iPhoneography

Railroad JunctionThey say the best camera is the one you have on you, so I have been making a point lately to leave the DSLR at home and to work on my iPhoneography. Will my phone ever become my serious camera?  Not anytime soon. But, this practice is good because I don’t bring my DSLR with me everywhere I go and there are times when all I have with me is my camera phone. I want to be able to get the most out of those photos.

Just like you would never shoot your serious camera in auto mode, to get the most out of your phone photos, you have to get away from the native camera app. I use the Lightroom Mobile app (which is free and you don’t have to have Creative Cloud to use it), but there are other quality shooting and editing apps out there. Before taking the picture, the app lets you adjust your exposure, white balance, and your focus point. On the iPhone 7, Lightroom is able to shoot in RAW which is awesome because after the fact, you are able to get more out of your photos. After you take a picture, Lightroom Mobile allows you to do basic edits of the image and then you can save it to your camera roll and share it out on social media.

I recently did a comparison between two photos of the same thing, one of them was shot with my D3100 (which is not a high end camera by any means) and one was shot with my iPhone. While the iPhone camera has come a long way, and apps like Lightroom Mobile allow you to be more creative with your images, it still does not measure up to a DSLR.

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Spring on Leelanau Peninsula

Spring on the Peninsula

During our recent time in Traverse City, we decided to head to Leelanau State Park for sunset. We were a little early for sunset, so we headed out to the Lighthouse at the tip of the Peninsula. The clouds were really interesting at this point in time, but looking at this photo, you can see movement in the clouds. A little closer to sunset, we headed up to an overlook that looks over the dunes and the bay below. This would be an amazing spot for sunset if the sun was in a different spot in the sky.  According to The Photographer’s Ephemeris, the middle of June would be a great time to photograph the sunset at this spot. So, we continued on towards the beach and by this point, clouds have rolled in and the sun could only be seen in the opposite corner of the beach, so this shoot was kind of a bust but I was able to get this kind of interesting, reflective shot from the beach near the lighthouse. The moral of my story, not every shoot results in breathtaking images. Sometimes, you have to just relax and enjoy being outside and try another time.

Above I mentioned The Photographer’s Ephemeris. I recommend TPE to every photographer! You are able to put your pin at a photos spot on a map and it shows you where the sun and moon will be in the sky at any given day.  Obviously it can’t tell you what the cloud cover will be like, you’ll need your favorite weather app for that, but the web app is free and there is mobile app for when you are on the go. It was integral to planning our Chateau Grand Traverse shoot from a few weeks ago.

For more information about Leelanau State Park, visit the Michigan DNR. Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page.

Detroit Hidden Gem

Lighthouse & Ice

When planning our Belle Isle trip, Chris did some research into other photo-worthy spots in Detroit. One spot he found was the Windmill Point Lighthouse in Mariner Park, which is right on the border of Detroit and Grosse Point Park. This area is sometimes referred to as the “Venice of Detroit” and as we drove in, I could see why. The homes are situated on canals that run to the river. Every home seemed to have a boat on a lift. I never knew anything like this existed in the city! If I’ve piqued your curiosity, check out this photo feature on Daily Detroit from a few years ago.

So, I had no idea this “Canal District” or this lighthouse existed. And it seems like no one else knows it exists either. We visited on an unseasonably warm Saturday in January and it was just us and a border patrol agent on his lunch break. If you search online for Windmill Point Lighthouse, it doesn’t seem like a lot of photographers have discovered this spot either.

Like many Michigan lighthouses, this one has an interesting history. The original lighthouse with an light-keeper’s quarters was built on this spot in 1848. In the 1920’s the Public Health Service acquired the land for a new Marine Hospital. The main tower of the light was left standing and was converted to an electric light while the keeper’s quarters were demolished to make room for the hospital. The hospital was torn down long ago and the area is now known as Mariner Park. Looking at old photos, both the lighthouse keeper’s quarters and the hospital were beautiful buildings. I wonder what they would look like today if they were still standing. (LighthouseFriends.com)

About the Photo:
When we made this trip, I really wanted to get a shot of the ice in the river (I did get this one). When we got there, I really wanted to get both the ice and the lighthouse in one shot. Well, both the fence and my lens made that kind of difficult. This was one instance where I wish I had a wider lens! This was a single RAW exposure, with basic edits done in Ligthtroom.

Camera Gear:
Nikon D3100 with 18.0-55.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens handheld

Date Taken:
January 2016

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