Rad A. Drew Photography: 2019

Continental Divide at Dawn

Continental Divide at Dawn
Continental Divide at Dawn

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Travel as a Political Act


Cliffs at Tropea, Calabria Region of Italy

Did you ever think of travel as political act? As a rule, I don’t espouse political opinion on social media, but I am comfortable about the idea of travel as a political act

No matter what political camp you’re in, traveling consciously in our tumultuous world is a powerful way to expand our understanding, challenge our prejudices, and practice being open to the views of people from outside our wonderful country.

Mark Twain wrote:

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.

I wholeheartedly agree!

Afghani "Camel Man" at the Al Ain Camel Market,
the Largest in the UAE.
The young Afghani man (above) although we shared no common language, kindly showed me around the market. He insisted we walk more than 100 yards so he could show me the new born camels. After, he permitted me to make his portrait.

On our recent dahlia workshop, my friends Ann and Carol, introduced me to the concept of Travel as a Political Act. I didn’t know it was a “thing,” but I believe that’s what I’ve (we’ve) been doing (however unwittingly!) as we’ve traveled the world making photographs. 

Lone Bristlecone Pine at Sunrise
My friend Dan Sniffin and I shared the experience of the ancient bristlecone pines. Being the only two humans on the mountain with these ancient trees – some more than 5,000 years old – does a lot to put the problems of the world in perspective. These trees have seen it all and they prevail.

Trips from coast to coast throughout the US have exposed us to many views, and travel to England, Scotland, Italy, France, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman, have shown me that the rest of the world sees things much differently than many Americans. I don’t always agree with these alternative views, but I think it enriches me to at least listen and try to experience another’s perspective. 

The most precious of these destinations for me over the years, has been Cuba. It’s a place I’ve traveled to more than any other and I’ve become connected to wonderful people there who are friends for life, in some cases, they’ve become family. 

Cuban Farmer Making Charcoal in the Vinales Valley
Traveling to Cuba today, in the current political climate, to see first-hand how Cubans live, the ways in which they suffer, how dependent the government is on other (in some cases unstable) governments, the impact of US policy, and the general uncertainty of the country’s future, is an important endeavor for me. 
My Young friend, painter Roly Castelliny, beautifully portrays
the world in which he lives in Old Havana
As I’ve explored this new (to me) idea of Travel as a Political Act, I was referred to the writer and traveler, Rick Steves. (Thanks, Ann and Carol!) Steve’s article, 10 Tips for Traveling as a Political Act is full of ideas and suggestions for how to make your travel a political act. 

Sheik Zayed Grand Masque, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Most of the tips on Steve's list are things we've been doing on trips for years. I didn't know what we were doing had a name, but in many ways it's exactly what we've been doing. 
Omani Merchant Sorts Radishes at Ancient Market in Oman

See Rick Steve's article and maybe you’ll find something in it for you, or maybe you'll learn that you've already been traveling as a political act!

Thanks for reading, and until next time, keep on creating! 

Tobacco Harvest in Vinales Valley, Cuba
For more information about the travel and photography we do, see my Workshops tab, and subscribe to my monthly newsletter.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Why Today's iPhone is Worthy of Your Camera Bag

The iPhone became a staple in my camera bag about nine years ago when I acquired my first iPhone, an iPhone 4. At the time, doing photography with one’s phone was a novel idea, and many photographers who relied on large (and heavy and bulky) DSLRs for their photography, didn’t pay it any mind, much less afford it any respect. 

iPhone 4
© Rad A. Drew

But that was then. Today’s iPhone has matured to include features and technical specs that warrant giving the device a second look. In this article I’ll identify some of the things that I think make this mobile devise worthy of a pro’s camera bag!


iPhone XS Max
© Rad A. Drew


Create RAW Files and Process RAW on the iPhone

Digital photographers have understood the power of RAW for many years. RAW files contain data that allow for the recovery of details in highlights and shadows not possible with JPG files. For this reason alone, shooting and processing RAW leads to better quality images. Until recently creating and processing RAW files on the iPhone was not an option.

Today there are many apps that allow us to create RAW files, and while there are a few that also support RAW processing, none is as robust and comprehensive as the Lightroom app for iOS and Android.

For those who subscribe to the Adobe Creative Cloud, Lightroom for the phone is a no-brainer. The “fully loaded” app is included in your Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. But even if you don’t relish parting with your hard-earned cash each month for the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, Lightroom is still free for everyone. The catch? If you aren’t a subscriber you don’t get these three tools in the app: Healing, Selective, and Geometry. But you do get the Lightroom camera for creating RAW files and you do get all the tools necessary to process those RAW files on your phone. The tools you don’t get aren't necessary for RAW processing, and are easily found in other apps, like SnapSeed.

So, the bottom line? If you want the quality you can extract from creating and processing RAW files on your phone, you need Lightroom on your iPhone! Watch for more details and my workflow on an upcoming YouTube video. For now there is this YouTube video which I recorded last December that reviews my workflow. Please ignore my comment in this video where I say if you’re not a subscriber to the Creative Cloud, don’t bother with Lightroom for the phone. I was flat out wrong about that! After a day on the phone with Adobe, I was finally able to sort out what they are doing with the non-subscription version!

iPhone XS Max
© Rad A. Drew

Create Long Exposures

Early iPhones didn’t possess the ability to create that “soft water” look characteristic of long exposures. This type of look was, previously, only possible with a “big” camera. Today’s iPhones, especially the later models, allow several ways to achieve the look of long exposures.

Live Mode in the Native Camera

Live Mode is turned on by tapping that little round bull’s eye at the top of the Native Camera interface. It turns yellow when it's on. You know, the one you always turn on by mistake and end up with those annoying moving images! That’s what I thought for the longest time, until I learned that the LIVE feature is really a great way to achieve a “soft water” or blurred people photo without a tripod, a big camera, or neutral density filters.

How? Tap the Live mode icon on the native camera, turning the bull’s eye yellow. Select a scene with a stream or other moving object and tap the shutter button. Find and select the photo in your camera roll. Now swipe up on the image. Four options will appear beneath your photo: Live, Loop, Bounce, and Long Exposure. I’ve found little use for the first three, but select Long Exposure, and the parts of your image that are moving (like that steam or waterfall) become soft, while the remaining part of the image remains sharp. All this is done while hand-holding your iPhone.

Live Mode, iPhone XS Max
© Rad A. Drew

Lightroom Camera Long Exposure

Currently available in the Lightroom app for your iPhone is a beta version of a long exposure feature. To turn the feature on, navigate to the app's settings and locate and tap on the app’s Technology Previews. You’ll see two: Long Exposure and Depth Map Support. At the time of this writing, Depth Map Support is not available. Long Exposure is. Once Long Exposure is enabled in the settings, you can select Long Exposure from the camera interface. Lightroom takes a series of images (in RAW) and combines them so that any moving parts of the scene are softened, while stationary elements remain sharp.

SlowShutter Camera by Cogitap Software

The SlowShutter App also allows making a long exposure. In the settings, you choose one of three capture modes: Motion Blur, Light Trail, and Low Light. Each mode captures motion in a unique way which you control by the Blur, Light Sensitivity, Shutter Speed and ISO. For best results I use a tripod, (unless doing Intentional Camera Movement (ICM); see below).


SlowShutterCam
© Rad A. Drew

Spectre 

The Spectre app is a relatively new app that allows movement capture in a variety of ways and for most photos allows hand-holding of the camera, although a tripod can yield better results.

An oldie but a goodie, Average Cam Pro

This is an OLD app that I fear may disappear from the App Store. It’s a really fun app for creating long exposures. The app is very simple and allows us to take from 2 to 128 exposures, blending them together in the phone. With the camera on a tripod, one can get great light trails or cloud movement while all other elements in the scene remain sharp. 


Average Cam Pro and Dramatic Black & White
© Rad A. Drew


Intentional Camera Movement (ICM)

Slowshutter Camera by Cogitap Software

Use the Slow Shutter Camera to create swipes of colorful objects (e.g. flowers) or of people moving through a crowded area, like a train station.

I recommend these settings. The first image of settings are the main camera settings, while the second set of settings are for each scene. Like your big camera, if the light changes, the settings in the second set below, like shutter speed or light sensitivity, may also need to be changed, although the app is far more forgiving that our big cameras.



and




SlowShutterCam Vertical Swipe
© Rad A. Drew

Average Camera Pro

This app is wonderful for creating intentional camera movement (ICM) photos. Here’s a brief set of instructions:
  • Choose a colorful flower bed. I like to look for one dominant color like white, yellow, or red. 
  • Open Average Cam Pro’s settings.
  • Set the “number of pictures” to 4 or 8.
  • Leave Shooting interval and Pre Start Timer set to 0.
  • Tap the shutter button and twist the phone as the shutter fires.
Average Cam Pro
© Rad A. Drew
Now get creative.
  • Set for a different number of photos,
  • Move in different directions (twist, swipe, push, wave)
  • Process in SnapSeed and turn into a painting with the app, Impresso, by Jixi Pix.

Dual Lens and Portrait Mode for Narrow Depth of Field

Before the first dual lens iPhone, the 7+, creating a narrow depth of field was something reserved for our “big” cameras. Today, with the phone's dual lenses and depth effect technology, we are able to focus on an object (e.g., a flower or a face) and have that object in sharp focus, while the background goes soft. In the latest iPhone, the iPhone XS, not only does the camera produce a narrow depth of field, but also allows the depth of field to be adjust by providing a simulated f/stop slider that goes from f/1.4 for maximum blur, to f/16 for a fully sharp image.

Combining the Portrait Mode with the Portrait editor in SnapSeed is a great way to fine-tune portraits for great appeal. SnapSeed's portrait mode has adjustments for face spotlight, skin smoothing, and eye clarity, all of which can take your image up a notch.


Portrait Mode and SnapSeed Portrait Editor


Portrait Mode
© Rad A. Drew

Process Big Camera RAW files on your iPhone or iPad

With the advent of Lightroom for the phone, we can now send RAW files made with our traditional camera to our iPhone and process them using the Lightroom app with RAW editing tools. I use my Fuji's wireless system based on BlueTooth to send RAW images to my iPhone.

This is a great way to conveniently process your “big boy” camera images while traveling or just when you want to work away from the big computer.

If you use Lightroom on your desktop, depending on how you set up your system, you can have all images appear on all your devices, including your Lightroom catalog on your desktop.


Print Large with Integrity

There’s no denying that the iPhone has a small sensor relative to traditional “big” cameras and this means, generally, smaller prints. I’ve been printing iPhone images at 20 by 30 for years, but to go much bigger the quality begins to suffer.

Enter Topaz Labs desktop software powered by artificial intelligence! These tools which came out in the summer of 2018 and continue to get better and better allow for several kinds of improvements making it possible to print iPhone images very large with integrity.

The desktop apps, Gigapixel AI (which allows a small iPhone image to be enlarged up to six times) and DeNoise AI (which eliminates noise for low-light or other iPhone images to an unbelievable degree) have both been game changers for iPhone photographs. Armed with these tools, iPhone photographers never have to tell a prospective customer that they can’t print the image at the size the customer wants. These new desktop applications from Topaz Labs allow enlargement with integrity that is mind-boggling.

The image on the left is the original at 2583 x 3875 pixels or about 10MP resolution. On the right is the same image enlarged 4 times to a resolution of 10332 x 15550, about 160MP! The quality of the image on the right is equal to or better than that on the left, but the size is 150MP larger!


Split Screen Comparison of Gigapixel AI from Topaz Labs. Image on right enlarged 4 times.


High Quality Lens Systems

It’s often said that the best way to zoom with an iPhone is with your feet! Getting close to your subject is not something that can be accomplished easily with just the iPhone. Today, however, a number of aftermarket companies are producing attachable lenses for most iPhones that make wide angle, macro, and telephoto images possible. Among my favorite lenses are Moment, Ztylus, and OlloClip.

Moment produces the best glass of the bunch and their prices reflect that as one of the most expensive lens systems available. Their 60mm lens gets twice as close (and up to four times as close when using the Moment app in combination with the lens). The wide angle lens is a favorite for recording small areas like rooms in a house or other areas that require a wide angle for context. It’s also good for landscapes and images with dramatic foregrounds.

Olloclip is another quality lens that has been around a few years and offers similar wide angle, telephoto, and fisheye lenses.

Ztylus Lenses are new on the scene and they’ve produced one of the most convenient and easy to use systems for a great price ($59 dollars). I’m referring to the Revolver 6-in-1. It’s easy to attach, accessible, and affordable. No, the glass isn’t quite as good as Olloclip and Moment, but for images that are going to be textured and processed to paintings, it is quite adequate and, to me, worth it for the convenience.

Portable Editing (on iPhone or iPad) 

Apps on the iPhone have gotten better and better over the years. The main staple for many iPhone photographers is SnapSeed, with 28 tool kits for editing and stylizing images. Equipped with a histogram, curves, and levels tools, along with selective adjustment tools, there isn’t much that can’t be done with this software. 

And Lightroom on the iPhone isn’t just for RAW files. I often take JPG files into Lightroom to use the Color adjustment tool which allows me to isolate specific colors and adjust saturation, hue, luminance, and vibrancy. These editing tools go anywhere when traveling!

Because it’s small, lightweight and portable, it’s often the Camera you have with you

It’s small size not only makes the camera easy to carry, it’s often less intrusive when taking portraits or shooting in areas where big cameras may not be allowed. When traveling, an iPhone, lenses and an extra battery fit easily into a purse or small bag for easy accessibility.

Summary

That’s my list! Today’s iPhone is truly worthy of any camera bag because of the many things it does well. It deserves respect as a “real” camera, as many pro’s have come to appreciate. 

Still the bottom line for me? It’s about as fun as it gets!

Thanks for taking time to read this post and for all you do to support what I do! Until next time, keep on creating!

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Create Unique iPhone Images with These Tips!

Today I have two tips to share for making images with your iPhone. One involves making images from video frames and the other is a creative use of the "selfie" camera.


Tip 1: The Selfie Camera

Until recently, whenever I read about improvements to the selfie or front facing camera on the iPhone, I didn't get too excited about it. I mean, unlike some of the teenagers I teach who take mostly selfies, why would I care? I didn't see much use for the selfie camera, so why would I care if it was improved?

Well, then I had an epiphany, or more accurately, I got a dose of the inimitable Jack Davis while co-leading a workshop last November in Moloka'i! (BTW, we're doing the Moloka'i experience again November 2019!

Throughout the Moloka'i workshop, I was surprised to see Jack making use of the selfie camera. No, he wasn't taking lots of photos of himself! Rather, he was using the selfie camera to get into hard-to-reach places, or to photograph a subject from an unusual perspective. Using the selfie camera meant he could see to compose the image. Sometimes it takes a "duh" moment to learn what is right in front of your face!

So, the next time you want to shoot up from a low place, or shoot around a corner, or show a subject in a possibly never-before-seen perspective, try using the selfie camera! Yes, it's true that it's not as high quality as the back camera(s), but it's pretty dang good and getting better all the time. 

Here are a couple of images taken recently using the selfie camera on the iPhone XS Max and processed in SnapSeed. I challenge you to see what you can create using the selfie camera!



Bottom-Up view of May Apple from the forest floor.

Bottom-up View of Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Ok, it's still good for the occasional selfie. :) 


Tip 2: Creative Use of Video!

When I was mushroom hunting yesterday, I had my Fuji around my neck and my iPhone in my pocket, but I didn't carry a tripod. I came across some tiny wild geraniums (about the size of a quarter) and some other very small wildflowers that I didn't recognize. I had my Ztylus Revolver 6-in-1 lens on my iPhone and I attempted to use the macro and super macro lenses, but between me handholding the camera and the wind blowing the flowers all over God's half acre, I couldn't get a sharp image.

Then it occurred to me. I'd just the day before made a YouTube video about the app Video2Photo by Paco Labs. Video2Photo is an  iPhone-only app that takes a video, breaks it into individual frames, and allows each frame to be saved as an individual image file. (See my YouTube video for a demo.)

With my wildflowers blowing in the wind, I thought, What if I make a video of the flower, as it's swaying in the breeze, then select just the frames that appear sharpest?

I used the video camera in the iPhone's native camera, then extracted some of the sharpest frames. The images below are the result. This technique doesn't eliminate the need for a tripod sometimes, but even if I had had a tripod yesterday, the wind would have still been an issue. Shooting the video and selecting individual frames for processing gave me the best option under the circumstances, and I like these results.

Quarter-sized wild geranium, iPhone XS Max video camera and Video2Photo
to extract individual frame. Processed in SnapSeed.

This little guy (which I haven't yet identified) is about the diameter of a dime.
iPhone XS Max video camera and Video2Photo
to extract individual frame. Processed in SnapSeed.  

Dogwood Blossom at the end of its cycle.
iPhone XS Max video camera and Video2Photo
to extract individual frame. Processed in SnapSeed.

Teensy weensy Fly on unidentified wildflower, iPhone XS Max video camera and Video2Photo
to extract individual frame. Processed in SnapSeed.

Get the Ztylus Revolver 6-in-1 lens system here and enter code 15REFERRAL at checkout for a 15% discount.


For me, the Ztylus offers the best balance of quality and ease-of-use of any of the top accessory lenses available today. It's made for select single and dual lens iPhones, Samsung, and Huawei phones.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Update on Relief for Havana Tornado Victims

© Ramses Batista, Devastation from January Tornado in Havana

Two months ago I wrote about the devastation from a tornado that hit on January 30 in the outskirts of Havana in which many Cubans lost their homes. You can read that blog here.


© Ramses Batista, Devistation from January Tornado

My friend and co-leader, Ramses Batista, and I, at the time offered the proceeds from our print sales for the relief fund, and I put out a call via my blog for help. 

The response was tremendous!

When I went back in March I brought about 10 used phones that were donated, along with a substantial amount of cash for supplies.

Ramses and his team in Havana, used the funds raised to purchase many basics for the people that needed them most. They then delivered the items directly to those in need.

Here are some images of the goods that were acquired. In February, there was difficulty getting some things, like cooking oil, due to shortages throughout Cuba.


© Ramses Batista
Soap, canned goods and cooking oil were among the things purchased.

© Ramses Batista, 
In addition to food and toiletries, some toys were found for the kids.

That's Ramses and his trusty Peugeot, making a delivery in the area.


I'm going back to Cuba in November and will bring more things when I go. If you would like to contribute, you may send a check to:

Rad Drew Photography, LLC
814 North Bolton AV
Indianapolis, IN 46219

or 


Email me to request my email for sending payments or donations via PayPal. (I don't put my email here because it gets picked up by spammers.) 

Thank you!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Creating Black and White Images with your iPhone

This image of the husband and wife was made with the iPhone XS Max and the Native Camera,
then processed in SnapSeed and Dramatic Black and White.

There is something engaging about an image with the color stripped away that leaves the essence, the fundamental nature of the image, for the viewer to contemplate. 

My first serious experience with photography was in the 70s shooting for newspapers, so everything was done in black-and-white. I also cut my photographic teeth on the work of Walker Evans, Imogene Cunningham, Diane Arbus, Cartier Bresson, and Edward Weston, all famous for their black and white images. 

Today I enjoy the b&w work of contemporary photographers, Cole ThompsonClyde Butcher, and Duane Michaels, and I’m always influenced by the work of my friends, Arthur RansomeJohn BarclayTony Sweet, and Cuban Photographer, Ramsés Batista. I encourage you to take a look at their work.

Although I also enjoy Fuji mirroless “big boy” cameras, the mobile phone and various apps, provide great tools for creating stunning b&w images. 


Some of my favorite apps include: 
  • Dramatic Black and White (iPhone and Android)
  • Noir (iPhone)
  • Simply B&W (iPhone)
  • Snapseed (iPhone and Android)
  • Provoke (iPhone)
To me, the images that look best in B&W are those with strong graphic lines, and scenes that have nothing in them that betrays the time period.

On a recent trip to Cuba I found myself exploring scenes in black and white, partly because we were making portraits of men and women in their 80s and 90s and it seemed fitting. There’s also something fun about portraying scenes with old architecture and farms in B&W. It's fun to let our imagination go, looking at a photo we know was made today, but allowing ourselves to believe that it was taken 
in another time. So much of what we see in Cuba does appear to be from another time, often making B&W a wonderful choice. 

Here are a few favorite images, some of which I made on this last Cuba trip with my iPhone XS Max. I’ve indicated which apps I used. Maybe you'll give them a try!

You might also enjoy my blog post from last year on the fun app, Provoke.


Most of the images below were photographed in color with the iPhone's native app, and then converted to black and white with various apps. Sometimes, in order to see the scene in b&w as I'm composing the frame, I will change the settings on the iPhone's native camera to b&w. This is just a way to show the image in b&w on the back of the phone's screen when you compose the image. You can always change it back to color if you wish, just as you can shoot in color and change to B&W after the image is recorded.

To change the view to B&W when shooting with the native camera, tap the three overlapping circles in the upper right of the camera interface as shown in the image below. 

A row of thumbnail filters appears across the bottom of the camera interface. The three thumbnails at the end of the row are the black and white types available to select – Silvertone, Mono, and Noir. Choose the thumbnail with the b&w you want to see while you're making your photo. If you want a different tone, or even a color, later, you can change to any of the other colors in the list after you've made the image.

The following images are examples of what is possible using your iPhone and the apps listed here.


This image of a man making charcoal, with the smoke and textures, begged to be a b&w image! I recorded this with the iPhone XS Max native camera, then processed it in SnapSeed, using SnapSeed's Black and White tool. SnapSeed's B&W tool provides six pre-sets, a set of colored filters, and adjusters for brightness, contrast, and grain.

During a session with a model in a studio with studio lighting, I made this image in color with the iPhone XS Max and processed it initially in SnapSeed. I then opened it in Dramatic Black and White and used the app's Spotlight feature to highlight the areas of the image to which I wanted to draw the viewer's eye. I used the Spotlight feature to create an irregular vignette around the image.

This image was also made with the iPhone XS Max and the native camera. I processed it initially in color in SnapSeed and then took it into Dramatic Black and White. One of the sliders in this app allows you to adjust the B&W Strength. Moving this slider on a continuum from no color to full color will allow you to leave just the amount of color you want in the image. I also used the Spotlight tool in Dramatic Black and White to add multiple spotlights to create a patchwork of light on the scene. Each spotlight you add can be adjusted to increase its intensity, allowing for a lot of control in shaping the light in the image.

This image was also created in color with the iPhone XS Max and the Native camera. I ran it through my standard workflow in SnapSeed before taking it into Dramatic Black and White. After making the adjustments I liked in Dramatic Black and White, I opened it in the app, Formulas(*), and selected a filter with a boarder and a slight sepia tone. I finished it off with the app Enlight, where I added a 20% Glow found in the Painting collection in the Enlight app.

(*Formulas and the companion app, Stackables, sadly are no long available or supported. If you have them, they continue to work, so enjoy them while they last.)

This image was made with the iPhone X while the subject was illuminated with a hand-held LED light source directed as fill for his face. The image displays a narrow depth of field created by the Portrait Feature of the iPhone X's native camera. The image was converted to B&W using SnapSeed's B&W tool, then processed with SnapsSeed's Portrait tool which allows for face spotlighting, skin smoothing, and eye clarity. This image was recognized in the 2017 Mobile Photography Awards.

This image is a favorite taken in 2014 with what was probably an iPhone 5. I processed it with the app Simply B&W. Part of what I like about Simply B&W is that it is, well, simple! It has a variety of filters and also allows for film type choices. This was made with the Tri-X film and a yellow filter. It was recognized in one of the early Mobile Photography Awards.

This image, another from a studio session, along with the two nudes below, were made with the iPhone XS Max and the native camera. I processed them in SnapSeed then took them into the app, Noir. This is a quirky little app with six presets to start from, and four color tones for mood, and three adjustment wheels for light and contrast. It's about as simple as it gets, but that's what I like about it. I like the variety of results that can be achieved with Noir. 



 


Each of the three portraits above was processed in about the same way. They were all shot in color with the iPhone XS Max native camera. Only the third image was done with Portrait mode, as evidenced by the shallow depth of field in the image. I processed them all in SnapSeed then took them into Dramatic Black and White where I could soften the sharpness with the Soften/Sharpen slider there. After completing edits in Dramatic Black and White, I took each image back into SnapSeed to add a "frame" to make room for my signature. To create a frame, use the Expand tool in SnapSeed. Select the color extension you want (black or white) and then, use the two finger spread gesture. As you move your two fingers, a frame or extension will appear and it will be the same size on all sides. Once you have the frame the size you like, take one finger and drag the bottom frame edge down to make it larger to allow for the signature. 


The two images of the cars, above, were both created with the camera app, Provoke. Provoke creates b&w and color, but I prefer the black and white. It allows you to select from an array of film types. You can select a film type before you make the image, but you can always change it later. I like the high contrast the app produces for a unique look. (See my blog post, Featured iPhone App: Provoke for a more detailed look at this fun little app.)


This is another great example of the results that can be achieved with the iPhone XS Max's Portrait Mode in combination with SnapSeed's Portrait editor. This image was shot in color, then, I used the iPhone camera editor to set the depth of field to f/1.4 and selected the Studio Light option for good fill light on his face. Then, using SnapSeed's Portrait tool, I slightly increased the light on the face, smoothed the skin a bit, and bumped up (just a little) the eye clarity to about 35. The eye clarity feature is tremendous for bringing out the highlights in the eyes, especially if you've managed to get some nice catchlight to begin with, but you have to be careful. It's easy to over do it in the eye clarity department. After making the adjustments to his face and eyes, I converted the image to b&w using SnapSeed's b&w tool. Finally, I used SnapSeed's Vignette tool to darken the somewhat bright background, drawing attention to the man's face. The guy, by the way, is Modesto, and he's 102 years old. We took him away from his work sorting a variety of beans in order to make his portrait.

This image of two Cuban girls in Vinales Valley was created with the Portrait Mode in the iPhone XS Max. After recording the image, I used the edit tool in the camera roll to select the Stage Light Mono lighting option, which dropped the background out completely and turned the image to b&w. I then took it into SnapSeed where I used the Portrait tool to adjust the light on the girls' faces, smooth skin slightly, and adjust the eye clarity to bring out the catch lights in the eyes. As a final touch, I added a white frame with SnapSeed's Expand tool, as described earlier in this post. The Native Camera's portrait mode along with SnapSeeds portrait editing tool, is a fantastic combination for processing portraits!
Questions or comments? Email me here!



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