Posts tagged ‘iPhone’

My camera is still my phone

As I neared the end of my morning walk with the dog, I was trailing behind as we hit the dirt road out to the wheat field. I looked ahead and was treated with one of this “gotta attire this moment” photo opportunities.

I pulled out my iPhone 6, wiped the lens of any pocket lint, framed and clicked.

my Catahoula in the morning sun

my Catahoula in the morning sun

The attached photo is unedited with the exception that my blog compresses JPEG images to 75%. I didn’t crop or adjust any color, light, tone, or sharpness.

It’s not 100% perfect but if I wanted, it would only take a small amount of adjustment to make the print and frame worthy. Amazingly any of that image manipulation is also completely within the capabilities of the phone … Or should I say, micro-Mac.

iPhone photography and depth of field

The iPhone 6 (and 6 Plus) has a very good camera but it’s not a replacement for even a typical point-and-shoot, never mind using it in place of a DSLR.

Cellphone cameras fall short in a few areas. For my day-to-day photography, the two biggest categories are zoom/telephoto photography and depth-of-field control.

There are kludges for telephoto photography – sticking a lens in front of the cellphone lens but by the time you’ve planned ahead and carried the accessories, you are better off pocketing a small point-and-shoot.

iPhone photo, DOF, and tilt-shift
iPhone photo, DOF, and tilt-shift

There are Apps to approximate depth-of-field. One that I’ve used is Tadaa SLR. When used sparingly (middle image), it manages the effect pretty well. When used too much (bottom image), it creates the tilt-shift effect to give things the toy model appearance. There are fun uses for the latter but it doesn’t look natural.

The problem with apps like Tadaa SLR is that they are very time consuming. A typical photo will take 5-10 minutes to get the masking applied and then tweak the settings for the simulated depth.

Still, when you need to get some depth in a cellphone photo, these Apps give you some options.

Compare iPhone in camera pano vs stitching app

Rather than give my opinion, I’ll let you decide which of the following two pictures you like better (click on image to see full size; images modified to increase compression to JPEG 75%) …

iPhone 6 plus camera pano
iPhone 6 plus camera pano

AutoStitch App using 10 photos
AutoStitch App using 10 photos

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.