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iPhone 6 Plus cameras have limitations too

There’s a certain point on an iPhone’s camera where the lack of ambient light will result in a significantly grainy image. The sensor sensitivity can only do so much in terms of retrieving information in low-light situations. It’s interesting, however, to note that if you wait just a few minutes later, the amount of grain drops significantly, allowing you to capture a much cleaner image in the dark.

I typically stay away from taking any photos in the dark with my iPhone for this very reason, but managed to experiment during one of my sunrise shoots earlier in the year, when I took images every so often in the dark. The results surprised me because despite the darkness, there was a point where I was able to capture a useable image.

Useable image?

When I refer to an image as being useable, I typically mean that the raw image from the camera is clean enough for me to edit with, yielding in an image that I would be able to post online. If an image is already so grainy to begin with, editing that will yield in an even grainier image that I wouldn’t be too happy about. Grain is great when you want them in there, but for the most part, I don’t.

The following photos have been taken with my iPhone 6 Plus, but have been reduced in size in Photoshop.

The first photo:

Grainy image

Grainy image

The overall image is really grainy. It was taken in the morning at 7:18am along the lakeshore area. Since there is very little light, the sensor had trouble capturing a clean image. If you look at the skyline and cloud areas in the middle of the photo, you can see the grain quite well.

This next photo is a much cleaner image:

Cleaner Image

Cleaner Image

While you may still see some grain in this photo, there is significantly less overall. If you look in the same area along the skyline and clouds, you’ll see the details are much more noticeable. This picture was taken at 7:28am, just 10 minutes later from the previous photo.

If we take a closer look, you’ll see the difference even more. The following photos are 100 percent crops from each photo above.

100 percent of grainy image

100 percent of grainy image

And this is the full crop of the cleaner image:

100 percent of cleaner image

100 percent of cleaner image

And that’s just a 10 minute difference between the two images.

So if you’re ever caught in a situation where you need to take photos in low light situations, try and make the scene just a little bit brighter and see how your iPhone reacts to the added light. It may make a huge difference and yield in photos that are much more pleasing to the eye.

Flower season is here

Flower season

Flower season

One of the great things about having an iPhone with you at all times is you can take a picture at any moment. As I was perusing the local variety store, I came across a bunch of vibrant flowers. Knowing well my iPhone was capable of taking great macro shots, I stuck my iPhone literally right in the middle of the bunch and took a photo. This was the photo that I got, straight out of the camera.

This photo wasn’t even post-processed. I merely sized it down in Photoshop. The pink and purple hues are so soft and subtle that I may even prefer the raw photo without any edits to it.

Flowers can make for very colourful photography so don’t be afraid to get right in there to get the details of the petals and flowers.

Explore the unknown

Even in your own hometown, it’s exciting to explore areas that you don’t often frequent. It gives you an excuse to get out and enjoy the outdoors, and maybe get in some much needed exercise for the day.

Explore the unkown. iPhone 6 Plus. Edited in Snapseed and VSCOCam.

Explore the unkown. iPhone 6 Plus. Edited in Snapseed and VSCOCam.

I’ve taken many walks and runs along the lakeshore lately but what makes these trips more exciting is venturing off to places I normally wouldn’t go to. I often find myself taking turns to unexpected areas and sometimes even losing my bearings. No worries there, as I’ll always have my google maps with me!

You never know when you’ll find that perfect location for your next shoot so don’t be afraid to explore the unknown and find new places around your city.

Do you have favourite places in your city that you like to go to? Share them with me in the comments below.

Take a break and enjoy the scenery once in a while

Sunset by the marina in Toronto.

Sunset by the marina in Toronto.

When you’re out and about shooting all the time, it’s important to be able to pull yourself out of the business of it all and actually enjoy what you have in front of you. Not only does this refresh your mind, but it allows you to soak in the environment you’re in, perhaps giving you more of an appreciation for the spectacular view you’re always too busy to see.

While on my walks along the lakeshore, I intentionally left my dSLR camera behind, so that I wouldn’t be so inclined to taking photos every second. Of course, I couldn’t leave my iPhone behind, so I still took a picture with it. But taking photos with my iPhone is a much quicker process than taking a photo with my dSLR, where I have to find the right settings, compose, focus, and shoot. An iPhone really makes that much of a difference. And I’m thankful for that!

A little bit of post-processing was done here to accentuate the sunset colours, and lighten the boats in the middle. All of this was done within Snapseed, where I used the Brush tool to selectively lighten areas within my image. My final edit was done within VSCOcam where I added a filter to balance the overall image.

Almost meeting a King and Queen at the AGO

I took a walk today and almost met a King and Queen. True story.

I was walking along Dundas Street slowly making my way towards the Art Gallery of Ontario, showing my Periscope followers the streets of Toronto when I noticed a large group of police vehicles stopped on the road. Someone came out from one of the black vehicles also parked along the street so I asked him what this was all about. He kindly told me that the King and Queen of the Netherlands are inside the AGO right now, and will not likely come out in the near future.

Meeting the King and Queen

Meeting the King and Queen

But since I didn’t actually meet them in person, I had to settle with taking a picture of their police entourage, which was quite impressive. There was a red carpet at the entrance to the Art Gallery of Ontario, but that wasn’t really picture worthy so I focused more on the impressiveness of the police motorbikes and black cars.

It was probably the largest entourage of police motorbikes that I’ve ever seen so seeing them lined down the street was rather interesting. I angled myself so as to try and get the complete line within my frame, as that makes a good guide for the eye to move within the photo.

I did intentionally wait until the streetcar was in my frame as well, as the lines lead up to the streetcar on the left, completing this photo.

If you had a chance to meet a King and Queen, would you have waited to see them in person?