Posts tagged ‘iPhone’

Lightning at 240 frames per second

Lightning at 240fps

I took a few moments to watch some exciting lightning the other night. Without much though and even less effort, I whipped out the iPhone 6 and switched it to slow motion video and was lucky enough to capture a couple lightning strikes.

After seeing the results I wished I’d been more involved and fetched the tripod and waited for some of the more spectacular events.

Next time !

Size is relative for the iPhone 6 Plus

big phone in a big hand vs small hand
big phone in a big hand vs small hand

A friend posted a link to Monday’s “Live with Kelly and Michael” where they are talking about the iPhone 6 Plus.

The interesting visual from the segment is the size of the phone appears to change. With Michael Strahan the phone looks completely normal but with Kelly Ripa, the phone looks huge!

How to take stereoscopic pictures with an iPhone

use burst mode to take left/right images
use burst mode to take left/right images

For some strange Geeky tick, I keep taking stereoscopic pictures. The process is pretty easy – take a picture and then shift a little to the right and take another. The distance of the shift will range from less than an inch for close-ups to a foot or more for very distant images.

The process works well when the subject matter doesn’t move. But how to take a picture where the subject matter is not so cooperative? You could use two cameras but that’s a lot more work. With the iPhone, Bust Mode is your friend. Here’s how it works …

Setup the first picture. Imagine where the second picture should be. Ideally, you shift from the first picture to the second by only shifting your weight or body and don’t have to move your feet. Now, press the shutter button on the iPhone and hold it while you shift toward the second position. It helps to shift a bit further than you need.

That’s it – you’ve got a series of photos that were taken in less than a second. View the series and pick the two images that work well for the stereoscopic image and discard the rest.

I use Diptic to place the two images together but you can use any App which let’s you place images side-by-side.

News Flash: Apple to acquire Dickies’s

new iPhone 6 Plus pants
new iPhone 6 Plus pants

An unidentified source reports that Apple is concerned with the backlash from the size of the new iPhone 6 Plus. Reminiscent of “antenna gate” Apple has quietly proposed a solution.

Apple is in negotiations to acquire the clothing company Dickie’s. Apple will announce a new clothing line which accommodates the larger size of the iPhone 6 Plus. People who already ordered an iPhone 6 Plus will be given a free pair of pants.

AutoStitch iPhone app vs iPhone’s camera panorama

180 degree panorama 7704x1822
180 degree panorama 7704×1822

I take more photos with my iPhone than my two ‘real’ cameras combined. While the iPhone isn’t great for action photos or any telephoto work, it does very well as landscapes. With it’s built in compute power it is perfectly suited to panoramas.

While I’ve played with the panorama feature built into the iOS camera app, I always use the AutoStitch app when I want good results.

With the built in feature of iOS, the panorama is photographed in one continuous image. With AutoStitch, it is a series of overlapping images computationally combined. It’s more work – why is this better? I like it for two reasons: First, when taking individual photographs, each one can adjust for brightness. When combined with the iOS subtle HDR capability, each picture is very well balanced. Most panoramas will pass through both bright and shaded areas. By taking photos with a lot of overlap, AutoStitch does a great job of seamlessly blending these images. The result is the best possible balance for any point in the panorama. (In the photo, the sun is directly behind the tree.) The second advantage for AutoStitch is it can handle a huge mosaic – combining pictures in stripes and combining stripes into the final image. Imagine a big matrix of 10×4 pictures. AutoStitch can combine all of them into one very large image.

I don’t expect AutoStitch to compete with a desktop computer and a DSLR but then again, that solution doesn’t let me capture the moment, create the panorama, write this blog post, and load it to the internet – all while taking a walk with my dog. Smile!

The iPhone 6 Plus isn’t too big … for me

side by side comparison of 5 and 6 plus

side by side comparison of 5 and 6 plus


I watched the news pour in on the Apple announcement this week. While the watch was interesting, I don’t wear a watch so I quickly lost interest … other than the funny “lefty usability” discussions on social media.

The real question I was watching for was, “is the iPhone 6 Plus too big?”

Everything I could find – from specifications to videos to mockups – suggested it might just be too big. Then I decided to make a mockup of my own. The picture is an accurate sized fake iPhone 6 Plus and a real iPhone 5. It depicts reaching for the home button, reaching for the far edge, and holding for reading.

Without shifting the phone up in my hand or rolling the phone in my hand, I didn’t reach the home button. But those limitations were unnatural, since I was attempting to keep the phone in one position for each photo. When I didn’t think about it, I naturally slid my little finger under the bottom and nudged the home button the last bit toward my reaching thumb. It didn’t feel awkward or unstable. I wasn’t sensing the phone would fall out of my hand.

My iPhone 5 is with me whenever I leave the house – for a walk, in the truck, doing errands, etc. It’s in a front pants pocked when I wear jeans or it’s in a side pocket when I wear painter paints. When I’m in business dress, it’s in an inside jacket pocket.

The iPhone 6 Plus will easily fit the same. The exception is sitting down with it in a front pants pocket. It does pinch a little. I’d likely move it to a shirt pocket.

If you’re thinking, “it’s still to big for a phone, it’s gonna look funny next to your ear” then it may help to understand how I use an iPhone today.

I place one or two calls each day. They are nearly always when I walk the dog around the farm in the early morning and early evening. Occasionally I’ll place a call while driving. My truck has integrated Bluetooth so it’s hands free.

When driving, I often use the iPhone for Pandora music or TomTom driving directions. For all of these reasons, the truck has a mount for the phone and a USB cable.

I use my iPhone like a micro-Mac. I do email, blogging, social media, web forums, lots of photos and photo editing, banking, shopping, research, and more. I also use it as a backup to navigational data when flying.

Recently I tested a Nexus 7 tablet. It wasn’t as fast or refined as my iPad Air but I found I was using it more the the iPad – which had a lot to do with it’s smaller size.

For me, the iPhone 6 Plus won’t be a phone. I don’t make enough calls to focus on that capability. It will be a compact tablet with a good camera, data service, storage, and significant compute power … that can place my daily call to mom.