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Photographing with a five-year-old iPhone

Most times your five-year-old iPhone works just fine as a camera.

Glen Ellyn Metra train at sunset

Today, I stepped off my train, and I looked up, the sunset nearly knocked me over. Whoa! So intense! I grabbed my iPhone from my pocket and snapped a few pics.

Even though my iPhone 5s is well over five years old, it still can take some kickin’ photos. Ironically, I had my DSLR and tripod with me, but I didn’t even think of using them. (Kinda wish I did. The images would have been sharper and more in resolution.)

But I am glad to capture the scene with my old phone. How did I get such range of colors with an old iPhone. In a scene like this with lots of color and tonality, an app that specializes in HDR photography works nice. HDR is High Dynamic Range, which is fancy words for meaning that the phone takes a light photo, a medium photo, and a dark photo. And them merges them all together into one magical photo.

Certainly the iPhone has its own HDR functionality built into the camera. But the iPhone’s default HDR abilities don’t push the tones very far. For years I’ve used the Pro HDR app. It’s easy and gives some nice results when you really want to push the color in an image.

Then in Lightroom, I push it even more. Like, way out of control.

Don’t be bashful with the Dehaze!
Here, I adjusted some of the blue, purple, and magenta tones to make them lighter for the sky.
Lightening up the shadows helps to bring the church out of the silhouette.

And here’s the other two photos at full-width:

Glen Ellyn Metra train tracks at sunset
Glen Ellyn Metra train tracks at sunset
Sunset over Glen Ellyn St. Petronille Catholic Parish

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