Posts Tagged ‘iPhone 7 Plus’

Exploring Greece: the Windmills of Mykonos

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Ana and the windmills

Mykonos, Greece is known as “the island of the winds.” Windmills have been one of the most iconic landmarks of the Greek islands since the 16th century.

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Blue fence and doors at one of the Mykonos windmills

I love traveling to popular tourist destinations during shoulder season. Without the summer throng of tourists you don’t have to fight the crowds to photograph an famous landmark or struggle get a dinner reservation. While the mediterranean climate was pleasant during my time on Mykonos, when the wind kicked up it could turn quite brisk.

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Moody skies above the Windmills of Kato Mili

The most famous windmills on the island are the seven lower mills, also know as Kato milli, which are located near near the sea in Mykonos town. They are an iconic part of Mykonian landscape.

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Clouds and windmills

The Mykonos wind was one of my favorite things about photographing the island. Occasionally it felt like I had a wind machine on location, sometimes cranked up too high.

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A view from the sea of the Windmills of Kato

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Ana in front of the windmills

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Ana photographing the windmills

If you’re looking for things to do on Mykonos, the windmills of Kato Milli is a must. I highly walking around them during the golden hour before sunset. Then head to one of the nearby bars to enjoy a sundowner and the view. I recommend Katerina’s in the Little Venice neighborhood.

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Windmills in black and white

It’s worth looping back after the sun dips below the horizon for vibrant colors.

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Too much wind is a wonderful thing

The image above, shot on my iPhone 8 plus, might be my favorite from the time I spent at the windmills.

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Another view of the windmills

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Left: Ana against the wind Right: Ana on a less windy visit

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Ana in front of one of the Windmills of Kato Milli

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A view of the windmills from a bar in Little Venice

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A cosmo from Katerina’s and a view of the windmills

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a view of one of the Mykonos windmills from 180º Sunset Bar

There are 16 windmills on Mykonos. You can check out one of the upper mills from 180º Sunset Bar. Be advised, the bar doesn’t take reservations so get there early if you want a great scene. It’s a lovely spot overlooking Mykonos town.

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Shifting colors at the windmills

While there are other windmills on Mykonos, the cluster of seven together makes for a fun place to explore.

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Afterglow at the windmills

 

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Sunset is a popular time for photographers to visit the windmills

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The windmills at sunset

Details:

Out of 16 preserved and renovated windmills in Mykonos today, 7 are located in the area of Kato Mili, between the Alefkandra harbor and the neighborhood of Neochori, southeast of Chora.

Katerina’s Restaurant and Cocktail Bar

 

Address: Mikonou 8, Agii Anargiri 864 00, Greece
Hours: 9AM–3AM
Phone: +30 2289 023084
Chora Mykonou
Mýkonos, Kikladhes, Greece 84600
+30 699 360 1424
6pm-11pm

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Photo Tips for Capturing Norway’s Northern Lights With An iPhone

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Norway’s Northern Lights captured on my iPhone 7 plus using the NorthernLights App

I photographed the northern lights with my new iPhone 7 Plus on my recent trip to Norway’s Lofoten Islands. Anastasia Chernykh, this blog’s social media manager, also gave it a go with her iPhone 6. We had some success. As a general rule, the brighter the aurora, the better your chances are of getting a good photo of them with your iPhone. Here are five tips for photographing the northern lights with an iPhone.

Tip #1 Download Camera Replacement Apps to Shoot Longer Exposures

You need to use longer exposure times to effectively capture the northern lights. Since the iPhone’s native camera app doesn’t allow you to manually select your exposure time, I experimented using LongExpo Pro and the NorthernLights app.

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Northern lights near Svolvaer, shot with iPhone 7 plus

I really like the LongExpo Pro app, and I thought it was going to be my go-to for this experiment because it has an intuitive interface which easily allows you to easily change the shutter speed with a simple tap, and an easy-to- locate timer butter.

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Faint Northern Lights (shot using LongExpo Pro on my iPhone 7 plus)

Unfortunately both Ana and I had issues where the focus would lock where we wanted it to and then shift after the timer was set, resulting in blurry foreground. Hopefully this will be corrected in future updates of the app. I had the better luck using the NorthernLights app, which has some easy presets to play with for weak, moderate, and strong aurora lights. There is also a custom option that allows you to adjust your film speed (ISO) and shutter speed.

Tip #2 Use a Tripod or Mount to keep your iPhone still

Longer exposures require you to keep your camera still to avoid shake and blur. This also applies when you are shooting with an iPhone. Since we were both traveling with large tripods for our DSLR Cameras, we used In Your Face ViewBase clamps to steady our iPhones and clamped them onto the legs of our larger tripods.

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Squiggly Aurora Borealis (shot with the NorthernLights app)

Other lightweight options include the Joby Gorillapod Stand which easily fits into a backpack. When I return to Norway in February for a winter photography workshop, I will use an entirely separate tripod setup for my iPhone 7 plus, including the MeFoto Sidekick 360 Smartphone Adaptor for Tripods and a MeFoto Backpacker Air tripod.

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Northern lights reflected near Svolvaer (iPhone 7 plus)

Tip #3 Use the Timer feature

Delaying the shot by a few seconds helps prevent camera shake, which usually results in a better image. Using the timer feature or remote shutter release helps reduce shake and blur. All the camera replacement apps mentioned in this post have timer features. I found a two second delay sufficient. Some iPhone camera replacement apps, like Slow Shutter Cam, are compatible with the Apple Watch, which allows additional remote shutter release options.

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Anastasia got the image above using the Shutter Speed App on her iPhone 6

Tip #4 Include Foreground Interest in Your Shot

The aurora can appear as everything from a green streak across the sky to a rapidly shape-shifting pattern of streaks ranging in color from green to pink and purple. If possible, you’ll want to compose your image in a way that will add some local context. I tried to frame my shots to include the local fishing cabins to add a bit of Norwegian fishing village atmosphere. The northern lights were strongest and easier to photograph a few hours later, when we were near a lake outside of Svolvaer. There I tried to compose my shots to include some of the lake, where the lights were reflected on the water’s surface.

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 Ana got the image above using the Shutter Speed App and her iPhone 6 

Tip #5 Use iPhone Apps to Edit Your Northern Lights Images 

All of the northern lights images I got in Norway’s Lofoten Islands looked better after some basic photo editing. Reducing the noise in the images and making the color pop were the two things most of the aurora photos shot on my iPhone 7 plus needed. I found the most useful app for editing these northern lights images was Adobe Photoshop Express,which has a good de-noise feature. I also used the TouchRetouch app, which was also useful for cleaning up burned out highlights and bleeding from artificial lights. I straightened the horizons in my images using the editing features right in my iPhone’s native camera app.

For more northern lights images shot on our DSLR setups can be found this earlier post, Chasing the Northern Lights in Norway’s Lofoten Islands.

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