One of the great things about the iPhone as a camera is that it is virtually always with you. Being able to pull out an iPhone versus missing a shot is a great option. The only downside, for those of us who have invested heavily in prosumer DSLR equipment, sometimes we find ourselves opting for the more convenient iPhone, even when we could pull out the big guns with a little extra effort.
For example, today, I was wandering around a parking lot in a cold wind somewhere in Indiana or Kentucky, allowing my dog to stretch his legs after several hours of riding in the car. A small drainage ditch ran around the parking lot, which bordered a farmer’s field. It appeared the water had dropped several feet after freezing, leaving sheets of ice hanging from trees and fencing along the drainage ditch.
The bright afternoon sun glared off the ice, giving the whole scene less than ideal lighting, but interesting glare. So, what did I do? Did I return to my car, dig my camera bag out from its hiding place, unzip all the zippers required to get out my camera and a lens and then dig up my tripod and go back and shoot in the sub-freezing temperatures? Well, I thought about it for a moment. Then, I reached into my pocket, pulled out my iPhone, opened up the Hipstamatic app and grabbed as many shots as I found interesting.
Yes. Sometimes I choose to be lazy. Sometimes I choose to save time. Sometimes I choose both.
To further complicate things, I didn’t have my glasses. When I opened up Hipstamatic, I thought it was on the BlacKeys ultrachrome film. It was actually Blanko film. Blanko film is color film and I really wanted black and white. So, it was iPhoto iOS to the rescue. I did a quick auto-enhance + black and white effect to get the black and white look I’d envisioned. These steps are covered in detail in Lesson 96 (I did not use the Sepia button in today’s examples, but otherwise the steps are the same).
Your Assignment: Check out these earlier lessons on lighting: Lessons 16, 17, and 67. Sometimes, bright afternoon light can add interest to an image even though we normally think of it as being too harsh and creating strong shadows and contrasty images. In the winter months in particular, the sun is lower to the South and the angle of the light gives it a very different look from a straight overhead sun in the summer. Can you tell that the sun in these images is very bright? Does the black and white version look more or less appealing to you?