The Ever Present Phone Camera

If there is one piece of equipment that has permanently transformed photography, it has got to be the camera phone. These ubiquitous devices have truly revolutionized photography. Able to be carried everywhere in your pocket or purse, today’s camera phones have insane levels of resolution and color accuracy.

As my readers know, I typically shlep far too much camera equipment wherever I go. I recently vowed to try to use my iPhone to record travel notes and match them to images for my travel writing and to help me on return trips to guide me to those same locales. So, on my recent trip to the Canadian Rockies I tried to remember to do this with so-so success. The issue for me is that I get so absorbed in what I am doing with my elephant gear, I forget to pull that easy-to-use iPhone out of my pocket!

Now I did not consciously try to record scenes with my iPhone for artistic purposes. Or so I thought. But this visit has convinced me that I ought to at least try. I leave for Iceland today, so I’ll do my best to experiment and share the results with you.

There are tons of great photo apps out there that mimic the actions of 35mm cameras. Today you can change your camera phone’s f-stop, aperture, white balance and more. But even the native camera apps, such as the iPhone’s “camera” function, can do amazing things. One of them is a panorama function that is ridiculously simple to use. Just set your camera to portrait orientation, press the “Panorama” button on the Options button, and follow the arrow.

I took the image above at a rest stop just to try it out under extremely contrasty conditions (the difference between brights and darks is quite wide). Amazing how the iPhone handles those situations.

Next, just for fun, I added a funky filter to the scene and voila!

Ditto for this scenic of the iconic Lake Louise in Banff. I decided to just walk up to the lake from the parking lot with no gear other than my trusty iPhone. Once I captured this scene on a nasty day, I put it into Snapseed and made some minor adjustments.

Anyway, I’m all in. Stay tuned for some images that I’ll post during my second trip to Iceland. On this jaunt, my trusty and capable assistant (spelled w-i-f-e) and I will circumnavigate the island on the Circle Road, scouting out sites for future photo opps and perhaps teaching a workshop or two.

As always, you’ll be able to follow our progress by going to my DeLorme personal webpage.

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