The iPhone’s cameras are good enough that even professional photographers spend some time using the smartphone and Apple recently highlighted the ProCam app as being a popular and versatile tool. Apple interviewed a well-known iPhone photographer, Koichi Miyase, to get some tips that anyone can use, along with app recommendations.
Pictures shift from warmer tones at sunrise and sunset to a cooler yet higher contrast appearance in the middle of the day due to the quality of sunlight changes. These changes happen across an entire landscape in complex and subtle ways that would be difficult to recreate with a filter or special effect. Being a smart device, the iPhone can help the user identify and adjust to changing light conditions. These changes provide unique opportunities specific to a particular place and time with a bit of creativity.
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Apple featured the work of photographer Koichi Miyase in the App Store recently and asked which iPhone apps were used to capture such striking photos. ‘ProCam 8 Manual Camera + RAW’ topped the list with ‘Sun Surveyor,’ an app that reveals where the sun and moon will be with an AR overlay. Miyase notes that ProCam 8 has an on-screen guide that shows when the iPhone is tilted or level, as well as a grid overlay option for the golden ratio. This pattern repeats throughout nature and is preferred by many photographers when framing a subject in the camera’s preview. The manual features of ProCam 8 allow focus and exposure to be set manually, while other aspects of camera settings are left to the app to figure out. Some of Miyase’s tips include adding human silhouettes to landscapes to bring life to the picture. This invites the viewer to imagine what the person is thinking and doing, perhaps making the image more engaging than a landscape with no one in the scene.
iPhone Photographs & Golden Hour
‘Golden Hour’ or ‘Magic Hour’ is a photography term referring to the hours in the day when the sun is low in the sky, creating more dramatic shadows and unusual colors. This happens because the shadows of vertical objects lengthen as the sun moves closer to the horizon. The color shift is due to the sunlight passing through more of the Earth’s atmosphere when it first rises in the morning and as it sets in the evening. While these changes can make any photo look more interesting and unique, the opportunity is brief, and that’s where the iPhone’s Sun Surveyor app comes in.
Sun Surveyor plots the sun’s course throughout the day, allowing an iPhone to know in advance where the sun will be at any given time. Setting up for a shoot in the early morning before the sun rises is possible for a dedicated photographer. They can scout the location well in advance and direct a model to the correct spot for a perfect silhouette, so it’s simply a matter of adjusting a few ProCam settings, framing, and shooting. Anyone can capture amazing photos with an iPhone with the right apps and a bit of experience using them.