Finding Inspiration with the iPhone

Shooting Puddles with the iPhone - Why not?

Yeah, I know this sounds crazy and trust me, people look at me as if I was crazy while shooting those puddles with the iPhone and I probably am... but who cares, right?

A little backstory:

During the past few years, I've been shooting pretty much exclusively with professional DSLR's and high-end lenses and got spoiled. A couple of weeks ago, after reading a post by Scott Kelby about a iPhone photographer, I got inspired so I grabbed my iPhone and decided to start a personal project about iPhoneography.

At the same time, the weather turned really bad, so I decided to start shooting reflections in puddles and this is the outcome.

The photographs are obviously not perfect and I would have gotten a much higher quality pictures had I shot it with better gear but the restriction to a camera-phone made these shots possible in the first place because I don't think I would ever have gotten this inspiration had I done this with my DSLR.

In order to get more control over the exposure and focus points, I switched from the built-in camera app to Camera Awesome by SmugMug. It has become my camera app of choice on the iPhone because I can split up the focus and exposure points very easily which is not possible with the default app. I only wish Apple would allow third-party camera apps to use the volume-up button to release the shutter because I could then use my head-phone cable with volume control as shutter button.

UPDATE: @AndyNico_ just informed me that Camera+ is supporting exactly the shutter feature I was missing in Camera Awesome and since it also supports separate metering and focusing I will give it a try. Thanks @AndyNico_

What I've learned during the process was to give more attention to the exposure because blown-out highlights in an iPhone JPG are blown out and the best recovery slider cannot bring them back - compared to a RAW file of my DSLR where I get quite some legroom to bring back those details. I realized that instead of exposing to the right, I had to actually expose to the left because I could bring back the shadows much better compared to loosing the highlights for good. 

As there is no exposure-compensation feature on the iPhone, I usually metered for bright areas - like the clouds in the sky - that resulted in a darker exposure but thanks to the 'Shadows" slider and awesome noise reduction feature in Lightroom I could bring those darker details back without generating to much noise.

You can see more of my iPhone work by clicking on any picture that will you redirect to the iPhone gallery of my portfolio site.

I also post regularly on my Google+ site

If you have any questions, feel free to leave your comment and I will be happy to answer them.