Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

Honored to be Among the 2017 iPhone Photography Awards Winners

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1st Place Travel Category

I was thrilled to learn this morning that my image Snow + Fishing Cottages = Win won 1st Place the Travel category of the 2017 iPhone Photography Awards (IPPAs). I took this image in February in Norway and it is one of my personal favorites, so I am excited it may find a new audience. After perusing the gallery of winning images I am humbled and honored have my photograph included in this mix of truly amazing shots.

In addition, three more of images were named as Honorable Mentions in the Trees, Sunset, and Nature categories. I am particularly pleased that a photo I shot on my iPhone 7 plus while experimenting with photographing the Northern Lights in Norway was named among the Honorable Mentions in the Nature category.

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Honorable Mention: Trees

This sunrise shot from Joshua Tree National Park during the last supermoon of 2016. Joshua Tree is one of my favorite places in California and the skies were so gorgeous that morning it was worth losing a good night’s sleep.

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Honorable Mention: Sunset

An image I took on safari in Serengeti National Park in Tanzania garnered an Honorable Mention in the 2017 Sunset category of the IPPAs. This shot was taken during the end of the Great Migration of wildebeest. It was truly an epic view!

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Honorable Mention: Nature

While photography contests are arguably a matter of taste, I’m perhaps most excited about this image I took using the Northern Lights Photo Taker app receiving an Honorable Mention. For me it’s the intersection of technology and creativity that keeps iPhone photography exciting and this image pretty much summarizes that.

I am grateful I didn’t have to judge these awards! There are so many amazing images, including many by friends. I was thrilled to learn my friend and fellow Shot on iPhone/Apple World Gallery photographer Brendan Ó Sé won the 1st Place Photographer of the Year for an amazing image he shot in Jakarta.

The gallery of winning images is gorgeous and inspiring and well worth looking through if you have a few minutes. Congratulations to all the photographers mentioned!

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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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iPhone Photography School Interview

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View of Mt. Rainier in autumn

I recently did an interview with iPhone Photography School about travel photography. Check it out to see some of my favorite images and to pick useful mobile photography tips here.

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Anastasia in the Eldhraun Lava Field in Iceland

 

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Exploring the Pacific Northwest: Visiting Oregon’s Multnomah Falls

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Multnomah Falls is Oregon’s 620 feet year round waterfall

Last week I went to Portland and got a chance to explore the Columbia Gorge. Among Portland’s many charms is how close it is to some spectacular nature, including Multnomah Falls. Multnomah Falls is Oregon’s tallest waterfall, and ranks as the second highest waterfall in the United states. Only Yosemite Falls is higher.

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Vista House in Corbett, Oregon

Located less than half hour’s drive outside of Portland along the historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon’s tallest year round waterfall is not only gorgeous, it’s extremely user friendly. Multnomah Falls is visible from the freeway and it’s an easy walk if you want to get up close and personal with the #1 tourist site in the Columbia Gorge.

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Overcast weather adds atmosphere to the Multnomah Falls hike

If you’re going to walk to the waterfall, wear appropriate footwear. Waterfall spray and the wet Pacific Northwest climate mean that hough paved, the trail does have pools of water and puddles that are unavoidable.

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Reverse view of 69 foot drop of the second tier of Multnomah Falls from above Benson Bridge

The downside of being user friendly? Multnomah Falls is popular destination and often crowded. If you want to avoid the crowds, nearby Wahkeena Falls can be reached by foot and is significantly less popular than Multnomah Falls.

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Looking up at the top tier of  Multnomah Falls

The Multnomah Falls Lodge has a visitors center, gift shop, and restaurant and is nestled at the base of the falls.

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Scarlet and Zeppelin enjoyed exploring the trail to Multnomah Falls

The paved trails are also pet-friendly, so expect plenty of dogs to be enjoying the scenery as well. Dogs need to be kept on a leash at all times, but there was plenty to sniff and keep my two labs excited about on this nice day hike.

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Benson Bridge over Multnomah Falls adds to the cliffside drama

If you’re planning on photographing the waterfall, bring a wide angle lens. I shot mostly using the 24-70 mm Canon zoom as well as my iPhone. I also got a few good shots with my Fuji X-30.

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Misty morning scenery in the Columbia Gorge

I tried a few shots using my Moment Lens wide angle 18 mm lens attachment, but had uneven results due to vignetting. My fingers are crossed my replacement Moment Lens Case corrects this issue.

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The view of the top tier of Multnomah Falls from above the Benson Bridge

I was wowed by Multnomah Falls. It’s not as powerful as Igauzu Falls but it’s steep drop and tree-lined cliffs are dramatic. Plus, it’s close to Stumptown Coffee, vegan cheese, and and the cajun tots that seem to be on every menu in Portland. It was a nice place to get in a little sightseeing, morning hiking and get some good photos.

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Happy hikers at dog-friendly Multnomah Falls.

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls Is easy to reach from Portland. Take I-84 eastbound for approximately 30 miles. Follow signs and take exit 31 (an unusual left-side exit ramp) off I-84 to a parking area. There is a path under the highway that leads to the falls viewing area. Lower trails are paved.

 

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Morning Cloud Lapse at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, Namibia

My husband enjoying the morning clouds in the main pavillion Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

One of the things that makes Namibia’s landscape so beautiful is it’s star-filled skies and shape shifting clouds. When you’re on safari, you wake up early to grab a bite to eat and a cup of coffee before you head out on your morning game drive. That’s when I set up my iPhone to capture the morning clouds just as the sun was beginning to peek beyond the horizon.

Morning clouds and sky time lapse at Hoanib

The moon was still clearly visible in the December morning sky.

The moon still visible in the morning skies of Namibia

Morning cloud reflections

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