Through Glass And Out Of Moving Vehicles

We spent the weekend in the Swiss Alps in Scuol. An ideal place for some nice touristy photos. Especially of the beautiful castle of Tarasp. The shots that impressed me the most have one thing in common. Both were taken with the iPhone XS out of a moving vehicle and through the closed window. 

On the bus back from Ftan I noticed this amazing view. No time to grab the A7. No time to do manual settings. No time to open Halide. No time to avoid reflections. Just press the shutter on the iPhone and hope for the best. Done.  

I immediately forgot about the photo. I didn‘t expect much. Back at home the surprise: 

iPhone XS: No edits.

iPhone XS: With a bit of Lightroom magic.

The second shot I took on the train to Scuol. I just pressed the iPhone against the Window. Once again I didn‘t expect much. Maybe a nice souvenir of the castle of Tarasp. But nothing I would show anyone. The circumstances were just too bad. Really? 

iPhone XS: No edits.

iPhone XS: With a few edits in Lightroom.

iPhone XS: An auto creation by Google Photos.

As a bonus, I shot some more pictures on the way back. This time I was ready. I opened the train window in time and had my amazing Sony A7 III with the even more amazing 85mm GM within reach. Even though it was midday and the light everything but ideal the pictures turned out quite ok.

castle schloss tarasp rafael zeier
castle schloss tarasp rafael zeier
castle schloss tarasp rafael zeier

Give It A Try: The Camera App On Apple Watch

In my review of the Note 9 I liked the idea to use the S-Pen to control the camera remotely. But I had completely forgotten about the even better remote right on my wrist.  

On our recent family vacation I shot some amazing group photos with the Apple Watch and the iPhone XS.  

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Just place your phone where you want it and open the camera app on your watch. You get a preview and can even change some settings and focus. 

I got the best results by choosing the 3 seconds delay. Otherwise, you‘re always looking at the watch or at least always have one finger on it.

Obviously, I‘m not posting any family photos here. But here‘s just one shot of me looking for the best place to set down the iPhone. 

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iPhone XS vs. iPhone X

To find out how the camera of the iPhone XS improves on the iPhone X and especially how Smart HDR works I took the two phones on a walk in the woods. There you have very bright light, hardly any light and often both in one picture.

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Bonus: A Few Night Shots

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On mobile the iPhone X is on top and the iPhone XS below. On a Desktop the iPhone X is on the left and the iPhone XS on the right.

Could you spot the differences and which do you like better? Let me know on Twitter.


How To Make Amazing Mega-Panoramas On An iPad With Your Photo Camera

First you take a bunch of pictures. It works best if you move your feet and camera as little as possible. In this case I took 25 photos with my A7 on a family trip to Bern. 

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Having imported the files onto the iPad via Wifi or an adapter or a device like this just add them to a new panorama in Affinity Photo.

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After a bit of waiting you get a panorama.  

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You could easily fix the edges in Affinity. But I‘m much faster with Pixelmator

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To add some final touches I use Lightroom CC. I know it‘s a bit overkill.  

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Et voila: The final result. All done on a train on an iPad while holding a more or less sleeping baby. 

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Just Because: Shooting The Moon With A Smartphone

After I posted some pictures of the moon I took with my Sony A7. Someone on Twitter dared me to do it with some of my smartphones. Et voila:  

Surprise! 4 photos but only 2 phones. Here they are:

iPhone X with 2x zoom, standard camera app

ƒ/2.4 1/15 6 mm ISO 160

To get the shot I reduced the brightness as much as possible. 


iPhone X with 2x zoom, Halide app, edited in

ƒ/2.4 1/1350 6 mm ISO 16

To get the shot I reduced brightness/exposure quite a bit but not as much as possible. 


Huawei P20 Pro, RAW-Mode, edited in Lightroom CC (In RAW-Mode zoom is deactivated)

ƒ/1.8 1/4000 3.95 mm ISO 50


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Huawei P20 Pro, 10x zoom, Pro-Mode, standard camera app

ƒ/1.8 1/4000 3.95 mm ISO 50

Just Because: Shooting Mars Without A Proper Lens

Because Mars is very well visible right now I couldn‘t resist and took the Sony A7 on to our balcony. Since I don‘t have a modern zoom lens I had to improvise.  

First I used an old 80-200mm Minolta/Tokina lens from the 80s. But that didn‘t work out. So I brought the Sony 90mm Macro.

It sure looks a tiny bit like Mars.  Not too bad for a macro lens.

PS: Here are two quick shots of the moon with the 80-200mm Minolta/Tokina.