Help me to be a better photographer with iPhone 6

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by DJTaurus, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. DJTaurus macrumors 65816

    DJTaurus

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    #1
    Notice the differences...

    Default
    http://oi61.tinypic.com/2ihpcfs.jpg

    With Tap to focus on the table.
    http://oi62.tinypic.com/24nqs6u.jpg

    Default with flash
    http://oi60.tinypic.com/2r6nx1v.jpg

    Tap to focus and flash
    http://oi57.tinypic.com/2ahnnm.jpg

    1)I believe the last take is the best but i had tap to focus on the face not the table...as a result the table is clear and the background is blurry.... anyone else agrees with me?
    2)For the conditions above what settings do you think should be the ideal?
    3)I noticed that with tap to focus the screen gets lighten up.... but only when i tap to focus on the table and below... when i tried tap to focus on the table and above the screen remained dark...as the photo taken in first try....can anyone explain to me why tap to focus lightens up the screen and why when tapped only on the table and below?

    In general as i have said in another topic iPhone 6 is a lot better than 5S in macro/close up photos... but it gets blurry when taking sceneres while on my 5S photos were more sharp/clear. I hope the monet effect is less noticeable on the 6 Plus.
     
  2. Stevessvt macrumors 6502

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    Jul 2, 2010
    #2
    I am no photographer, in the least, but I've been in a similar situation and forcing HDR I think would have made the best picture.
     
  3. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    Washington DC
    #3
    I am a professional photographer and the first thing I'd say is that you've chosen a VERY challenging setup here. Even with all of my gear this would not be a shot that could be gotten quickly.

    So, honestly, if I had to shoot that with an iPhone the very first thing I'd do is swap seats with that guy.

    I know that sounds lame but photography is not about the coolest-sounding answer, it's about finding the best result. And changing backgrounds would sure do the trick.

    But perhaps I'm cheating so I'll answer the question as intended: How would I shoot that exact shot with an iPhone? Here's the 3 steps I'd take:

    1) As the person above said, I'd turn on HDR.

    2) Press and hold on his face until the focus locks. Then, drag the little sun icon up to brighten the shot until you like it.

    3) Take the photo, warning your subject to sit still since HDR will blur movement in his face. Also brace your elbows on the table so you don't move the camera.

    The shot still won't be ideal, but if you had handed me your phone and told me to take it, that's what I'd do in that scenario.
     
  4. DJTaurus thread starter macrumors 65816

    DJTaurus

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    Jan 31, 2012
    #4
    Didnt know about lock focus...i guess that you only gain some more time to take the shot...?

    So you are both suggesting me HDR.... most of my friend told me not to use it cause it combines many shots into one and the result is not always ideal. So when should i use HDR?... in very low light situations like the one in above?

    Do you both agree with flash use in mid/low light day conditions?
     
  5. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #5
    There is a setting that keeps both the regular photo and HDR photo. Do that and toss the bad one.

    ----------

    Besides HDR, there is a photographic technique called ETTR (expose to the right). It has to do with histograms, but the point is that you would expose so you didn't blow out the highlights, which would initially look underexposed, and then you would work on lightening the shadows later. I know that you can adjust the shadows and black point in the Photos app.

    To sum up, without post-processing, there is no way that photo would look ideal.
     
  6. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #6
    When there are both very dark and very bright sections within the same photo. Your shot here is a textbook example of when to use it.

    If you could get closer to his face, yes. But in your example you have the table in front and it's picking up more flash than the person is. So usually yes, in this shot, no.
     
  7. geoff5093 macrumors 68020

    geoff5093

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    Dover, NH
    #7
    You use HDR in scenes with both dark and bright scenes, such as yours, or when taking photos outside with the sky as a background, and you don't want the sky to be blown out white or your subject to be dark with a properly exposed sky.
     
  8. azhava macrumors regular

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    Aug 29, 2010
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    #8
    Because when you tap for focus, it also sets exposure. If you tap on the lightest part of the scene, it will expose properly for that but dim the darker portions of the scene. If you tap on a darker portion of the scene, it will expose properly for that, but blow out the lighter portions. You can adjust exposure with the slider, but the scene you were shooting is a difficult one in terms of exposure (as others have already said). Scenes like that are pretty much what HDR is designed for - capturing a high dynamic range of exposure.
     
  9. SeilerBird macrumors regular

    SeilerBird

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    Nov 12, 2014
    #9
    The biggest problem most people have comprehending is that your eye can see a whole lot better than your camera can. When you look at a scene like this you have no problem seeing detail in both the dark areas and the light areas. Your camera can't do that. My advise is to not beat yourself up trying to photograph very difficult lighting situations.
     
  10. azhava macrumors regular

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    Arizona, USA
    #10
    +1 to the first bolded sentence. The dynamic range of the human eye is far beyond the capabilities of any camera, and most people who aren't photographers don't realize that. They can't understand why the camera won't capture what they were able to see so clearly.

    Regarding the second bolded sentence, I do sometimes enjoy purposely trying to shoot difficult scenes with the iPhone, tweaking exposure and playing with HDR to see what I can wring out of it, just for the challenge of it. :)
     
  11. DJTaurus thread starter macrumors 65816

    DJTaurus

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    #11
    Ι agree mate but i never opened a topic asking for photograph advise when i owned the iPhone 5S. With 5S i easily captured more sharp/clear photos....

    I would appreciate if anyone could look some photos of mine taken in Paris and explain to me why they are soooo blurry... most of them taken with no flash, tap to focus and hdr auto (keep normal and hdr option on).
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=20467415&postcount=1
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=20467796&postcount=5
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=20468894&postcount=14

    Also look at this picture. The sun was behind me and i was under a shadow... i was as steady as possible and didnt use flash.... why is it soooooo blurry and colors washed up?
    http://oi57.tinypic.com/1zg81sk.jpg
     
  12. Stevessvt macrumors 6502

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    Jul 2, 2010
    #12
    The last pic looks cloudy enough to make me think there was either a finger print or a smudge of some sort on the lens.
     
  13. Gmcube, Dec 20, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014

    Gmcube macrumors regular

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    Jun 19, 2009
    #13
    You'd need a lot of extra lighting to get anything from that scenario. You could try going at a different time of day, like a bit after sun rise or a bit before dusk. It might give you less contrasty lighting. I wouldn't even face that direction indoors myself. Decide whats more important, the view or whats inside. You cant really have both. I wouldn't even do HDR here as it tends to look terrible on people.

    About your last picture, this goes with what I was saying before, but I'd say the lighting was just not that good. High noon, and anything around that is usually unshootable with most cameras unless you have a lot of shade and external flashes to overpower the sun. Direct sunlight from more or less straight up gives everything harsh shadows. You want your light to come from more of an angle, or at least diffused enough by clouds, trees, etc that it doesn't look too bad. That would have been hard enough to make look good on an SLR, with an iphone you didn't really have a chance.

    Also, a lot of the blur you're seeing in texture detail is apple's fault. While the camera itself is fine, they add way too much noise reduction. So far no app has been able to circumvent this. Its been a common complaint of the 6 and 6 plus camera. I hate it so much I don't even use my iphone camera anymore unless there's important info I need quickly. They can fix this in a firmware update down the line, but will they is the question.
     
  14. meistervu macrumors 65816

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    Jul 24, 2008
    #14
    I disagree with that. There is no camera out there with the dynamic range so much higher than the iPhone 6 that would make a difference in that photo. So, regardless of what camera you have, there is no way you can capture that scene in one go. HDR is the best you can do.

    Lighting the subject to solve the problem is another matter. Sure, with good lighting set up you can have the subject well lit, but we are getting onto another topic, lighting.
     
  15. rugmankc Contributor

    rugmankc

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    Sep 24, 2014
    #15
    Very informative thread for a noob pic taker.
     
  16. Gmcube, Dec 20, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014

    Gmcube macrumors regular

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    Jun 19, 2009
    #16
    It doesn't sound like you do to me. I wasn't saying that you need an slr to make that work, I'm saying even even if you did have one you'd have trouble, which is essentially what you said.

    Is it though? Lighting is just as important as anything else to taking great photos. Even if we're just limiting ourselves to available light, you still have to know how to adapt.
     
  17. meistervu macrumors 65816

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    Jul 24, 2008
    #17
    You are right. I reread your post.
     
  18. doug in albq Suspended

    doug in albq

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    #18
    Limo tint film on all the windows in the background, obviously. :cool:
     
  19. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

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    Jun 12, 2012
    #19
    +1 to this. I didn't even know what that sun icon was when taking a photo
     
  20. DJTaurus, Dec 21, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014

    DJTaurus thread starter macrumors 65816

    DJTaurus

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    #20
    1) A friend of mine suggested me that even in day but with low light conditions (like my photos from Paris) i should always use flash for better results (when focusing on nearby objects/faces).... any comment on that from the experts in here?

    For example here if he hadnt used flash then the bicycle would be dark... 1 hour before sunset. The bicycle seems to be in the shadow but in the background there is lots of light.
    http://oi61.tinypic.com/2emodid.jpg

    Another example here... he used flash to lighten up the person in the picture. Mood weather but the person in the picture is not under a shadow... still he used flash.
    http://oi57.tinypic.com/334qd09.jpg

    2) He also told me that in night (takings photos into shops/streets/monuments by night) he never uses flash unless he is in total dark.

    3) So we are getting in the conclusion that in typical good light shots the hdr should be off....? Also i believe that hdr slows down iphone's camera while capturing a shot?

    4) Whats the difference between tap to auto focus and tap more to lock..?... whats the AF symbol when locking?

    The noise reduction of iPhone 6 in its full glory.... i could say that iphone 6 by night takes more clear shots than 5S.... especially in mostly dark areas i am really impressed.... but just look the "monet effect" on those trees....its unacceptable.
    http://oi60.tinypic.com/16hw32u.jpg

    PS- i also did a comparison with an iphone 6 plus. All photos were 99,9999% identical. I only got a feeling that Plus may be a little bit quicker in taking the shot and maybe in some shots, some details in the background (if you examined the photo closely) seemed more clear.....but i am not sure...maybe it was my imagination. Overall to a noob like me both camera's are identical with identical monet effect :p
     
  21. FieldingMellish Suspended

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    Jun 20, 2010
    #21
    I'll enjoy pic taking with the 6 plus. Does anyone see a difference between the 6 plus and prior iPhone cameras?
     
  22. azhava, Dec 22, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014

    azhava macrumors regular

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    Arizona, USA
    #22
    It's called "fill flash", and is sometimes used even in full daylight. It's used to fill in shadows caused by sunlight/artificial lighting (hence the name "fill flash"). If you Google it, you'll find much more in-depth explanations and tutorials for its usage.


    Problem is, the flash on the iPhone is very weak and won't reach far in darkness - not much beyond a few feet with any effectiveness. If you're far enough away from shops/streets/monuments at night to be able to fit them into the frame, chances are that you'll be too far away to use the flash and all it will be illuminating is the empty air in front of you (great way to get some ugly dust blobs in your photos too, since the flash will light up any dust particles in the air). You'd get a much better photo by leaving the flash off and using a tripod or some means of steadying your iPhone so the photo isn't blurred by camera shake (due to the slower shutter speed it will use to take the photo).

    I don't use the flash on the phone for any photos in dark conditions unless there's just no other way to get the picture. The small, harsh light means you're going to get hotspots, ghoulish red eyes and bleached out, greasy-looking skin tones. Even point & shoot and DSLR cameras with onboard flash give you that same effect. It's better than nothing for fill flash during the day, but makes for horrible images in darkness.

    One good (albeit basic) explanation of flash usage can be found here. Scroll down and read the section titled "Inverse Square Law", which explains how light falls off rapidly with distance. There's also a somewhat in-depth explanation about the use of fill flash here, in part 4 of that same tutorial.


    It depends. If you're taking a landscape photo with shade in the foreground and bright sky in the background, HDR would help because the dynamic range between the shade and full sunlight is going to be too great to capture otherwise. Your eyes can see it just fine, but the camera can't - camera sensors don't have anywhere near the dynamic resolution capabilities of the human eye. Either the shadows are going to be blocked (completely black) or the highlights are going to be blown out (completely white). Any time you have a large exposure range of highlights/shadows is a good time to try HDR and see if it helps.

    As far as being slower, it is slightly slower because the camera is taking three photos - one at normal exposure, one underexposed and one overexposed, then combining them. If there's any movement during the time the three photos are taken, it's going to cause 'ghosting' (blurring) in the final HDR image. Even trees blowing in the wind can end up looking blurred because of the movement during the exposures. The process happens very quickly, but it's still slower than snapping one picture.
     
  23. AsmaMohd macrumors newbie

    AsmaMohd

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    Pakistan
    #23
    A good camera doesn't make a good photographer. Photography is totally a different concept, it has nothing to do with the gear.
     
  24. lelisa13p macrumors 68000

    lelisa13p

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    #24
    That may be true but knowing how to take better photos can help the rest of us mere mortals make better use of our tools at hand.
     
  25. azhava macrumors regular

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    #25
    While I agree in principle, it's also an over-generalized statement which doesn't always apply. There are some types of photography in which gear makes all the difference in whether you get the shot or not. The iPhone is capable of good images in some conditions, but try taking it to, for example, a football game, nighttime auto race, or going birding with it and you'll quickly discover that you have the wrong gear for what you're doing. Part of being a good photographer is understanding the strong points and limitations of your gear and compensating accordingly.
     

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