Since the iPhones are more cameras than anything else nowadays, I always value a photography focussed review more than a generic one looking at the phone as a whole. One person that always steps up to fill that need is Austin Mann, he's an incredible photographer, and always comes up with great reviews of the latest iPhones.
I’ve been exploring this area, based out of our Airstream, testing the camera of the new iPhone 12 Pro in all kinds of conditions from bright and sunny to dark and snowy. (And all very cold!)
As always, Apple delivered a presentation with a punch and a lot of the focus was on the camera, especially the iPhone 12 Pro Max Camera. (Spoiler alert: that review will be coming in a few weeks and I can’t wait to see what the hardware in that thing can do.)
My driving question remains:
How will this new tech make our pictures and videos better?
The iPhone 12 Pro’s upgrades really rely on software, whereas the iPhone 12 Pro Max gets all the software upgrades and a major hardware upgrade. With the iPhone 12 Pro in hand this week, a lot of my focus has been on Ultra Wide Night mode, LiDAR autofocus, and exploring new capabilities in the software.
I must admit, I was excited when I saw his review was up, but then I saw it was focussed on the 12 Pro, wheras I have personally gone for the standard 12. So I was getting ready to regret not going for the Pro, but seeing as he focussed on the Wide and Ultra Wide lenses, I think it also served as a very good iPhone 12 review too.
I'm coming from an iPhone XS, so I never got to experience the camera of the iPhone 11 generation, and I keep hearing how good it was. And now Austin has proved the 12 can go even further. One thing that really surprised me was how good Night Mode is.
The 12 Pro Max will be an even more capable device, and I look forward to seeing Austin's review on that when it comes out. But one thing looks certain, the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have fantastic cameras.
The winning photographs in the 2020 Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest have been announced by the Natural History Museum in London. Photos above by Shanyuan Li, Weiwei Zeng, and Greg du Toit.
I love to see photography contents, especially wildlife and nature ones, because there's always absolutely great photos. But my problem is keeping track of the various competitions. So it's lucky that I read Kottke.org, since it seems like he rarely misses any!
When I look at wildlife photos I'm always struck by thinking how hard each of them would have been to capture. I like nature photography, mainly because of the focus on composition and lighting. But throwing animals in the mix must makee it infinitely more difficult.
I came back from a week trip to Edinburgh a few days ago, and while I was there I took quite a few photos.
Over 300 made it back, which was then refined by removing duplicates, blurry imags, and just bad compositions. I then spent some time in Loghtroom this evening trying to make them look even better, and I've been left with 44 photos that I'm really pleased with.
I’ve been trying to get better at photography recently, by watching a ton of YouTube videos mainly by Nigel Danson and Thomas Heaton, and a ton more. There’s one thing that I notice all photographers go back to, and it’s that simply going out with your camera, is the best thing you can do to improve your photography skills.
So just over a week ago, I decided I would wake up just before sunrise, and go for a walk around where I live. I walked through a few wooded areas, down near a river, and through some generally green areas. The environment wasn’t on my side for the shots I was trying to get, as in I found a few compositions in a woodland where some mist would have really added depth, and by the river, there was a shot I could have got if I had more direct sun instead of it being hidden by clouds.
However, on the walk back to my house, I did discover that there is a small area of “woodland” essentially behind my house. I just never noticed it, because it’s out of the way, and hidden between a load of houses. But anyway, even with lighting that I didn’t like that much, I think I got a two shots that I’m happy with.
I’ve uploaded them to various places – Flickr, 500px, and Instagram. 500px is something I’ve used for a while, so there’s a lot of old photos there, and to be honest I’m not happy with a lot of them. So I’m hoping that Flickr will become my new canonical place for my photography, before I most likely decide to put them here somehow. And, I’m probably going to be uploading a lot of my favourite shots to my Instagram too.
I travelled to Wells-next-the-Sea this past week, as you may have guessed. As usual, I ended up taking my Fujifilm XT100, and taking it with me everywhere. Saying that, all of my favourite photos from this trip are from the beach. So here they are:
I was just out in my garden with my cat, Jay, seeing as that’s as far as I can go at the moment. But he was walking up and down one of the fences, so I decided to grab my camera and take a few shots of him.
What I’ve now learned, is that I really like the colours at this time of night. Or more specifically as blue hour, (as opposed to the more commonly known golden hour), which happens in the twilight ether just before sunrise or just after sunset when the sky has a really blue tint.
Anyway, that’s a good enough excuse for me to post some photos here on my blog. Enjoy.
Me and my girlfriend had a but of a small photoshoot with our cat today. He was making all kinds of poses on the sofa, so we instantly got our cameras out. It also gave me an excuse to use my relatively new Fujifilm XT100, with my brand-new Fujinon XC35mm F2 lens.
The light was behind us, which didn’t help, and the blanket on the sofa was pretty reflective. However, I did get a few that I liked. So here are my favourites, which have been slightly adjusted in Lightroom.
The embroidery is made to resemble pixels and borrows the visual language of digital imaging in an analog, handmade process. The images were taken in the city center as well as in the suburbs where I followed the former path of the wall through the outskirts of the city. I was interested in the psychological weight of these sites and the ways in which past history remains very much in the present. In many images, the embroidered sections represent the exact scale and location of the former Wall offering a pixelated view of what lies behind. In this way, the embroidery appears as a translucent trace in the landscape of something that no longer exists but is a weight on history and memory.
There are 21 photographs in total, and my favourite three would have to be these:
The photographer tells Colossal that his work centers around the topic of the Anthropocene (the era of human influence on Earth’s biological, geological, and atmospheric processes). “In my photography, I explore the origin and scale of that idea in an effort to understand the dimensions of man’s intervention in natural spaces and to direct attention toward how humans can take responsibility.” Hegen explains that aerial photography in particular helps convey the Anthropocene because it shows the dimensions and scale of human impact more effectively.
It’s fascinating subject to focus on, and the photography is stunning.
Tom Hegen also created a short video containing some aerial shorts of the greenhouses.
I will be definitely following him on Instagram, and keeping an eye on his work.
I’m here as I continue on-going work photographing The Bach Project w/ Yo-Yo Ma, a world tour where Yo-Yo is performing Bach in unconventional places around the globe. It’s been a privilege to photograph this amazing journey, and when I considered how to test the iPhone 11 Pro’s new capabilities, I thought a shoot on this project could be a great fit as many of these shoots have been in extremely low light!
Of course, I’ve also been anxious to see what this Ultra Wide lens can do, so shortly after the performance I popped out to the countryside to find some epic landscapes and have been out exploring this big, beautiful country ever since.
The iPhone 11 Pro announcement was really about one thing: camera. (ICYMI, see this video pretty much summing it up.)
The big camera features I was most interested in testing were obviously the Ultra Wide (13 mm) lens, the new Night mode, Capture Outside the Frame, and things like iOS 13 photo management, editing tools, etc.
Austin Mann’s iPhone reviews are one of the few reviews that I read every year. As the main improvements to iPhone over the recent years being the camera, I can’t think of anyone else to better it all.
And as always, it’s packed full of great photography. It’s a must read.