Ever since borrowing a ZEISS 18mm equivalent lens for a trip to Europe many years ago, I have enjoyed the ultra-wide, not too wide, and definitely not fisheye, view of the 18mm. So, of course, one of my motivations for exploring photography with iPhone was the existence of many 18mm equivalent wide-angle clip on lenses. I have two, one of the ubiquitous cheap ones I bought as an example of the kind in a full lens kit for under $30, and then my Sirui which is rated among the best. Combined with in-camera (or in-phone) HDR the results are pleasing…if not comparable to my 18mm lens set on the Sony a6500. But then I did expect large sensor performance from the tiny phone sensor. This is the marsh down by the mouth of the Mousam River a few miles from my house. iPhone SE 2020 with Sirui 18mm lens. Vivid HDR extension in ProCamera. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Continuing with my adventure into phone photography, yesterday I was experimenting with the Sirui 60mm add-on portrait/short telephoto lens…mostly to see how it would work for dragonflies, butterflies, and flowers. This is Carol’s Valentine’s Day Calla Lily, by the light of a north window on a subdued day, using the Vivid HDR extension in the ProCamera app (but set to a “natural” rendering, not vivid). I am liking this lens on the iPhone SE. 🙂 My experimentation so far has convinced me that the Sirui lenses work better without a case on the phone…or as I have, you can modify the case so the area around the camera is bare. ProCamera gives me all the controls I am used to on my Sony. The only thing it lacks is user defined shooting modes (presets), so I am still looking at other photo apps. ProCamera also has extensive editing features…but I am finding it easier to AirDrop the photos to my iPad Pro where I can see them closer to full size and work on them in Polarr. iPhone SE 2020, Sirui 60mm lens, ProCamera Vivid HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Today marks a new photography adventure for me. I have decided to explore just how far you can push a phone camera in nature photography. This is my first attempt at serious phone photography with my modest iPhone SE 2020 and a Surui 18mm equivalent clip on lens. I used the ProCamera app to shoot and then process in HDR. I have a couple more Surui lenses to play with, and a small 50mm spotting scope for phonescoping on its way. We will see how this goes. This the forest across the road from our yard after Friday’s gentle snow. This new adventure needs a title, since I plan to chronicle my experiences on the web and maybe in at least an ebook. After long pondering, I think maybe “Nature Phone” will do. 🙂
Just to prove that my interest in natural ice formations goes beyond “swirly ice” (see last week’s post), here is a shot of the unique ice that forms where salt and fresh water mix in a tidal river. I have heard this called “rotten ice” but it deserves a better name, and “salt ice” works for me. 🙂 Little River at Laudholm Farms. Sony Rx10iv at about 300mm equivalent. Program mode with auto HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Nominal exposure: ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/1000th.
I am not sure this is what the author had in mind when he wrote “in the bleak mid-winter” (in fact the “snow on snow” line convinces me it is not), but this is the bleak mid-winter we are having in southern Maine. While I can no longer say I am a fan of cold temperatures…if we are going to have cold, even the relatively mild temperatures we have had in January, I would prefer to have a snowy landscape under blue skies…thank you very much. Of course my weather preferences hardly matter in the big scheme of things. 🙂 There is still a bleak beauty in this landscape…though more like the bleakness of early spring than mid-winter. This is the Mousam River marsh from the Kennebunk Land Trust Mousam River Santuary in Kennebunk. Sony Rx10iv at 24mm equivalent. Program mode with auto HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Nominal exposure: ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/640th.
Standing on the Route 1 bridge in Kennebunk, Maine, looking mostly south-east along the flow of the river toward the ocean on a December day. The sun was in and out and I caught it out as I crossed the bridge. Sony Rx10iv at 24mm equivalent. Program mode with HDR on auto. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Nominal exposure: ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/360th.
We have had a lot of moody days this early winter. At least they make for dramatic skies. This is Branch Brook at high tide, on its way to join the Merriland River to become the Little, on the back side of the trail at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters. Sony Rx10iv at 24mm equivalent. Program with auto HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Nominal exposure: ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/320th.
Something a bit different from my backyard birds today. 🙂 We are expecting our first real snow tonight, but for yesterday the landscape was just huddling under a brooding sky, waiting on winter to decide to come. That tree out there has had, some years, a Snowy Owl, and I always start checking it every trip to the beach along about now. Not yet. Maybe not at all this year. Still waiting on that decision as well. Sony Rx10iv at 24mm equivalent. Program mode with auto HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Nominal exposure: ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/500th. -.3 EV.
Southern Maine’s second fall…when the oaks and birches turn…is not, perhaps, as spectacular as the first…when the Maples turn bright yellow and red…but it has a beauty of its own…especially under the late October (and sometimes November) skies. October this year, definitely, as the season came early. This is a little stream that comes down to the Mousam River and crosses under Water Street in Kennebunk, Maine. Sony Rx10iv at 28mm equivalent. Program mode with Auto HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Nominal exposure: ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/320th.
We are into our second day of pretty constant rain here in southern Maine…and we certainly need the rain. I went to Emmon’s Preserve on the Baston river in Kennebunkport, Maine, to see about some fall foliage shots with running water…but there was, for the first time in my memory, no water running down the ledges between the pools on the river. That is low water! You can see the standing water mark on the bolder, and the high water mark. Way low. Still, the pools were beautiful with the fall leaves. Sony a6500 with the 18mm equivalent ultra-wide combo. Program mode with HDR. Nominal exposure: ISO 100 @ f7.1 @ 1/100th. -1EV in an attempt to hold some detail in the overcast sky, and Program Shift for depth of field. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.