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Tag: iPhone photos

Why Cropping into your Photos can Save your Shots

When editing your camera’s photos, you might need to look for the shot within the shot. Here are some examples.

After you snap a photo, you may have a good sense whether you’ve captured the image you want. Instant digital review certainly is a wonderful thing. But I would recommend not immediately deleting a photo that didn’t catch the moment or missed its intended focus point. Perhaps there’s a different element in the shot you’re not aware of that is in focus.

If you take a little time to study these photos, it’s amazing what you might find hidden in plain sight. And thanks to those many millions of pixels that are crammed into photos, you can usually crop deep into the image to pull out a detail with clarity.

No, it’s not quite like that scene from “Blade Runner” where Harrison Ford’s Deckard closely examines a digital photo and tells the computer to “move in and enhance.” But it’s amazingly close. You may not be able to print a large poster of your super-cropped photo, but it’ll likely still look great on your smartphone or computer screen.

Follow the Focus
I enjoy snapping flower shots with my Panasonic Lumix LX10. I prefer using manual focus in the attempt to make the flower pop out of its blurred background (bokeh).

But since the area of focus is especially narrow, it’s easy to miss the mark.

Instead of discarding these three pics that missed their focus targets, I followed the camera’s focus and then cropped in to save the shots.
(I use Adobe Lightroom.)
Yes, I missed the center of this flower, but the crisp edge of the petal is still interesting.

Much of this alien-like plant looked blurry, except for the tip of the back blooming stem. So, I zoomed in super tight to center on those crazy red sprouts.

Most of these fallen tree blossoms on my driveway ended up out of focus, but I cropped in tight enough to locate a few that weren’t caught in the blur.

Find your Needle in the Haystack
Even if focus isn’t a problem, you may still want to crop into a portion of a photo to give it some punch. If the entire shot isn’t that special, perhaps there’s a strong section to highlight.

I’ve been doing a lot of hiking with family and friends over the past year, and I’ve discovered that stunning views in nature don’t always translate into a quickly snapped photo. That usually happens to me when I try to take shots of a bubbly stream in a forest. It’s difficult to capture that sparkly view. So, when editing those pics, I sometimes explore the motion in the water.
In this cropped image I snapped with my iPhone, I was drawn to the linear patterns in the water created by the stream’s rush over rocks.

Show a Piece of the Puzzle
Beyond using this photo-cropping technique as a fix, you may find ongoing enjoyment in intentionally creating cropped shots that represent a piece of a larger story. (I certainly have.)

Sometimes a taste is all you need to fill in the rest.

I’ll give you a hint: My 5th grader’s science experiment using salt, hot water and a piece of string

If you’re still left with a mystery, is that so bad?

Less is More
I often like to say that “less is more” in visual storytelling. This perspective comes from my professional experience in video content creation and has certainly held up throughout my personal photography work.

Enjoy your own exploration of all of those smaller spaces in your photos.

How to Enjoy a Rainy Day with an iPhone and a GoPro during COVID-19

If you’re concerned about social-distancing challenges at the beach, consider this strategy to avoid the crowds.

Everything is the opposite these days. Well, it certainly feels that way with all of the new anti-social norms that are fusing into our daily lives.

I’ve got just two words to say about this right now…

It’s complicated.

But general human avoidance does seem like a best practice for the foreseeable future.

Practicing the New Art of Avoiding Humanity

It’s all about figuring out where lots of folks aren’t go be. 

Doing the opposite.

So when the Saturday weather forecast predicted lots of rain, that was my cue to activate our family beach-day plan (or at least a brief visit).

Fortunately, the storm took its time arriving, and there was wasn’t a drop of precipitation until after we returned home. But the threat was enough to keep the throngs of beach-deprived, COVID-19-weary people away. 

And that’s exactly what I was counting on. I brought my GoPro along to capture our moment in the happy emptiness.

Raining on your Parade?

When the downpour finally arrived, and I heard the sudden impact of a thousand rain drops on our roof, I closed my eyes and searched for another opposite reaction.

Then, I grabbed my waterproof iPhone and raincoat and ran outside as the deluge was still at its early peak.

My goal?

…to explore what I usually try to avoid.

Raindrops.

Getting soaking wet isn’t so bad if that’s part of the plan.

Especially when the other part is attempting to snap a few shots of rain in flight and after arrival. 

Enjoy your Opposite

In times like these, you’ve got to get a little creative to hold onto your own balance. And that might involve getting out of your comfort zone.

So, try spending some time examining the opposite and chasing your own raindrops.

You might discover your own private beach.

Why Memories May Demand Intense Colors in your Autumn Photos

After I snapped a few pictures of the fall foliage in New England, I found myself unconsciously pushing the colors to the max when I edited these photos. I think I may know why…

There’s something intoxicating about my memories from autumns long gone. I feel in one way or another, they’re connected to the intense colors that surround the fall season in New England. I was up in Litchfield County in Connecticut this past weekend, and I was surrounded by all of the peak foliage. And as I drove, I felt transported back in time to my high school years as a young student at the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT.

The color of the leaves. The sunlight poring through them. The brisk fall air. It was a reality-bending experience.

And of course, I snapped a few nature pictures with my iPhone XS Max in an attempt to capture that feeling.

But when I reviewed my photos later, they lacked the truly deep colors and dreamlike quality that my mind had created to reflect that time in my life.

As I worked through the photos in Adobe Lightroom, I found myself unconsciously pushing the color index. I made the reds of the leaves redder, and the blue fall sky even bluer. I wasn’t happy until the colors almost began dripping off of my computer screen.

I created a series of images that I don’t think you’d actually find anywhere in New England today, but they still feel entirely real to me. The forced colors connected me back to another time in my life that clearly still speaks to me today.

Using Color to Connect to your Past
What is reality anyway? The present may be easier to quantify, but the past is always in flux, because of how we remember… or choose to remember it.

Memory has its own set of rules, and today… I simply followed that direction without really understanding it.

And if that means pushing the colors to an intensity beyond nature’s capability, then I’ve given myself permission to do exactly that.

If you ever experience a similar impulse, I highly recommend you give it a try…

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