Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’


In Case You Missed It: Apple’s 30th Anniversary Ad Shot on iPhone Proves Almost Any Camera Can Look Great

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

There was a lot going on last night between the Super Bowl and all of the ads broadcast during it (I am not a fan of Budweiser’s beer, but they sure do make adorable TV ads… I mean really, who can resist puppies and horses?), so it was easy to miss the Apple ad.

This week marks the 30th anniversary of Apple’s introduction of the Macintosh computer and with it Apple’s now-legendary “1984″ Super Bowl ad (if you haven’t seen the ad, do yourself a favor and spend 60 seconds watching it), and many people were hoping Apple would mark the occasion by making another ad of similar caliber. Those people were disappointed when the game ended without anything from Apple, but it turns out that Apple did make a 30th anniversary ad; instead of paying millions of dollars to broadcast it during the game though, Apple chose to distribute the ad online on YouTube and it’s own website.

The footage is stunningly beautiful, and as is revealed at the end, it was all shot on iPhones.

YouTube Preview Image

Apple’s message here is obvious: the iPhone shoots amazing, beautiful video (and therefore you should buy one because then you too could create beautiful videos). While the iPhone’s camera IS actually pretty good (and for a smartphone it’s incredibly good), in my opinion the best takeaway from this ad is very different: with good lighting, composition, execution and editing, almost ANY camera can create great images. One of my favorite testaments to this truth is a 20″ x 24″ photo print I have on the wall in my office: I shot that photo using a $3.99 disposable film camera from CVS.

Camera makers like to make us think that if we just buy the right camera, we’ll be able to make beautiful images… and believing that fiction is a trap that even professionals fall into. Too often even professionals think “Oh, if I only had this camera or that camera my images would be so much better!” But most of the people reading this probably have shot videos on an iPhone that didn’t come out anywhere nearly as beautiful as the shots in Apple’s video above. The truth is that it is the talent, skill and experience of the operator (or in the case of high-quality productions like Apple’s ad above, the team) that matters. Just like buying the same golf clubs Tiger Woods uses won’t make you as good a golfer as Tiger Woods, buying this camera or that camera won’t make your images as beautiful as those made by a professional; only time, effort and experience can do that.

The flip side of that coin though is you don’t need fancy, expensive cameras to make gorgeous images; with practice and experience, you can make beautiful, beautiful images even with something as cheap as an iPhone, or a $3.99 disposable camera from CVS. So go out and shoot!

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Making “The Best Camera” Better – The iblazr Flash Unit

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Hi all! I’ve been out of the country for the last two weeks and just landed back in North America a day or two ago (with the jet lag I’m having a bit of trouble keeping track of days…!) so things are incredibly busy around here at the moment, but I wanted to do a quick post about this very quickly:

In the photography world the saying has been going around for a number of years that “the best camera is the one that you have with you.” In other words, the best, fanciest, most expensive SLR camera in the world is useless if you don’t have it with you when you want to take a photo (and since most pro-level cameras are large, heavy and bulky, we tend not to have them with us all of the time). The cameras that most people do now have with us all of the time are the ones in our phones (the camera-phone phenomenon has literally upended the entire photography world, with a recent statistic I saw saying that in 2013 over 99% of all the photos taken in the world will be taken on phones). While the cell phone camera is ubiquitous and convenient, since these devices are phones first and cameras second (even though some phones’ cameras have gotten remarkably good; I’m continuously impressed with the camera in my iPhone 5) they lack lots of features and functions of real cameras. With that in mind, a number of different companies have started making products to enhance the photo-taking capabilities of phones. Enter, iblazr.

iblazr in black and white colors. Photo courtesy iblazr lab.

iblazr is a Kickstarter project by some folks in Ukraine who’ve designed a small device that can act as an external flash unit or continuous light for iPhones, iPads, Android phones, etc. It plugs into the phone or tablet’s headphone jack, and four powerful LEDs sync with the phone’s camera function. The device even includes its own battery, so it won’t deplete your phone’s battery.

I just heard about iblazr today, and when I read the Kickstarter page, I ponied up fifty bucks to back it immediately. This device, if its designers pull it off (and from what they’ve done already it looks like they will) should really help smartphones take much better photos in low light (the unit can even be used as an off-camera flash by using a simple headphone extension cord!). The Kickstarter funding period runs through September 3, so if this sounds like something you might like, go over to the Kickstarter page and get your name on the list and help this ingenious little product become reality!

The iblazr people estimate that they’ll have the finished units delivered in December of this year, so I’ll keep this post updated and give you my thoughts when I receive the product!

iblazr. Photo courtesy iblazr lab.

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