Follow Up To The Phone Thing
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4 Comments Follow Up To The Phone Thing - 12-06-2008 15:47:40
StMarc left a comment on my last photo and I thought I'd follow up on it now that I've had a few hours of sleep. People do spend way too much money on these fancy little gadgets that they don't usually need to. Though I do spend a little more than StMarc I don't consider myself to be caught up in their little web:)

I do need a cell phone. I haven't had a land line in years and I think it's foolish to pay for one of those myself. I've been with Sprint now for something like 8 years and have no desire whatsoever to leave so I have no problem signing their 2 year contracts. Signing those also gets me $150 off the stupid expensive phones I buy so I get way better phones than the cheap ass give away phones that you get for free or close to it. That's a HUGE thing for me because when it comes to things I use every day like cameras or cell phones I want something that feels solid and good in my hands. I also need something very slim so it can fit in the pocket of the tight ass jeans my girlfriend prefers me to wear:) Tough and tiny cost more money but I don't mind paying a little more because I'll have the thing for a long time. I'm not one to run out and throw down money for the latest and greatest just so I can look cool. So in my little brain anyway I can justify spending $50-150 on a new phone every 2 or 3 years that will actually last me that long.

Now here is where the irritating part comes in. One of the benefits of this phone I thought was the MicroSD card slot. Yeah... I can load it up with music, photos, whatever I want. I can use it as my mp3 player even though it's a fucked up round-a-bout process to do since the music player isn't directly accessible from the menu(strike #1). One super fucked up thing is that I can't use any of the music I store on the card as my ringtones(strike #2). I could do this perfectly fine with my old phone(which also was a Samsung). So now apparently if I want any ringtones other than the completely fucked up ones that came with the phone I have to pay Sprint $2.50 each for them. Oh yeah, going to the Sprint store on the phone requires you activate the internet service which costs per kb. Double dipping mother fuckers! One other thing I was hoping for was to be able to transfer or at least copy my contacts to the memory card so I could keep a backup on my computer. No such luck. If I want my contacts to be safe and secure in the event this phone dies an early death I have to pay Sprint $2.00/month for online backup for which I'd probably incur internet usage charges as well I'm sure. I could probably keep going if I thought about it a little, but what does it matter. It happens with everything. Companies are in business to make money and since most people bend over and take it with a smile it'll never change. BTW... I pay $45/month for both mine and Eloise's phones with plenty of minutes to get us by(unless our house happens to burn down and Eloise has to talk to everyone on the continent about it) and all the text messaging we can use. BTW... next time your phone contract expires, call up your phone company and tell them you've been looking at some other services and are thinking about changing and you wanna see if they can offer you any deals. if you've been with them for a while they'll hook you up.

Back to companies who nickle and dime us to death. The majority of my frustration trying to shoot that photo last night is mostly Canon's fault. I imagine most other camera companies are equally screwy but I don't know all the specs for their cameras. Initially I was going to do two separate exposures, one for the display and button lights on the phone and the other for the light painting. Well, that didn't work because in order to get the lights on the phone to stay on I had to push a button which would invariably move the phone slightly making it a bitch to match up in post. So I had to get it all in one exposure. First problem there came up because I had to time it just right from the moment I pushed a button on the phone to light it up to when I pushed the shutter release on the camera so that the screen and buttons wouldn't be over exposed before they automatically turned off. This was made harder by the fact that I was using the two second timer on the camera so there wouldn't be any camera shake from me hitting the shutter button. I have about 5 shitty tripods that couldn't hold a camera steady to save their lives AND I was working on squishy carpet. So there was getting all that timed out just right AND having only 30 seconds(the slowest shutter speed available) to do all of the light painting. That meant I had to REALLY rush it and didn't have time to make sure I got it exactly right(or as exactly right as you can ever get it with that technique). So here's where they screw you. The camera has a "bulb" setting where the shutter will stay open as long as you hold the shutter release down, but you actually have to hold it down. Kinda hard to do and keep the camera steady AND do your light painting at the same time. In order to do this you have to buy a fancy little electronic release cable. Expensive. Not to mention, I already owned one of those before but for some reason(money?) Canon changed the design of the plug so it became useless when i got rid of my film cameras. A simple workaround for this would be the addition of a "T" setting in the shutter speeds. Anyone remember that? It was scarce even on old manual focus cameras for some reason. What the T setting does is opens the shutter with the first press of the shutter button and closes the shutter with a second press of the button. So in between you're free to run around as long as you like getting, in my case, the phone painted properly with light. That would be too easy though. And Canon would miss out on some easy cash.

Edit: A thought occurred to me after posting this and now through the wonders of Ebay/PayPal someone in Ohio is going to send me a cheap knockoff of a Canon remote cord for the grand total of $11.60.
Canon EOS 40D
40 mm
30 sec
f 9
ISO 100