While living in Europe, I purchased a very nice Sony DSC-TX20 pocket camera for the nights I didn’t want to carry my camera bag going out to dinner. I worked out well, it took great photos and had an excellent wide angle view. However, I didn’t own an iPhone then. When I came back to the US and got my first iPhone I was kind of excited by the prospect of instantly sharing photos but hadn’t truly realized its potential. The process of getting to my photos and actually using them was now much simpler. Whether I was using my Canon DSLR or my Sony pocket camera, the process was the same; get back from my trip and take the card out of the camera, place it in the computer to download the images, erase or reformat the card, put the camera away and recharge batteries. Then I’d email or post the photos… The iPhone changed all that, now I could take a photo of decent quality and instantly send it where I wanted or post it to social media, all the other steps were gone. My Sony pocket camera instantly became a dinosaurer. The photo at left was taken at Imperial Beach, California as I was setting my tripod up to do some sunset photography. It was this photo that made me realize the potential of the iPhones 6’s camera. While it’s not DSLR quality, it’s not that bad either!
Many times, while setting up for a photo or just out shooting, I’ll take a photo and post to social media and this has been the best thing. I can actually post real time photos of the little photo trips I make. For instance, while I was shooting at the marina in Coronado, California, I decided to shoot a photo with the iPhone. That photo is at the top of this page and was taken using the iPhone 6’s Pano setting for panoramic photos (click HERE to view original). Many times when I’m on foot to another location, I’ll shoot iPhone photos along the way and later some of those photos will make me go back later and shoot with my DSLR. One of the best things about the iPhone’s camera is that it’s usually with you. There have been times with my kids that I’ve captured a cool moments where there was no simply no time to grab my camera. In the above right photo, my daughters were playing and I was throwing a ball with the dog. I looked and saw my girls and thought, this is one of those really cool moments in life. I knew if I went in the house my girls would either stop and follow me, or move on to something else while I went inside. I pulled out my iPhone and got the shot! The same goes for this photo taken at the San Diego Zoo at left. We were at the zoo early, when the polar bears play, the first thing in the morning. The bear put his paw on the glass, my daughter said, “look daddy, he’s giving me a high-five.” I quickly got my iPhone and got the shot. This certainly would have been a better shot with my DSLR, but I had no idea how long that bear would stay put. Fortunately, he stayed just long enough. That’s the point here, while I would have loved to capture better versions of these photos with my DSLR, it just wasn’t goign to happen! Better to capture these precious moments with my iPone than to not have them at all.
Lastly, there are some pretty cool effects packages available now at Apple’s App Store. The effects app I really like is Macphun’s FX PhotoStudio. Not only can you make some pretty cool effects, it’s incredibly simple to use. The above photo of my daughter on the trampoline had the sun rings added with FX PhotoStudio and the water drops were added to the below photo as well. As far as apps go, it’s expensive at $7.99, but it’s worth every penny because it works as advertised and has a ton of features. Below is the pier at Imperial Beach, California and this is another example of the iPhone saving the day because I wasn’t even out shooting photos this day, I was just driving by and thought it looked like it could make a nice photo!