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iPhone 12 Pro Max Photography

More Views of Boronda Lake

Yesterday I shared an image from Boronda Lake in Palo Alto’s Foothills Park that I had post-processed using techniques I learned in a recent workshop with Dan Burkholder.

I took a few more images while I was there – on a grey, overcast morning – and wanted to share them here. It’s a lovely place and worth a visit now that it’s open to all. I’ll likely come back and do some creative post-processing on a few of these images as well.

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iPhone 12 Pro Max Photography Photography Workflow

Sunday Morning at Boronda Lake

Recently the city of Palo Alto has opened up access to Foothills Park which for many years has limited access only to residents of Palo Alto. I’ve never been there so this morning – a grey one here on the San Francisco peninsula, I decided to take a quick drive to visit Foothills Park and see what it’s like. In particular, I was interested in seeing the small lake – Boronda Lake.

Last week I finished up a workshop led by Dan Burkholder on iPhone Artistry. Dan reawakened my interest in capturing and editing photos just on my iPhone. I made the following image using the Camera app on my iPhone 12 Pro Max:

I then used the free Snapseed app that Google provides to edit and stylize this image. Dan had walked us through the capabilities of Snapseed during his workshop so I put many of the tools he taught us to edit this image – here’s the list of tools that I applied:

I was particularly intrigued by the Grunge tool – one of my fellow workshop participants was a fan of the tool and shared some of his techniques with us. Using the Grunge tool, I was able to colorize and texturize the image resulting in the final version:

Earlier today, Om Malik shared a post comparing the iPhone camera with the old Kodak Brownie Camera – see Why the iPhone is Today’s Kodak Brownie Camera. It is amazing what these small “supercomputers in our pocket” are capable of in terms of image making and processing. This morning’s image of Boronda Lake is just my latest example.

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iPhone 12 Pro Max Photography

Morning Light

The bright sun this Sunday morning motivated me to head over to Moss Beach and one of my favorite locations at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. A few of us were out walking when I turned around and saw this morning glow behind me.

Here’s the original image shot on my iPhone 12 Pro Max in ProRAW format and post processed in Lightroom on my iPhone.

I’m currently taking an iPhone Artistry course from Dan Burkholder and he has taught me some new techniques for image post processing. One of the approaches he taught involves using the app Formulas to create a distressed version of the image:

Next, I used the app InkWork to create a line drawing version of the image:

Using the app Image Blender, I combined the distressed version with the ink version to create the final version. This was over 90% blended to the original image with just a slide amount of the inking being added:

I like how the inking layer added some darker shadows to the tree trunks. And I was finished!

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Filoli iPhone 12 Pro Max Photography

That Camperdown Elm

One of my favorite trees in Filoli is the Camperdown elm that sits between the Pool Pavilion and the base of the tennis court. It’s at the end of a long grass lawn across from the west side of the Garden House.

Here are a couple of earlier posts I’ve shared about this tree including one from 2013 when I first began noticing this tree. I had mistakenly called it an oak tree originally but was quickly educated to learn that it’s really a Camperdown elm.

During a recent visit, I was patiently waiting for some folks to get out of the image I was trying to make when two kids walked into a sunny spot on the edge of the image – and one of them was wearing red. Talk about the decisive moment!

I’ve had fun post-processing the image in different styles all on my iPhone. Here’s the original image shot with the Camera app on my iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Here’s the first processed version – with a lot of white balance tweaking and cropping done using both the Photos app and Snapseed.

Finally, here’s a painterly version – created using Adobe’s Paint Can app on my iPhone and then processed in Snapseed to brighten up a bit and add a border.

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iPhone 12 Pro Max Photography

Photography and the iPhone 12 Pro Max

I’ve had my iPhone 12 Pro Max for a couple of months now – and have gotten familiar with the enhancements that Apple made to the camera system and software on this new phone – (it does seem a bit odd to call it a phone when I’m talking about here is really mostly using it as a camera!).

One of the features I’m using that’s new in iOS 14 is the ability to quickly open one of the camera apps on my iPhone. I tend to use one of three different camera apps when I’m shooting: 1) the built-in Camera app, 2) the Lightroom app, or 3) the Halide app. Each of these camera apps has features that I like to use – and I’ll choose which one based upon the setting when I’m taking the photo.

In iOS 14, it’s possible to quickly open any of those apps so that you can avoid missing a good shot. The Camera app can be opened quickly using the button on the lower right of iPhone’s Lock Screen. in iOS 14, there is a new accessibility feature that you can use to quickly open either Lightroom or Halide by tapping on the back of the phone. Here’s how to set this up.

Back Tap

In the Accessibility settings, you can enable a Touch setting called Back Tap. This setting allows you to setup two separate actions that will be invoked when you tap on the back of the phone – one for a double tap and another for a triple tap.

On my iPhone, I’ve setup Double Tap to use the shortcut Open Lightroom. This opens the Lightroom application – and if you’ve last used the camera in the Lightroom app, then it will reopen directly into the Lightroom camera. I setup this shortcut using the Open App shortcut with it set to open the Lightroom app.

I’ve setup Triple Tap to use the shortcut Backtap Halide. I setup this shortcut using the Shortcuts app. As with the Lightroom shortcut, I’ve setup another shortcut names Backtap Halide which simply opens the Halide app. When opened, it opens in camera mode.

Here are the two very simple shortcuts I created:

Give this setup a try and see if you like using these shortcuts to make your photography faster and easier to access on your iPhone.