Camera Differently Than a Smartphone

On March 16, 2021, approaching the Vermont Street Bridge, I stopped for a single shot using Leica Q2 Monochrom. When wielding the camera, or my regular (e.g. color sensor) Q2, my habit is this: Stop, compose, capture one or two photos—single more likely, as is the case with the Featured Image. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/400 sec, 28mm; 11:21 a.m. PDT.

When handling iPhone XS, I point and shoot, with little to no regard for composition—typically taking four to six shots, minimum. One reason: The display isn’t easy enough to see in the bright San Diego sunlight. Additionally, when there is motion, such as a frisky feline for my “Cats of University Heights” series, the smartphone proves more able, because of its smaller size but big screen for fast, on-the-fly composition.

So with a Leica, I tend to be more deliberate and thrifty. With the Apple, I am freewheeling, treating the device like a point-and-shoot compact camera.

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