2019, Thus Far

Iksan, 2019. Samsung S10E.

So, this year has been a busy one! Tons of things to do and very little time. Compared to the past couple of years I am constantly back and forth to Seoul, juggling three jobs, and taking care of our “babies.”

That brings me to a point I kinda thought was interesting today. My friends and I at Andthelastwaves recently talked a bit about our best photos of the year so far. The consensus for me, two photos of my cats, both taken on a mobile phone.

Should I care? Thousands of dollars in Leica equipment around, a dark room, and the “best” two photos of the last three months have come from the same thing I am using to type this.

Maybe I am doing this wrong? I teach for Leica, love using my Leica cameras. Loving using cameras in general. Something is amiss.

Seoul, 2019. Leica MP, 28mm Minolta 2.8 Rokkor.

I kinda like this photo. It is of one of my students from the analogue photography workshop I did for the Akademie a couple of weeks ago. I love shooting film. I love the way my year has been going on film.

Still, I guess that old Chase Jarvis saying still holds true: The best camera you have is the one you have with you.

I took the first photo of my cats with a Galaxy S10E I’d gotten to try from Samsung. I love it, great phone and camera. The wide angle lens is great and I have a review of it ready to post. Phones are wonderful for those moments in which you cannot expect.

The photo below, for example. I woke up early in the morning because of Thunder. My cats always sleep next to me but they were scared because of the thunder I guess and had started crying. They kinda looked like fiends. I took the picture to show my wife how funny they were being. There would never have been a way to take this photo with anything else.

I guess it is time I fully embraced this.

Iksan, South Korea. Samsung Galaxy S10E.

More in the review to come. Mobile photos were edited in Snapseed for those curious 😉

Any questions, feel free to ask.

Iksan, 2019.


  1. Hi Josh welcome back, I was getting worried you had been sucked up into a black hole…
    Essential, almost existential, post, this one of yours.
    Because truly, it’s harder and harder to keep those phones ‘in the closet’, so to speak, when thinking about one’s own photography toolset. There will always be room for ‘real’ cameras, and even more so for ‘real’ film; but why would a Ricoh GR be a ‘real’ camera and a phone (pick your brand) not? Both have sensors, both do a more than decent job at what they do.
    And you put the finger on the magic button, which is: which ‘camera’ you have closest at hand when you need it?
    I still have not managed to break the metal barrier, though, and you know why? Because of the tactility of a phone versus a camera, even compact and ‘easy’ ones like the GR can be: phones have become two-dimensional objects, and my hands want to **grip** something, not a flimsy sheet of metal and glass. And I still prefer to use an optical viewfinder (external for Ricoh, but still), rather than adopting the stretched-arms posture which does nothing to stabilize my shots. I want to look at my subject, not look at a screen showing me my subject.
    (Then again, I guess large format 4×5″ and 8×10″ cameras work ‘like a phone’, and even Hassies make you look (down!) at a screen rather than at your subject. But like you I am fond of the direct feeling of Leica’s optical viewfinder, no screens thank you.)
    Second gripe, is workflow, though I guess there are apps these days that can deliver RAW files from phone sensors, which makes it possible to ‘work’ on an image from the phone in the same way as an image from my GR or M9…
    But gripes or not, as you say, that Fukase-san image of your beasts would not exist without your phone, so bless the tool for what it gives!
    Take care,

  2. Hey. Been following your blog for a while! Congrats on your work, I love it. Just curious if you’re still using the same Snapseed settings you mentioned on the blog some time ago or if your workflow has changed.

    Cheers from Brazil.

    1. Definitely different now. I edit them to sort of mimic the film I’m shooting so they have a consistent look. Email me if you want the new settings 🙂

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