The shot before the feast; an iPhone approach

December 20, 2017

iPhoneography; A fresh look at the possibilities. 


I've been experimenting with iPhoneography over the past year but nothing too serious. Although after missing several opportunities while not having my DSLR, I've begun to rethink when to shoot seriously with a smartphone. And the reasoning comes down to this: convenience.


So just the other day while cooking, I began to slice a green pepper and couldn't help to notice the intricacies of this yummy vegetable. I stopped, let out an audible "hmm", and thought how fun it would be to shoot right now - purely spontaneous and in the moment. But,.. then I thought about how hungry I was which led to a dilemma; do I shoot or do I feast? 


And there I was considering grabbing my tripod, flashes, camera, etc, setting everything up, and shooting the night away. Nope, not gonna happen - I'm too hungry and besides, I didn't buy this pepper for photography and it looks nothing like Edward Weston's Pepper No. 30 - not even close, but I do happen to have my phone in my pocket, again, an audible "hmm". 


I turn-off the gas & within a few minutes I have the scene all set up; my cutting board under the Pendant lights of my Kitchen Island with my pepper and the few slices I've cut arranged for composition. I turn my iphone upside down to shoot low while carefully tapping the screen and steadying the phone. The sound of the fake shutter emits and I have my shot. I put my phone away, turn the gas back on and resume cooking while cutting up the remaining pepper. 


A few days later I review the image and decide it's time to give Adobe's Mobile Lightroom a run. Let me begin by saying, while I'm not a programmer, I am very tech savvy, and have done some minor programing, enough to know that designing a serious photo editor for a mobile platform is incredibly difficult. 


After installing Lr on my 10.5" iPad Pro, I grab my Apple Pencil and jump right in and make basic adjustments, followed by some color tweaks, small details, and a touch of vignetting. I should mention here that this is a Jpeg, not a RAW file although shooting in RAW on an iPhone is a possibility with some tweaks and 3rd party software. Up to this point the basic processing really makes the image pop, but now it's time to play with some brushes - yes brushes, from a mobile perspective. 


I try to brush out some highlights that the basic adjustments couldn't but was unable to recover some highlights from the top of the pepper, I move onto accentuate the existing shadows by brushing over them, followed by the wood grain in the cutting board to bring out grain and detail. If I recall, this was all done in a matter of 10 minutes, 11 to call it fair. 


So does it have the quality of a modern DSLR, Ehh, not really, but it's pretty darn close IMO. Oh and did I mention convenience, yeah, I even had time for dessert. 





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