iPhone photography blog about apps, my experiments and results

Content

The iPhone camera and exposure
iPhone photography apps
My stuff
My blogs about iPhone photography
Privacy Declaration

My iPhone Photography

Photography has long been a hobby of mine and once I started with an SLR and a darkroom. I have a large collection of self-printed black-and-white photographs and color slides that I still need to digitize. Over time, however, my interest diminished and the doka stuff disappeared in a box in the attic. Until I bought one of the first 3 megapixel cameras and my enthusiasm was back again. At this moment, iPhone photography has my interest. The quality of the photos and lens I find very good for shooting in good lighting conditions. On my iPhone I can take RAW photos and many function-rich apps such as Snapseed and Lightroom CC are available for editing on my iPad.

iPhone raw photography
The exposure of this iPhone raw-photo is corrected in Lightoom CC.

 
I also have an SLR camera with a zoom lens and an external flash. Currently, however, I photograph a lot with my iPhone. This smartphone makes more than good photos, has a burst mode of 10 photos per second, can record in Ultra HD video and I have it always with me. And the iPhone is of course much smaller and lighter than my SLR camera.

I have immersed myself in the creative possibilities of iPhone photography and regularly write a blog about my experiments and results.

The iPhone camera and exposure

The iPhone camera has some limitations compared to an SLR camera. The aperture, with which the amount of light that falls on the sensor is determined, is not adjustable on the iPhone. The shutter speed, with which you control the exposure time, is no longer than 1/3 of a second on my iPhone 6s. An SLR camera can even illuminate indefinitely (Bulb mode). And the sensor of an iPhone is much smaller and gets less light. Therefore you get noise faster and the dynamic range is smaller.

How does the exposure of an iPhone work?

The exposure of a photo is determined by the ISO value, the shutter speed and the aperture. The ISO value indicates the sensitivity of the sensor to light. A high ISO gives more noise. In the standard camera app, the shutter speed and ISO are not adjustable. The iPhone’s standard camera app will always try to take photos with a low ISO (minimum ISO 25) and a high shutter speed (maximum 1/8000). Low ISO produces low noise and a high shutter speed prevents motion blur. If the light is reduced, the iPhone will first bring down the shutter speed to an exposure time, with which you still can take pictures hand-holding the iPhone without motion blur. Then the ISO will increase in steps up to a maximum of 2000 ISO. In dark conditions the photo will be taken with a low shutter speed and a high ISO.

Apps for manual exposure

There are apps that give you more control over the exposure with modes for shutter speed priority and ISO priority. The app will automatically select the correct ISO value at a manually set shutter speed and vice versa. There are also apps available that allow you to set the exposure completely manually.

This video explains until 2:30 how the exposure of the iPhone camera works.

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iPhone photography apps

The standard iPhone Camera app

The iPhone Camera app has features that a SLR camera does not (yet) have.

  1. The panorama mode for example, with which you can make beautiful widescreen photos.
  2. And you can make a time lapse video by taking a picture at fixed adjustable intervals.
  3. Live Photos that lets you capture the moment with a photo and 3 seconds of video with audio.

Download camera apps

And for the desired “SLR results” you can download camera apps from the App Store. For example, there are apps that allow you to simulate a long shutter speed, even bulb is possible. Other apps simulate the effect of a large aperture opening by blurring backgrounds of portraits.

iPhone long exposure photography
This iPhone photo of the Waddensea was taken with Slow Shutter Cam and a long shutterspeed.

My stuff

I shoot my photos with an iPhone 6s and an iPhone 8 Plus and use a mini-tripod for long exposures. For landscape, city and interior photography I use a Black Eye external wide-angle lens. The apps for taking pictures are the iPhone Camera app, Slow Shutter Cam, Cortex Cam, Lightroom CC, ProCamera and Camera+. For editing photo’s I use the apps Lightroom CC, Snapseed and Handy Photo.

My blogs about iPhone photography

How to take black and white photos with the iPhone

One of my first blogs is about black and white photography. When I started photography, black-and-white photographing and developing was the way for hobbyists to print photos themselves. At that time, many black and white photographs were also printed in newspapers. Now almost all photos are digital and therefore in color. Converting a color photo to black and white is a way to give extra attention to certain aspects, such as the shape of the subject and exposure. It can also give a special atmosphere to a photo. In this blog I tell you which app I use for the black and white conversion and I show you some examples.

iPhone black and white photography 

How to shoot with long shutter speeds

Long exposure is a technique that was previously only possible with SLR cameras and with the help of special and expensive filters. You needed a lot of experience and patience to achieve good results. With special apps you can use this special technique with your iPhone for shooting waterfalls and landscapes. In this blog I tell you what you need and I show you some examples.

iPhone long exposure photography

Edit black and white photos on the iPhone with Snapseed

In this blog I show you a few examples and tell you which filters and presets the photos in Snapseed have been converted to black and white.

iPhone photograpy editing in snapseed 

iPhone raw photography tips

In this blog I explain what a raw photo file is and I tell you about the advantages of shooting in raw. Furthermore, I mention a number of apps that you need for shooting and editing in raw. I tell you what to look out for when photographing in raw and which photo editing apps I use. With examples I show you how to edit a raw photo and what the result is.
An example of a raw photo edited in Lightroom CC and Snapseed.

iPhone raw photography

iPhone app for blurring the backgrounds (bokeh) of portraits

With the latest iPhones with dual cameras you can shoot beautiful portraits with a blurred background. The result is almost as good as that of an SLR camera. I have researched whether I can also make portraits with bokeh with my iPhone 6s with a single camera and tell about my findings in this blog.

iPhone photography blurring the backgrounds of portraits

iPhone night photography without a tripod

Inspired by the night mode function of my Canon Powershot, I went looking for an app that allows me to take night shots with my iPhone without a tripod. In this blog I tell about the possibilities of the standard iPhone camera app and explain how the Cortex Cam app works. I have added a number of photos that I have made of Groningen at night without a tripod.

iPhone night photograpy

Capture a moving subject with motion blur with your iPhone

In this blog I explain how you can photograph with you iPhone fast moving subjects with motion blur. I tell you about the iPhone photograpy app you need and give examples.

iPhone photograpy fast moving subject with motion blur

The panorama mode in the iPhone camera app

The panorama mode I use especially on vacation for landscapes and sunsets. This function is also very useful for photographing large groups and buildings. In this blog I explain with examples what the possibilities are.

How to take and edit Live Photos

You can make Live Photos with with an iPhone 6s and later models. In this blog I tell about the possibilities.

Create and edit live photos

Portrait mode and the dual camera of the iPhone 8 Plus

I replaced my iPhone 6s with the iPhone 8 Plus and am very excited about the Portrait mode. Portrait photos have a background blur as if they were made with an SLR camera. I tested the Portrait Mode and the Dual Camera extensively and wrote a blog about it.

iPhone photography iPhone 8 plus portrait mode

An overview of all functionalities of the iPhone Camera app

The iPhone Camera app is user-friendly and quickly accessible. The picture below is an HDR example and made with the iPhone Camera app.

iPhone Camera app

The Time-lapse mode on your iPhone

iPhone Time-lapse mode 

My iPhone camera apps for shooting in RAW

Camera apps for shooting in RAW on the iPhone 

How to shoot handheld long exposures with your iPhone

 

How to make an exposure bracket with you iPhone

iPhone exposure bracket 

How to make HDR photos with your iPhone

iPhone HDR taken with Adobe Lightroom CC 

How to export a jpg in high quality with Snapseed

How to export a jpg in high quality with Snapseed

How to retouch photos on your iPhone with Snapseed and Handy Photo

 

How to shoot stars with you iPhone

shoot stars with your iphone 

iPhone photo series: A cold winter morning with a bright sun

iphone photo

How to photograph a sunset or Sunrise with your iPhone

Sunset photographed with an iPhone

How to add vignetting to your iPhone photos

Vignetting added to an iPhone photo with Snapseed

How to photograph with an external wide-angle lens on your iPhone

Sample photo photographed with an external wide-angle lens on an iPhone

How to remove noise from your iPhone photos

Noise in iPhone photo

How to shoot the moon with your iPhone

How to shoot the moon with your iPhone

iPhone photography projects

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