A Tale of Two Images from La Gloria

Blur, La Gloria - San Antonio, Texas

Blur, La Gloria – San Antonio, Texas

I took a few photos during lunch with my wife, when I was in San Antonio last week. Nothing too serious, but as usual, I’m always looking at the world around me and often times, recording it. My wife has accepted this quirk, or obsession, and patiently puts up with it. Upon review, I was struck by the images I created and the incongruity of the cameras I used to make them.

I took the image above with my Olympus PEN-F, with the 25mm f1.4 lens and with a grainy in-camera black and white effect. I’ve used this combination a lot lately. I’m experimenting with a less precise, lower fidelity image that, if done successfully, expresses a feeling rather than accuracy. This one in particular, is a low quality blur — almost blobs of light and dark areas with just enough to give it context.

Below is a decidedly sharper, realistic photograph of the wonderful Molcajetes we had, shot with the iPhone 6s. The smartphones have become so good that, even in less than perfect light, they create very acceptable photographs. These straight-on bird’s-eye-view compositions work especially well with the phone’s form factor.

Molcajetes, La Gloria - San Antonio, Texas

Molcajetes, La Gloria – San Antonio, Texas

It wasn’t long ago when the smartphones took low fidelity images, which Instagrammy filters added the necessary façade, to make acceptable. Ironically, now, I’m using the far more capable camera to take the grainy images and the iPhone was enlisted for realistic documentation.

I targeted the iPhone shot for Instagram, but it works perfectly well here, and even looks good, full screen, on a 27″ monitor. Just another realization that, the barrier between technical quality and creative image making is no longer determined by the camera.

I talked about our visit to the Pearl District, yesterday. We went there to eat at La Gloria, a wonderful Mexican Restaurant. We got the Molcajetes with pork, which is like a pork stew, of sorts. The chucks on meat with the rich sauce, wrapped in a tortilla with a squeeze of lime and guacamole, make highly recommended tacos. This is San Antonio, after all, where the Mexican food is usually several notches above Austin’s.

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