Reading time 3 minutes

Recently I’ve been highlighting my use of an iPhone to take photographs for The Frustrated Gardener. The relative convenience of a slim, pocket-sized gadget, compared to a cumbersome DSLR, has meant that, increasingly, I have been leaving my Canon at home and turning to the iPhone 6 instead. The results I achieve continually surprise me, with the Apple able to capture colours better than the Canon and achieve decent results in awkward lighting conditions. This is more of an indictment of my incompetence when it comes to using a ‘proper’ camera than my prowess at pointing a smartphone in the right direction, but, nevertheless, it does enable me to capture moments that might otherwise have passed me by.

Today’s image, entitled ‘Bracing’ shows Viking Bay, Broadstairs on the morning of the last day of 2015. It had rained heavily overnight, smoothing the sand bank as if it had just been turned out of a bundt pan. A handful of hardy Thanet folk peppered the beach, their long shadows extending back across their footprints. The quilted foliage of a sea mallow (Malva arborea) made a very attractive foreground, whilst the sea-gull was happy accident. Perhaps I shouldn’t admit that. The sharp-sighted might even spot, on the horizon, the white turbines of the Thanet Wind Farm, the world’s largest offshore wind farm until 2013 when the London Array seized the title. ‘Bracing’ sums up the cool, fresh, cleansing breeze which swept across the turbines’ sails that morning, catching me square in the face.

You may like to compare ‘Bracing’ to ‘Windswept‘, taken about 6 weeks ago. We do wild weather well here in the UK!

Categories: Musings, Photography

Posted by The Frustrated Gardener

Greetings Garden Lover! Welcome to my blog. Plants are my passion and this is my way of sharing that joyful emotion with the world. You'll find over 1000 posts here featuring everything from abutilons to zinnias. If you've enjoyed what you've read, please leave a comment and consider subscribing using the yellow 'Follow' button in the bottom, right-hand corner of your screen. You will receive an email every time I post something new.

Leave a Reply

31 comments On "Bracing"

  1. Dan, it is true that “it’s not the camera that takes a good picture – it is the photographer” πŸ™‚
    I really enjoy your photos taken with your iPhone – and you are right , it is really helpful and handy and convenient. I usually use my DSLR (Nikon D300s) to photograph the nature and landscapes and would never exchange it for a smartphone in terms of “serious photography” . I wish I could see some of your pictures taken with your Canon, just to compare …
    Any hope for it?Have a nice evening, Paul.

    1. Hi Paul. There are many! In fact the majority on serious posts about garden visits, travel etc. It’s mainly my own garden and little “quickie” posts I use the phone for. Likewise, I tend to use my Canon when I have the time and a worthy subject πŸ™‚

  2. Very good photo. Strong composition. I use my iPhone 6+ a lot. I jumped from a 4S which sucked. But you still have to see the image and compose it well. Bracing is a good word. Very British 😁

  3. I’m not a photographer by any stretch of the imagination, so I will stay out of the discussion except to say that no matter what the tool, they eye of the photographer plays a huge part. composition, angles, lighting, etc. all depend on the person taking the snap, and if you’re good, you’re good. if not, then you just enjoy other peoples snaps. I always enjoy yours. One thing about the blog, I “follow”ed the blog by clicking in the bottom right hand corner and entering my email address. So I get notifications in my email when new posts show up. I can also leave comments (obviously). But I cannot “like” the blog post, nor can I “like” individual comments above from other followers or responses from you, Dan. When I try, it brings up a window that asks me to “sign in” to with a password. I never registered with WordPress so I don’t have a password. I have considered doing so, but when I start the process, I realize it is really just for those who are starting a blog on their own. Which I am not. Any idea how I can “like” things w/out registering on for my own blog? A small matter, so if you don’t know, I don’t expect you to take the time. Love the blog.

    1. Hi Dean. I think this is just a limitation of signing up to a WordPress blog by e-mail, which is frustrating I agree. According to the Help Page you must be logged in to yourself to ‘like’ anything. There do seem to be people who set up WordPress accounts just in order to comment and ‘like’, but perhaps they once had an ambition to start their own blog. I am sorry you can’t use the ‘like’ facility, but I do love receiving and reading your comments so please keep taking the time, when you have the time. You can also ‘like’ my post via my Frustrated Gardener Facebook page (which I think you follow?): Appreciate it’s not quite the same! Wishing you all the very best for 2016. Dan

  4. Hmmm, yes, I understand the problem. I use the Canon Powershot 240SX in the way you use your iphone. The increased sophistication of mobile phone cameras is a real challenge to ‘real’ photographers. However, what happens when your iphone photographs is enlarged? Does it enlarge with clarity? I think we should continue to use whatever device is to hand to try and capture what we see – you are doing great things – keep going!

    1. Hi Candy. I have never really tried blowing them up large to print, but the resolution is pretty good. In the end I’d rather use a phone than miss a photo opportunity …. and I would rather like a new SLR if truth be told πŸ˜‰ Wishing you a Happy New Year.

    1. I have accumulated four lenses now so it’s those as well as the camera. Plus I keep filling my camera bag up with emergency change, business cards, sunglasses and so on which only makes it heavier!

  5. As you have shown, it is certainly true that iPhones can take some fabulous photos. I have an iPhone for work, and an Android personal phone, and I agree that the former takes superior photos, even though I have had great luck with the Samsung one as well. Either one comes in handy when some spontaneous photo op occurs, but I still far prefer my “real” camera. Which I’m still learning how to use properly, mind you – it’s an ongoing thing… πŸ™‚

  6. I enjoy your blog very very much. I am following it for over one year now, and it is always interesting and with beautiful photos!
    I’m very honored to find out you have made a link to my post! Thank you so much!

  7. Hi Dan,
    Thanks a lot for the link to your post ( ). I have viewed all your pictures there as well as many, many more included in your other posts. I must admit that I like both your “techniques” :)) I mean your pictures taken both with your iPhone and your Canon 450D. They differ a lot, as for me, but all of them are just great. As you mentioned one of the reasons you like your iPhone pictures is the colour you can achieve with the smartphone. They are definitely more saturated than those from Canon. But the DOF is quite different and personally I prefer the one from your Cannon. Of course the idea of “capturing the moment” is more important , so undoubtedly the iPhone is very handy and more useful then.
    Well, that is only my humble opinion on your pictures, but please don’t take it too seriously πŸ™‚
    What I like best in your posts is your emotions included in the written texts and the passion you put in it. I just love it! As I have always been interested in gardening ( since I was a boy ), I have got my own garden too. The weather conditions in Poland are a lot different than in the UK. I mean the colder winters and drier, hotter summers. In fact I envy you the mild climate, but not the amount of rain and wind that you experienced this year. I hope you and your gardens didn’t suffer much from the extreme weather…
    Well, thanks again for your posts at “The Frustrated Gardener”, I really admire your passion and devotion to what you are doing. Please do continue that fantastic work – I am looking forward to reading your next posts soon.

    My best regards to you and Him Indoors


    PS. If you find some time, have a look at a sample of my pictures.
    Here is the link

    Please forgive me my mistakes in written English – it is still a foreign language for me :))

    1. Dear Paul – perfect English and wonderful photographs. I am VERY impressed. I love how you have captured the golden light in your pictures of mosses, hellebores and aconites. What a treat. I think you could teach me a thing or two! Most of all I just need the time and patience to get out and experiment more with my camera.

      I am very grateful to you for your kind comments. It’s so nice to know that my posts are read and appreciated and have relevance to those in other countries. We have such particular weather conditions here in the UK, so moderate, that we can get away with a lot, but the rain this season has been incessant. December was the wettest since records began in 1910. Being in the east we missed a lot of it, but the garden does look a little soggy! Have a lovely weekend. Dan

      1. Howdy, Dan.
        I am very glad you liked my pictures. If only I lived a bit closer to the UK…
        I could show you some simple tricks with your decent Canon – it’s a great camera πŸ™‚
        I was in the UK in 2014, to be exact in Oxford. I loved the old colleges and of course the gardens and parks around ( e.g. in Blenheim ).
        Here are the links if you’d like to have a look.

        Have a great weekend. Paul.

        PS. I have read you are going to celebrate your birthday soon – when exactly next week?

Follow The Frustrated Gardener and have new posts sent directly to your inbox

Join 8,218 other subscribers

Wordpress users click to subscribe here

Follow The Frustrated Gardener