Saturday, January 18, 2014

The moon ... through the lens of an iPhone

I know my iPhone's camera has its limitations, but I continue to marvel at its ability to capture quality images under challenging circumstances. My experience is that your luck is hit and miss, although my luck so far has been more hit than miss. And this is significant, given that the photographer has no control over the camera's aperture and shutter speed settings. It's a virtual point-and-shoot, but one equipped with face-recognition capability, which I'm beginning to think carries over to distinctly bright things the camera sees in a composition.

Such as the photograph of the moon in this post, which I took Wednesday night, shortly before midnight, as I was out on a stroll for fresh air and exercise. I've tried to take images with the iPhone in very low light without luck, but on reflection, it occurs to me that none of those images had at least one distinct, bright focal point in the composition.

I've also had some impressive luck with it. Regular visitors here might remember the shots of the Eli Lilly complex after dark a couple months ago, or the photos of a blues trio in the low-lighted confines of the Slippery Noodle Inn from five months ago or so, when I took several pictures of the two blues bands performing there that evening.

Luck was with me Wednesday night for the moon photo. Skies were densely cloudy, but I had noticed on a couple occasions during my half-hour walk I'd gaze upward to explore something bright I'd suddenly noticed out of the corner of my eye. Every 5 minutes or so, the moon was darting through extremely small pockets of clear sky before sliding behind the clouds.

It didn't occur to me to try and photograph the sphere until I was on the home stretch of my walk. I was on the sidewalk along Pagoda Drive in Garfield Park, near the foot of the hill that begins at the Burrello Family Center. I glanced up at the sky and noticed the moon nearing an open pocket, and coming up on me to the right near the road was the large, expansive-branched maple tree that I've photographed on several occasions.

I pulled out the camera phone, composed and focus at a point where the pocket was framed between a couple of branches and held my breath to hopefully minimize any camera shake. When the moon slipped into the pocket, I released the shutter.

I uploaded the shot to my Facebook timeline just to have something to post for the day. The version on my camera photo look OK, but I had no idea -- until pulling up the Facebook post version on the computer screen after I got home -- that the image did as well capturing the detail that it did. I was stunned; it did not look nearly that good on the phone.

The version in this post has been edited and enhanced further in Photoshop Elements 10. I lowered the highlights, which improved the moon's finite shape and enriched the blue in the sky a bit. I also ran the image through Noiseware software then sharpened it slightly in Photoshop.

As always, to view a larger version of images in these posts, click on the image.

No comments:

Post a Comment