The Macro That Wasn’t

Purple Flower

A purple flower in a garden at the Westport Winery

This is an image that I probably wouldn’t share if it were simply to add it to one of my online galleries, this image isn’t in one of those, but I wanted to share it to highlight just how capable the Nikon 28-300 is at shooting up close.  While not technically a macro lens, it has a really good minimum focal distance considering that this “swiss army knife” of lenses has such a huge zoom range.

This lens never ceases to amaze me in what it can do and while it isn’t a light lens, it is a lot lighter than carrying around 3 or 4 other lenses all the time.

Posted in Photography

Green and Purple

Purple & Green

A carnival ride at the Washington State Fair

Today I go back to the Washington State Fair, again, for my blog post image.  While there are a lot of other colors in this image, I love how the green and purple play off of each other and are the dominate colors you see.

Posted in Photography

Into The Dark

Nikole-Dark

Into The Dark

I have been working through a pretty serious backlog of images recently, I have been shooting a lot more than I have been processing and sharing, but that isn’t anything new for me.  This studio shot of Nikole though is an image I processed almost immediately after shooting it but couldn’t decide if I wanted to share it.  I knew that I liked the black and white processing I used, but wasn’t sure about her looking into the dark corner at the bottom of the frame.  After coming back to it 5 or 6 times, I decided that I actually liked it, a lot actually, and today was the time to share it.

Posted in Photography

iPhone 6 Camera Review

It is pretty hard to be on the planet Earth any longer and not hear some of the hype when new iPhone models ship.  I am no different, I have been an iPhone user since the first model, and even though I don’t get every model, I am typically on an every other model rotation, I am always excited when I get a new one to play with.  This year was no exception as I pre-ordered a shiny new iPhone 6 to replace my aging iPhone 5.

The big brown truck delivered my shiny new iPhone 6 on the morning of the 19th and being a photographer the first thing I wanted to do was put the camera through its paces.  I shot a lot with the new iPhone this weekend and thought I would take a few minutes to post a very informal and un-scientific review of the camera.

On Friday night the wife and I went out to dinner.  We picked a table on a patio just as the sun had set.  This worked out very well as I wanted to see how the iPhone 6 would do in somewhat low light.

IMG_0454.jpg

This image was made at our table and as you can see there is a good amount of noise in the image, however, it is a lot less than there would have been with any previous model of iPhone I have had.  I never expected this to rival my Nikon D610, but it doesn’t need to, it is a cell phone camera and for a cell phone camera I think it did a pretty good job in these conditions.

Ok, it does a decent job in low light, what about in a situation where frankly my iPhone 5 was terrible, in bright light when you are shooting into the sun?  With my old iPhone 5 a situation like this would have created a ton of purple fringing through most of the image, I was curious to see what would happen with the iPhone 6 so I took it to the Washington State Capital building on a sunny afternoon and made this image.

IMG_0480.jpg

The first thing I noticed, and was very happy with, was that there wasn’t the purple fringing that I have come to expect when shooting in conditions like this with my old iPhone 5.  The second thing I noticed was that the iPhone 6 did a surprisingly good job at capturing a lot of the dynamic range of this image, the relatively dark section of the capital building and the much brighter sky behind.  The third thing I noticed is the lens flare that manifests itself as straight lines coming from the sun and the curved rings near the bottom edge of the image.  My initial guess is that this happened because the lens protrudes just a tiny bit from the back of the camera and there is more places for the light to bounce around in there.  In any case, I don’t really care to much about that, as I said above, it is a cell phone camera and not an expensive lens on an expensive DSLR.  Add that to the fact that it did a MUCH better job in these conditions then my iPhone 5 did and I am quite pleased.

Ok, I have been very positive about the cameras performance so far, but is there anything that I feel it did worse than the iPhone 5?  The answer is yes.  Take a look at the following panorama that I shot of downtown Olympia.

IMG_0484.jpg

I hope it shows up in the smaller version here in the blog post, but there is some significant banding in the sky that shows up as vertical dark lines.  I have shot a lot of panos with my old iPhone 5 and I have never experienced this before.  I have no idea what caused this, but I plan on shooting with it more and see if I can determine which conditions lead to this.  In any case, it is a bit of a concern to me.

One of the new features in iOS8 that excited me was having built in time lapse capture in the camera app.  I have done quite a few time lapse videos with my iPhones in the past but have always had to use an app of some kind, Apple now gives us the capability build right into the iOS but is it any good?

I made this short time lapse of some moving clouds in my front yard.  All in all I thought that the iPhone 6 did a really good job with sequence, but I wish that Apple would have given me at least a little control over how the final video came out.  I don’t seem to have any control over things like interval or playback speed.  While the time lapse function works, and probably works perfectly well for most users, I will be sticking with some of the 3rd party apps such as HyperLapse or OSnap.

So, after all of this what do I think about the camera in the iPhone 6?  I like it.  Would I spend a lot of money to upgrade from an iPhone 5 for it, probably not, but if you are ready for an upgrade anyway, I don’t think you will be disappointed as long as to remember that it is a cell phone camera and not a replacement for a DSLR or even a high end point and shoot.  If you use this camera within its capabilities, and you are already a creative photographer, you will make some great images with it.

I am going to finish out this review post with one more image that I made with the new iPhone 6 from inside the Washington State Capital building in Olympia.  I tweaked it a little with Snapseed and I am quite pleased with it.  I am also going to plug my friend Justin Balog’s book Big World Little Lens as the goto guide to getting the most out of your iPhone camera.

IMG_0486.jpg

Posted in Reviews

Crazy Ferris

An abstract of the ferris wheel at the Washington State Fair

An abstract of the ferris wheel at the Washington State Fair

Back to Washington State Fair today for another abstract image of the ferris wheel.  This image was captured completely in camera and only had minor post processing done in Lightroom.  I will confess though, I knew what I wanted it to look like before I shot it, but it took me about 20 tries before I actually got it. :-)

Posted in Photography