Looking closely through the camera lens, I discovered a surprise inside.
The shiny red bromeliad had three tiny vibrant pink buds in its pool of water. You’d think the human eye would notice a thing like that, but often it takes a camera lens to spy it. I was using my iPhone 5s as a macro lens, and—surprise!—as a magnifying glass. But the real surprise came not from the gorgeous and unexpected bit of pink inside, but from the results I saw in Lightroom when I was back at my Mac.
Though I tried a number of photo edits first in my iPhone app, Snapseed, and later on my iMac in Lightroom, I discarded most of them. The image didn’t benefit much from most of the improvements I tried. In photography, overkill is always false, even though the tools are at hand. Sometimes an image is best left (nearly) untouched. But it never hurts to try.
I had little control over my iPhone’s exposure, ISO and macro settings, of course. That’s why it’s fun to open an iPhone take later on in Adobe Lightroom, and examine the differences between the results while studying the photos’ settings. Not surprisingly, the best image was the one that had settings close to what I’d have chosen on my manual camera: ISO 40, 1/30 sec at f/2.2, focal length of 4.12 mm, and no flash (the only option I could actually choose).
Who’d have expected an iPhone to summon up such stellar results, without much post-processing? The big surprise was inside, yes—inside its sophisticated camera. ♣
How have you been surprised by your smartphone’s pleasing results?