Archive for the 'iPhone4' Category


1/17/2011: Mountains for Carol

My wife Carol asked for pics of mountains from my trip to Vegas…but the views from Vegas are not so much…so this is truly a snapshot, with the iPhone 4, out the window of the airplane. But it is mountains…and it is for Carol. 😉

I am not even sure what mountains these are…somewhere about 45 minutes short of Vegas. You can see the stripes of my shirt reflected in the window. Color is always problematic out the window of a plane, as the mulitple layers of Plexiglas do strange things. This is B&W conversion using the high-contrast blue filter effect.

iPhone 4.

Processed in Lightroom for intensity and clarity, and converted to B&W.


9/24/2010: Back Creek iPhone HDR

Early morning light along Back Creek where it meets the Mousam River. This is an iPhone 4 HDR. With the 4.1 upgrade to iOS, HDR is now built into the iPhone camera, but, though very fast, it is pretty mild compared to the effects that you can get with the dedicated ProHDR app. The built in variety is great for opening shadows in difficult lighting, but for dramatic landscapes ProHDR is the app you want.

I am learning where HDR is appropriate and where it is not. This shot, for instance, did not benefit all that much from the HRD treatment, and I probably could have achieved the same results with a standard exposure and post processing…and there are a growing number of excellent post processing apps for the iPhone.

In this case, I straightened the horizon, sharpened the image, tweaked the color temperture, and adjusted shadows and highlights in PhotoWizard. The tools (filters) in PhotoWizard will be familiar to anyone who has worked with any variety of PhotoShop or most other dedicated image processing applications.

This version, with a bit more sky, made more of the HDR treatment.


9/17/2010: Parking Lot Sunset HDR

One of the big advantages of any phone-camera is that you pretty much always have it with you. If it is an iPhone, you also have the option of doing some really fancy stuff: HDR, Panorama, and Postprocessing in any number of creative apps.

This was taken with in the parking lot of our local grocery store on an after-supper milk run using the iPhone 4 and Pro HDR in manual mode (which allows you to pick your own light and dark points).  It was processed right on the iPhone in PhotoWizard using Auto Contrast, Unsharpmask, and Auto Color (enhance) filters, and uploaded to SmugMug with SmugShot.

Pretty good for a phone.

I did try cropping out the car and cart rack, and I messed with the Wide Angle distortion filter in PhotoFX, but I decided I actually like the context of the parking lot here, and PhotoFX introduced as much distortion as it cured. Sometimes it is good to leave well enough alone.


9/11/2010: Earl Passes By: panorama

This is an iPhone 4 panorama made up of 10 exposures…five across and two deep…stitched in AutoStitch on the phone itself. You should attempt to view it as large as your monitor will allow. Click the image above and use the size controls across the top of the window that opens to set the size.

For comparison, here is a one of the 10 frames.

iPhone 4, Camera app, AutoStitch, and final processing in Picture Perfect. Uploaded to Smugmug with SmugShot.


9/4/2010: Frenchman’s Bay from the Narrows

Here is an interesting comparison of similar HDR shots from 1) the Canon SX20IS/Photomatix combo, and 2) the iPhone 4 with the  ProHDR app.

Frenchman’s Bay separates Mount Desert Island from the Scodic Peninsula to the north, and is almost the closest thing we have to a fjord in North America. (Our only actual fjord is just one range of mountains south in Somes Sound, which splits Mound Desert Island.) These shots are taken from The Narrows, where the Route 3 bridge joins Mount Desert Island to the mainland.

With a little work in PhotoGene on the iPhone or Lightroom on the laptop, I could adjust the color balance of the two images to match. It is something I am learning. ProHDR leans towards the warm, and Photomatix leans toward the blues, maybe too far in both cases. The Photomatix shot has already had considerable toning down of the blues.

In comparison, I like the perspective of the iPhone shot better, with its slightly longer lens it brings up the far shores of the bay much more prominently. Having seen this comparison I would now use a longer setting on the zoom of the Canon SX20IS, which was at its widest, 28mm equivalent here.

(By the way, Apple just announced that the next version of iOS for the iPhone, due out next week, will include built in HDR for the Camera, using up to 3 exposures. We shall see how that compares to ProHDRs renderings.)

One thing that this comparison demonstrates pretty dramatically is the quality of the lens and sensor on the iPhone. You expect this kind of quality in today’s P&S offerings…but this is, in my opinion, pretty amazing for a phone!


9/1/2010: Rutland Water UK

I had to crawl between a tent and flap, where, strictly speaking I was not supposed to be, to get to this image out over Rutland Water at the British Birding Fair, but honestly, who could resist? This is England at its best…or maybe on its best behavior, at least as far as weather goes. And, of course, it only lasted a few moments. Within 30 the sky closed and within 60 it was raining again. I especially like the mottled sun on the foreground.

iPhone 4 HDR, two exposures in ProHDR (which now has an auto mode that analyzes the dynamic range of the image and computes its own two exposures), sharpened and contrast adjusted in PhotoGene and uploaded to my SmugMug site with SmugShot.



The Colony

One of the more famous hotels in Kennebunkport, famous already in the Victorian era, is the Colony, perched on a rise about the outer harbo, looking out to sea over St. Anne’s Point, ideally and picturesquely placed. Cricket on the lawn anyone? Evening light, with the sun already off the landscape.

This is another iPhone HDR, using Pro HDR, and the funniest thing about it to me is that the upper gull is in the sky shot and the lower gull is in the land shot. ProHDR is one intelligent program if it can sort that out! Because I had the iPhone and camera tipped up, the wide-angle and vertical perspective distortion was pretty obvious. If I were using Lightroom 3, I would just have corrected it…however…being yet an iPhone purest with these shots, the best I could do is FotoFx’s wide-angle distortion and vertical perspective filters, which actually improved the shot quite a bit, though you might have to compare it to the original (as I have) to notice any difference. This is after adjusting levels and sharpening in PhotoGene. All iPhone HDR!

From iPhone4 HDR and Pano.