All Hail The iPhone 7! Cue the music, please!

Bagpiper at Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Since the debut of the faux-bokeh, dual-camera having, and better than ever iPhone 7 camera, I’d like to enter into the time capsule of basic camera phone pictures some of the best photos from my obsolete iPhone 6. What? Apple is ushering in a new era, and while I’m not lamenting “the death of the SLR” ( I mean, really?), I’d still like to stake my case in the #iphoneography world before ante-iPhone 7 pictures disappear into the abyss.

I took the photo above at Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah. There was a female bagpiper near the entrance of the church, and I was really struck by the detail and grandeur of the church facade behind her. Creating a contrast in the size of the church and the bagpiper would have no doubt required a wide angle of view, but I only had my 50 mm prime lens with me at the time.  Though not as all-encompassing as I would have liked, my iPhone was able to get me a wider angle of view for the kind of shot I was envisioning.


Another iPhone photo I’m proud of is a subject that is very characteristic of Savannah’s landscape.  Spanish Moss can be seen hanging from almost every tree, and with its aerial roots, it thrives quite nicely here.


Spanish Moss hanging from a tee on Isle of Hope


A sight like this really is the norm here in Savannah, but it’s not so easy to capture on camera! It’s very difficult for the light meter to differentiate between the moss and the backdrop of the tree, the sky, or whatever else happens to be in the background. The moss is also very gray in color, and from far away just looks like a big clump. It can be quite frustrating to capture most of the time, but there were a couple of things working for me at the exact moment I captured this shot:

Firstly, it was the golden hour. The angle of light from the sun offered the perfect time to capture the moss accentuating its texture and definition against the sky and the tree.

Secondly, I exposed for the highlights–the sky and the sunlight on the moss. I tend to like my photos on the underexposed side, so scaling down the exposure saturated the colors and captured the characteristics that make the moss seem sultry and mysterious.

Using the same technique several months later, I took a photo of some very sumptuous-looking clouds on a hot afternoon. The sun was high in the sky playing a lingering peek a boo, and as I looked upward, I saw dark blues contrasting with a white, fluffy, icy cloud that was betraying the sun’s rays. Since I didn’t have my Nikon with me at the time, I captured the shot with my iPhone camera.


Icy Clouds and a Silver Lining Capture with and iPhone camera


I was surprised to see that the iPhone’s camera rendered such a clear image of something so far away from me! Though it’s the most subtle element in the image, the light of the sun definitely made the photo. Even so, I exposed for the rays that evidence the sun and created a stark contrast between the sky and the outline of the clouds. Overall this photo has a very moody feel, but it’s one that I revisit often because I  am mesmerized by the silver lining and the light in the center of the frame.

Our phones go everywhere with us, so it’s no wonder why we capture some interesting photos with their cameras. Shooting with an SLR camera has made me a better iPhone photographer because I think differently about perspective, color, and exposure, and I challenge myself to get a different picture than I would with my Nikon.

There’s no doubt you have some awesome photos on your smartphone! What are some of your favorites?







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