Archivi categoria: iphone

When a Kind Old Man Offered to Shoot a Couple’s Photo on the Beach…

There’s a new viral photo going around that shows what happened when a generous gesture turned into a heartwarming photo fail.

Reddit user Tyguy462 was walking around on a beach with his wife when a kind elderly man offered to shoot a photo for them.

“Would you like me to take a photo of you two love birds?,” the man asked. The couple agreed, handed over the wife’s phone, and posed for a picture. When they got around to reviewing the photo afterward, the couple was surprised to find a closeup photo of the man’s face instead. It turns out the iPhone hadn’t been switched out of selfie mode.

“Nailed it,” says Tyguy462.

Google Pixel vs. Apple iPhone 7 Plus: A Smartphone Shootout

The smartphone camera landscape is getting crowded with high quality cameras these days, but the Google Pixel and Apple iPhone 7 Plus are two of the front runners when it comes to popularity and publicity. We did a simple shootout to pixel-peep at how the cameras in these two smartphones stack up against each other.

We shot the same photos with roughly the same framing in various places and in various lighting environments. HDR mode was set to “Auto” in both native camera apps.

For any of the following photos, click it to see the original resolution version (they can be found in this Flickr album).

Let’s start off with an outdoors scene showing trees and grass under sunlight.

Shot with the Google Pixel.
Shot with the iPhone 7 Plus.

Here’s a cropped section from the two photos:

Google Pixel (left) compared to the Apple iPhone 7 Plus (right).

We see that the Pixel has a noticeable advantage over the iPhone when it comes to resolution and sharpness (compare the blades of grass).

In this next playground scene, the Pixel photo has more detail, but the iPhone photo is more vibrant in its colors:

Shot with the Google Pixel.
Shot with the iPhone 7 Plus.

Here’s a cropped section from the two photos:

Google Pixel (left) compared to the Apple iPhone 7 Plus (right).

A photo of a flower with the background thrown out of focus:

Shot with the Google Pixel.
Shot with the iPhone 7 Plus.

The Pixel may produce sharper photos than the iPhone, but it’s not without flaws. In October 2016, Pixel owners began complaining of lens flare issues in their photos. As this next outdoor comparison shows, we experienced the same thing — a circular flare under certain conditions that isn’t present in the iPhone’s shots:

Shot with the Google Pixel.
Shot with the iPhone 7 Plus.

As you can see, the iPhone does have a spot of lens flare at the bottom of the frame, but it’s nothing compared to what shows up in the Pixel photo. And we didn’t intentionally try to capture the flare issue with the pixel — it showed up in casual snapshots due to the sun’s angle in relation to the Pixel.

Let’s move on to performance in low-light situations. Here’s a comparison of a baby nursery lit only by dim snowflake lights:

Shot with the Google Pixel.
Shot with the iPhone 7 Plus.

The Pixel seems to be able to capture more detail in the darkest areas of the frame, as this crop comparison shows:

Google Pixel (left) compared to the Apple iPhone 7 Plus (right).

Here’s another low-light indoor scene:

Shot with the Google Pixel.
Shot with the iPhone 7 Plus.

Here’s a bookshelf of children’s books in the same low-light environment, with flash turned off on both cameras:

Shot with the Google Pixel.
Shot with the iPhone 7 Plus.

As this crop comparison shows, the iPhone seems to have produced a cleaner and sharper result — we were shooting multiple photos handheld and selected the best shot for each:

Google Pixel (left) compared to the Apple iPhone 7 Plus (right)

Here’s the same scene, except with the rear flash enabled for both phones:

Shot with the Google Pixel
Shot with the iPhone 7 Plus.

And the crop comparison:

Google Pixel (left) compared to the Apple iPhone 7 Plus (right)

Both the Google Pixel and the Apple iPhone 7 Plus are solid options if you’d like to make your smartphone your everyday camera.

The iPhone 7 Plus offers a dual camera with 2x zoom and a special Portrait mode with faux depth of field. In low-light environments, the iPhone seems to stack up well against (or even beat) the Pixel in terms of details, colors, and flash power.

But in daylight and other well-lit situations, the Google Pixel does seem to offer sharper photos and better image quality… as long as you can avoid the dreaded sun flares.

Shooting with the iPhone in Antarctica

Antarctica is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent on the planet, but despite its hostility and isolation, it is home to some of the most incredible wildlife seen anywhere on Earth, making it a paradise for nature photographers like myself.

When I learned that I would be spending two months down in the the region of the Antarctic Peninsula at the end of 2016, I knew it would be a great opportunity to shoot a photography project where I could capture the Antarctic landscape in a unique way.

We’ve heard it countless times: “the best camera is the one you have with you.” I figured there was no better way to put this idea to the test than to shoot with the camera I always have in my pocket, the iPhone 7 Plus, in an environment that would be about as far outside its comfort zone as can be.

I knew from the outset that this project would have two main challenges.

The first would be the cold. Temperatures in the Antarctic, while relatively mild during the summer time, still fall below zero degrees celsius—in my experience camera batteries don’t fare so well in sub-freezing temperatures. The second challenge would be the fact that I’m using an iPhone. Traditionally, wildlife photography has been shot primarily through telephoto lenses, as it’s often difficult to get close enough to the animals for a decent wide-angle shot.

The trick to the first problem was putting the battery under as little stress as possible: this meant that, every morning before heading out into the field, I would start with a full battery and always ensure that Airplane mode was enabled to stop all transmitting functions (not that I particularly needed them anyhow). Beyond this, the most important element was, of course, keeping the phone warm. My rule was if I wasn’t taking a photo, the iPhone would be kept in an internal pocket close to my body protected from the outside air. For the most part, this was enough to keep my phone functional for the duration of the day.

The second problem turned out to be less of a problem than I thought. Sure, the wide angle camera on the iPhone 7 plus has a fixed 29mm equivalent focal length with a depth of field that’s more akin to a pinhole camera than what I typically get with a DSLR. But fortunately, most of the wildlife we see in Antarctica (seals and penguins) didn’t evolve around a natural land predator, which means that they’re more curious around people than they are fearful.

Most of the time this allowed me to get close enough to the wildlife that I was able to get decent photos despite only having a 29mm lens at my disposal. Strict wildlife watching guidelines also dictate a minimum distance at which I was able to approach the animals, although this was usually more than adequate to get the photos I wanted.

Editor’s Note: You can see more of John’s Antarctica photos on his Instagram account @johnbozinov.

I’ve struggled for a long time with the myriad of options available when it comes to camera equipment, so much so that I’ve often found myself focusing more on what gear I’m shooting with than actually going out and taking pictures.

This project allowed me to simplify my workflow and largely forget about my camera equipment; instead, I was able to focus simply on the joy I get from taking photos and sharing my work.


About the author: John Bozinov is a photographer based in New Zealand who specializes in wildlife, landscape and polar expedition photography. You can find more of his work on his website or by following him on Instagram`.

Shooting 4K Log on the iPhone with Filmic Pro

Sometimes people ask me why I started shooting videos on a phone and the answer is not that easy. I believe the best camera is the one we always have with us, in our pocket. Maybe it’s not the most powerful of course, but at least we can bring it with us all the time.

What crazy, if you think about it, is that we can now shoot 4K videos with our smartphones.

I also love challenges. Shooting a $500,000 dollar commercial on a RED Helium 8K and two trucks full of any lights and gear could be relatively easy. I’m not saying anyone can shoot a cool commercial just because of the budget, but when you have 100 people working for you, police stopping the traffic and shutting down bridges or roads to let you shoot your film, well, that is definitely easier than going out there with your wife and your iPhone trying to shoot something cool.

​​As we all know, the native camera app on our smartphones is, most of the time, not that good. That’s the why there are so many third-party camera apps out there. One of the best, if not the best (at least for videos) is Filmic Pro. This app became popular because of the film Tangerine, which was film entirely on the iPhone 5S using Filmic Pro and Moondog Labs’ anamorphic adapter (in my opinion the best smartphone lens out there).

Filmic Pro allows us to manually expose and focus our clips. It also allows us to choose the resolution, the bitrate and the aspect ratio. This is very cool because we are now able to shoot 4k videos at 24fps (cinema standard) and 100Mbps in a super wide aspect ratio.

Recently Filmic Pro sent out the beta version of what I consider the biggest update ever for this app. The interface is completely redesigned, but the best feature is that now we’re able to shoot with a Log/Flat picture profile. This is a huge deal, considering this is just a phone.

Shooting Log/Flat is usually a feature that we find on high-end cameras like Sony, Blackmagic, Canon Cinema, RED or Panasonic GH4/GH5.

So what does this mean? Basically we record a super flat image (low saturation, low contrast, low sharpness) in order to capture more details and more dynamic range. Of course the footage will look weird at the beginning, but this is totally normal. Once we start grading the clips in post production we’ll be able to apply a (Look Up Table) LUT to convert the Log into Rec. 709. We can also increase contrast and saturation manually without using a LUT.

This will open up a lot of possibilities in post production for more creative color grading, but again, the biggest advantage is that we’ll be able to capture those details in the shadows and in the highlights that would otherwise be lost.

As you can see in the screenshots below, sometimes I had to crash the blacks to avoid the noise, and that’s very common even in the Sony Slog3. I actually notice a lot of noise when you setup the exposure for the highlights, but this happened probably because the app is still a beta or maybe just because the sensor on a phone is super small. What is sure is that you will notice way more noise shooting Log on any camera.

From a colorist point of view this is huge and will also allow beginner filmmakers or cinematographers to experiment in post production without spending a fortune for a camera.

Here’s a 2-minute video with test footage I shot:

Am I saying we should throw our professional cameras in the trash and start filming on iPhone? Nope, not at all.

I’m just saying that this is a very interesting feature to have on the smartphone in our pocket, and one that will allow indie filmmakers to achieve much more amazing results.


About the author: Matteo Bertoli is an Italian film director and cinematographer currently based in Salt Lake City, Utah. You can find more of his work on his YouTube channel, Facebook page, and website.

I Earned More From Photo Gigs in 2016 With My iPhone Than My DSLRs

2016 ended in a most fitting fashion for the new way I am trying to earn a living as a freelance photographer. On December 27, I was on Montara Beach photographing a college volleyball player on assignment for Volleyball USA magazine. The big story here? I was shooting the entire assignment with my iPhone 7 Plus.

The request was made by my editor, Peter Brouillet. Peter had been following my iPhone work on my Instagram feed and wanted to do a fun layout in the magazine with a grid of Instagram squares. He thought the assignment would be perfect for me. It was. I was able to use the new Portrait mode with the 2x lens on my iPhone 7 Plus for the first time on assignment. The shallow depth of field made me feel like I was shooting with an 85mm lens wide open with one of my Canons. The results were astounding. The athlete and I had a blast on the shoot and we got some terrific images.

This iPhone assignment the final week of the year was the icing on the cake in a year that saw my business turn upside down. I have been a freelance sports photographer since 1993, with my main clients being Sports Illustrated and Major League Baseball. PetaPixel wrote a story about me last year in which I talked about the changing business and how difficult things had become for me.

In 2016, the tide began to turn for me a little bit. I still earned my living shooting paid assignments and licensing stock images, but for the first time ever I made more money shooting paid gigs with my iPhone than with my Canon.

My first paid assignment in 2016 was Super Bowl 50 for Sports Illustrated, played locally here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Sports Illustrated had been my main client since 1993. Due to the unfavorable new TIME, Inc. contract for photographers, this assignment would be the last I shot for the magazine. The year was not off to a good start.

My first paid iPhone assignment was from my awesome friends at The Players’ Tribune in March. I was on vacation at spring training in Arizona with friends (I used to cover spring training for SI every year), and TPT Creative Director Maureen Cavanagh assigned me to do an Instagram takeover for a day with my iPhone. That was super fun.

But Caryn Levy, the Photo Official/Supervisor of Photographic Services at the PGA TOUR, is the person who changed my life in 2016. Caryn had been following my iPhone photography for a few years. She asked me if I would fly down to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida in May to photograph the THE PLAYERS Championship at the TOUR’S home course, TPC Sawgrass. With my iPhone.

THE PLAYERS is the marquee event of the year for the TOUR and Caryn has a budget each year to hire several freelancers to work alongside her staff. She had the idea that I could do my thing with my iPhone and share the pictures quickly with the TOUR’s and THE PLAYERS various social media channels. This was the first time the TOUR had ever hired anyone like me to just shoot for their social media platforms.

I spent a week down in Florida shooting 3,232 pictures with my iPhone 6s Plus. My pictures were used all over the many Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts run by the TOUR and THE PLAYERS, along with galleries on PGATOUR.com.

Besides having a chance to earn some desperately needed cash to pay bills that were way overdue, shooting this event for the TOUR was so much fun. Being able to work outside and look for pretty pictures, details, and moments with just my iPhone was so free and liberating. None of this would have worked if Caryn and I were not on the same page from day one.

The agreement was that I would not shoot with my Canons. I wouldn’t even bring my Canons. Caryn, a prominent sports photographer with 35 years of experience, has been managing the photo department at the TOUR for 11 years. She has three amazing staff photographers covering events all over the world for the TOUR (Chris Condon, Stan Badz, and Ryan Young).

All three of these photographers deliver the goods each and every day they are working at a TOUR event. Their jobs entail way more than shooting the action on the course. Between portraits, sponsorship parties, charity events, etc. they have their hands full. Armed with my iPhone at THE PLAYERS I felt that I was able to help out the team by getting pictures to the social media crew instantly from my iPhone no matter where I was on the course.

My iPhone was not a gimmick. It was a real tool that allowed me to make great pictures that could be delivered in a timely manner to help the TOUR get images from the event out to the world. My iPhone also allowed me to go behind the scenes and bring the fans following the TOUR on social media closer to the players. Because I am not loaded down with big and loud SLR cameras, the players, caddies, and everyone else around the game of golf is much more relaxed around me when I shoot with my iPhone.

Since everyone shoots pictures with their smartphone I am able to make an instant connection with these people when I show them what I have been shooting during the week. Usually they can’t believe I shot the pictures with my iPhone.

I thought this would be a one-shot deal at THE PLAYERS in May, but the people at the TOUR were pleased and brought me in for three more big events, concluding with the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Scottsdale in November. By the time I finished my fourth event with the TOUR, I was really feeling good about the work I had done for the TOUR.

The pictures kept getting better and better, especially with the introduction of the new iPhone 7 Plus and it’s built-in 2x telephoto lens that I got in September just before I traveled to Atlanta for the TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP. It doesn’t seem like much but having that little bit of extra length allowed me to make pictures that were not possible with the normal lens on the iPhone. I became a better photographer at age 51 because of a new phone!

I could not be more thrilled with my new relationship with the PGA TOUR. Unlike any other professional sports league or entity the TOUR realizes that their brand is as important on their social media channels as it is on television and in print. Realizing that it is worth it to pay for original content shot by a real photographer to make their social media imagery better proves the TOUR gets it.

Because of the success I had shooting with my iPhone for the TOUR I was hired for two days by IndyCar in September to shoot for their social media channels when they visited the Bay Area for a race in Sonoma. That was a great experience as I had never shot auto racing before, but I got some really good pictures with my iPhone and pushed them out fast.

Throughout my career I have been known as a baseball guy. I love shooting ball. I have published four photo books about the game (one of them with my iPhone Instagrams). However, the downturn in the business has hurt so bad I was only paid to photograph four regular season games with my Canon cameras here in the Bay Area in 2016 out of a possible 162 games played in Oakland and San Francisco.

I was paid to shoot the two Giants home playoff games in October against the Cubs, and I shot my 20th World Series in Chicago and Cleveland (my 17th in a row for Major League Baseball). Getting paid a decent fee to go to the ballpark without signing a horrible contract is not possible anymore. Thanks to Caryn, the TOUR, IndyCar, and my iPhone I was able to pay most of my bills in 2016.

I will be back at Sawgrass in May with my iPhone shooting for the TOUR. I hope it is the first of many 2017 events I get to work for them. The golf schedule is becoming more important than the baseball schedule!

A few days ago I got a text from Brian Murphy, my good friend and co-author of three books about the San Francisco Giants winning the World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014. “My favorite story of 2016. Brad and the TOUR,” Murphy said. I couldn’t agree more.


About the author: Brad Mangin is a freelance sports photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He regularly shoots for Major League Baseball, and between 1993 and 2016 he was a regular contributor to Sports Illustrated. He’s also a founder of SportsShooter.com. You can find more of Mangin’s work on his website, online archive, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

How to Use a Cookie Sheet and a Wood Stump to Shoot Better iPhone Photos

Photographer and DP Peter McKinnon is not an “iPhoneographer”, but that hasn’t stopped some of his fans from asking for tips on taking better smartphone photos. Since he’s not one to disappoint, he created this useful tutorial to appease the smartphone shutterbugs out there.

The tutorial covers a bunch of ground, but most importantly it shows you how he used a few random household items to create a little “studio” where he could take some high quality smartphone food and product photos.

The setup is just a wooden stump in front of a bucket of dog food on which he placed a book and a bottle of wine. In front of/on that bottle of wine he placed an old cookie sheet and, voila, fancy wood stump platform with a rustic looking background.

Here are a couple of photos of the setup:

After that, he just started snapping photos. He uses natural light from a window with a cheap foam core “reflector” to add some fill, and then opens up his favorite smartphone editing apps—Snapseed and Lens Distortions—to help turn those okay results into something that looks a lot more professional.

Here are the final shots, including a before-and-after comparison of the first one:

Check out the full tutorial up top to learn about this setup, watch McKinnon use it, and even get some iPhone photo processing advice in the bargain. Then head over to McKinnon’s website or give him a follow on Facebook and Instagram to see more of his (non iPhone) work.


Image credits: All photos by Peter McKinnon and used with permission.