LTP 110: iPhone RAW & Autumn/Fall 1

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In this solo show Bart digs into two smaller topics that wouldn’t quite be enough for a show by themselves. He starts with his thoughts on a shooting RAW on his iPhone 14 Pro for the paste few months, and moves on to reflect on his experiences capturing this year’s autumn colours & mists. He shares some advice, and talks through his favourite four shots from this season (linked in the episode notes).

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Phone Pro Raw Thoughts & Experiences
  • Enabled the feature a few months ago — does not shoot all photos in raw, but adds a button to the camera app to enable RAW when desired
  • The toggle to enable raw is working well for me — proving easy to get to, and visible enough to remember to do it!
  • Apple’s Pro Raw is not true raw straight from the sensor, because as we saw in the previous episode, there’s no guarantee only one sensor’s data contributed to the image!
    • Pro Raw is a generic raw format, a lot like DNG
    • Data captured after computational photography has done its magic
    • Data still has full bit depth, colour, and depth map
  • Because Pro Raw retains the computational photography, images initially look just like non-raw images (not the case on DSLRs)
  • Added value comes in editing — sliders can do more without degrading the image because there is more data to work with
  • Slower to open in edit mode, and to save edits
Reflections on this Year’s Autumn Shots
  • Each year I struggle to capture the beauty of the autumn colours in a way that does justice to how it feels in real life — so hard to get time images to have the appropriate ‘wow’ factor!
  • As well as colour, autumn is a time of misting mornings and evenings, and I struggle to capture those scenes too!
  • Did get a handful of shots I’m proud of this year (see below)
Thoughts on capturing the colour
  • Foreground internet seems particularly important to get the background colours to feel impressive
    • I tend to get good results shooting low and wide with either a scattering of leaves, or a single hero leaf for foreground interest
    • My best shot of the season broke that rule — it used a reflection to double the background colour, and had no actual foreground at all!
  • Warm autumn colours look at their best when contrasted with green or blue, or better yet, both!
    • I think the presence of the contrasting colour helps the brain register just how impressive the autumn colours are!
    • Don’t be tempted to warm the white balance, that actually reduces the impact because while it makes the red more red, they feel less red because the greens and blues have gone muddy — my best results were from doing the opposite, cooling the images just a smidge!
    • If blues and greens aren’t available, a dark neutral grey or black works pretty well too
Thoughts on capturing the mist
  • The camera often sees mist as a lack of contrast, and a problem to be solved, so it’s often working against you!
  • A layer of mist that only covers part of the shot seems to be easier to capture because it’s more obvious to the camera that it’s not just a lack of contrast
  • The compression from zooming in can help amplify mist
  • With a layer of mist, getting low gets a greater density of mist between you and the background, which can really help
My Autumn 2022 Highlights

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One thought on “LTP 110: iPhone RAW & Autumn/Fall

  • Allister Jenks

    That was a fascinating insight into autumn colours. It never would have occurred to me to “do the opposite” as you described. Despite being Spring down here, I will be experimenting with that theory!

    On the topic of RAW file formats, *most* RAW developers of note (certainly every one I have tried in recent times, and I’ve tried most of the big name ones) will have very wide support of camera makes and models’ RAW files. Aside, perhaps, from quite new models, you’re likely to find very good support for Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Leica, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, and Sony. In fact, macOS Ventura (and iOS/iPadOS 16) has built in support for 657 cameras from 18 different manufacturers, so you can even open them all in Preview! Apple aren’t exactly current with their support, either, as my 2017 model Pentax is still not included in Ventura!

    As an example of a modern, specialised RAW developer tool, I use DxO PhotoLab which currently supports 78 Nikon models and 98 Canon models and those lists will be missing older models as the software is not that old.

    DNG is a nice theory on a “generic” file format, but it isn’t a panacea, that’s for sure. Inside a DNG file is usually just the original RAW data, unaltered. The *promise* of DNG is that any software can read a description of the data layout, and then read out the data. While this is possible in many software products, the compatibility of these different formats with various processes can be… patchy. DNG is based on TIFF which pioneered “patchy compatibility standards”, so it is perhaps no surprise.