When the iPhone Camera Yields a Surprise (or Two) Inside

Surprise Inside by Jann Alexander ©2014

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.

Overkill is always false, even though the photo tools are at hand.  Tweet: Overkill is always false, even though the photo tools are at hand.  http://ctt.ec/2SwGI+ #iphoneography #phototips

iPhone 5s Image Specs
iPhone 5s Image Specs

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?

For more Phoneography Macro Images, visit Lens and Pens by Sally. You can see and shop for my Naturescapes here.



8 thoughts on “When the iPhone Camera Yields a Surprise (or Two) Inside

Add yours

  1. I’m always amazed at the versatility of the iPhone and what it captures. I can’t wait for iPhone 6 – who knows what it will bring us! You have captured a beautiful shot here. Jann, thank you for finding me & my blog. I look forward to viewing more of your posts. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jann, I’m delighted that you have joined the fun. As you said, one of the most intriguing aspect of macro photography (regardless of the lens) is the “surprise.” The naked eye is limited, and close-ups reveal so much more than we can visualize. I like your perspective, and the way that the buds are brought onto center stage. Happy Photo Challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this, and I really do think I need to go back to an iPhone. While my Samsung is good, I always got such wonderful results with the iPhone I used to have. I totally agree that sometimes over editing looks fake.

    Liked by 1 person

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