Coney Island.

This is the photo that made me consider taking photographs in a serious manner (this is not to be confused with “wanting to be a photographer”; that was still a ways off). I took this shot of Patricia in the late spring of 2010, perhaps late April or so. The two of us had ventured down to Coney Island on a sombre day in which the sky couldn’t decide if it wanted to rain on us or not. As far as composition goes, I love everything about it; the contrast, hues and lighting were adjusted all on the camera and not in post edit. What you see is what I got. The best thing about the photo–besides the subject, of course–is that it was taken using an HTC HD2 smartphone; by my estimation the first all-out cameraphone on the market to rival the old iphone 4 (it preceded the iphone 4 by about 6 weeks in the U.S.). I’d taken tons of photos over the years with Polaroids, Kodak throw-aways and point-and-clicks, but had never handled a DSLR. When I saw this photo, however (I took it by accident, as what normally happens in the beginning), It occoured to me that I could use the camera on that phone–the lens on that phone, to tell stories in pictures in a way that hadn’t been done yet. This of course was before Instagram, before all the other FX camera apps you could think of. The HD2 didn’t really have any apps and there was no flash; just a nice, 5MP camera outfitted with a surprisingly stellar 3.0f lens. In one of my original posts on this blog I railed about how awful that phone was. But visually, it gave me nothing but motivation to push the results, all the time.

Patricia Cha