November 10, 2014 by bck1402
Playing around with the camera on my iPad here.
There was this tree in my neighbourhood that had been cut down months back – might be more than a year now. I thought it was a sad thing that they took down the tree instead of just trimming the branches like they do with every other tree along the roadside. It’s something the local state municipal department does from time to time.
The tree was cut to a stump, not uprooted and removed.
Today, I just happened to pass by and noticed a sprout coming out the centre of the stump. I thought – Wow! Life does find a way. How cool was it that a new tree was growing out of the old one.
Then I thought – Photo opportunity!
And I had my iPad with me. Let’s give it a go!
Unfortunately, it was super-hot and bright sunny day, and probably two in the afternoon was not a good time to try capturing photo with a big reflective screen, even with the brightness levels turned to the max. Also, I wanted to try out the Manually app.
Of course, it doesn’t turn the iPad’s digital camera into a manual SLR, but it does a decent imitation with the singular dial and ‘buttons’ next to it. You can adjust for focus, exposure, iso and speed. I tired for a lower iso, and then adjusted the speed to reduce the brightness while shutting the focus to effect a wider aperture, thus blurring the background a little and stay focused on the sprout.
After several attempts (and a few droplets of sweat) this was about the best I could manage.
Then, just before taking off, I decided to take a quick shot with the iPad’s normal camera app (forgot to turn on the HDR), and took this.
That shadow to the bottom left… that’s the iPad’s shadow.
Once I got home to check out the pictures, I could see I didn’t manage to compensate the exposure enough on the first one, making it a little brighter than I wanted. The background was fuzzy though. In both cases, the super-bright and harsh sunlight caused details to mix and merge.
It also occurred to me that these would look great in black and white. So I started playing with the photo edit functions in the Album viewer. For this, I used the first picture that was taken with Manually.
There are three black and white options, Mono, Tonal and the one I went with, Noir. Then there were the adjustments that you can make under Light, Colour and B/W. I can’t remember the numbers that came up for them, I simply adjusted to what I liked and ended up with this.
For the other, I used another app called Camera Bag, which had loads of preset filters and each filter had their own adjustment bars, one for lighting, the other for darkness. So picking one of the many black and whit filters and a little fiddling on those adjustment bars, the photo taken with the iPad Camera app came out like this.
Because I had more of the stump, the bark just came out stronger in black and white, and more strikingly compared to the one before.
The background, the house with the fence and garden, didn’t help much and the other options were the roads on the other three angles, plus the effect of the stump would be there. It was cut at an angle. Maybe I should carry around some makeshift background, like one of those foldable windscreen sun-blockers. Bright on one side, dark on the other… yeah, should invest in one. And then have a partner-in-crime to hold it up in place properly while I steal a moment to snap a photo. Preferably a lovely photogenic lady who wouldn’t mind posing once in a while…
A-hem. Sorry…. drifting. It’s been a day.