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iPhoneography and the backcountry

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iPhoneography and the backcountry

Postby Stevehymon » Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:51 pm

Just got back from Pioneer Basin. My girlfriend brought our good point-and-shoot, meaning I had a choice: haul all our crap plus my Nikon D5000 or give the iPhone 3GS a try.

While the iPhone may not be much of a phone, it turns out to be a fun camera, especially with a lot of the cheap or free apps available. The gist of it is the apps offer a lot of filters that cover up for the camera's many shortcomings. And it's relatively easy to give a so-so photo an interesting/artsy retro feel.

All that said, I felt like a dirty street whore for bringing the damn thing into the backcountry. I did have the decency at the trailhead to put it in airplane mode to avoid the slight chance I would get a cell signal and have a bunch of email arrive from people who KNEW I WAS IN THE BACKCOUNTRY BUT HAD THE INDECENCY TO EMAIL ME WORK CRAP ANYWAY. Sorry, pet peeve.

Anyway, I brought it and got some interesting results. Interesting doesn't necessarily mean good. Just means kinda different and I sort of like a few of the shots -- maybe the kind of tiny prints that are worth hanging in a bathroom.

I'm interested to know if anyone out there is shooting the Sierra with an iPhone and what kind of results they've gotten -- or tips they might have. Happy shooting, Steve

View from 1st Lake, Pioneer Basin by JulieAndSteve, on Flickr

First Pioneer Lake, taken with Hipstamatic app -- the John S lens and BlackKeys B+W film.

Ridge above Fourth Recess Lake at sunset by JulieAndSteve, on Flickr

Ridge above Fourth Recess Lake, taken with Hipstamatic app -- Lucifer VI lens and Ina's 1969 film.

Fourth Pioneer Lake by JulieAndSteve, on Flickr

Fourth Pioneer Lake, taken with the regular iPhone camera and then used Snapseed app for iPad to crop and add vintage and grunge filters.

Ruby Lake by JulieAndSteve, on Flickr

Ruby Lake, taken with the Camera+ app and then processed using the clarity and magic hour filters, plus vignette border. It kind of has the old-time postcard feel.
Last edited by Stevehymon on Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: iPhoneography and the backcountry

Postby The Other Tom » Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:16 pm

interesting effects. thanks for posting
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Re: iPhoneography and the backcountry

Postby windknot » Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:53 pm

These look neat. I don't have an iPhone, but if I had one I would definitely be taking advantage of the apps/filters available to use with the camera.
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: iPhoneography and the backcountry

Postby bheiser1 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:41 pm

I usually don't bother with photos on the iPhone unless they're truly just snapshots or I'm on the go & want to capture an image of something interesting. But this weekend I had an "equipment malfunction" while on an overnight backpack. I forgot to bring a spare battery for my DSLR. D'oh!!! ](*,)

Anyway I had the iPhone along (wanted it with me on the ~500 mile round trip drive, and certainly wasn't about to leave it in the car at the trailhead). So I used it to snap some photos after the real camera's battery died.

Here's a sample ... no special effects (not my thing :) ). I used the "ProCamera" app rather than the iPhone's native app. I did some cleanup of the photo in Lightroom before posting.

It's a shot of Virginia Peak in the northeast corner of Yosemite. I think this one came out pretty well, but it's about the best of the bunch ... I got lots of others that came out really poorly for one reason or another (not the least of which is I'm used to instant response from the DSLR, and neglected to hold the iPhone still long enough for it to finish).

I did take a couple short video clips to pan across scenic vistas ... but they're pretty jerky... hmmm it seemed like I was holding it steady, but I guess not. The image quality of the clips actually seems OK.

I keep asking myself, "is it time now to buy a P&S and stop lugging the DSLR"? But using the iPhone for photos reminds me of why I do carry the DSLR.

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Re: iPhoneography and the backcountry

Postby Mradford » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:06 pm

Last year I was in the little lakes valley and took a bunch of crap photos and later applied the filters and was blown away. They look rad. Definitely an easy way to document trips and get decent photos. But I still always bring a real camera for those moments when straight photography owns any filters.
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