Professional Lighting With An iPhone?

by William Lulow

 iPhone(White)

Well, I just read about Apple’s release yesterday of a dual-lens iPhone! They will try to make the iPhone more like a normal camera by giving it the ability to make an image with some depth-of-field! That’s really great, except what about using studio strobe equipment? And what about more control using different lens apertures and shutter speeds?

Until now, there was no way that an iPhone could trigger a studio strobe unit. Reading further on the internet, I found out that a company is currently producing an item called a Tric Cam Lite (free downloadable app from the App Store). This little unit works through a Blue Tooth connection between the Tric unit and your iPhone. (Not as yet available for Androids).

No doubt that iPhones are handy tools to use, but my complaint has always been that other than using hotlights, there was no way you could use the iPhone in the studio. Even with traditional hotlights, getting creative looking images was difficult because of the iPhone’s camera program that tries to make everything in front of it visible! There are some shoots when you want to have a dramatic lighting and not have everything lit up! The iPhone struggles to do this because there is really no aperture, speed control or ISO settings when you are shooting. You can change things about an image in post-processing, but it’s difficult to control other exposure modifications during the shooting! So, I’m not sure this little invention will entice regular professionals to use their iPhones for their assignments. When I shoot an assignment, I usually shoot hundreds of images from which I edit down to a selection of images I send to the client. When I shoot with my iPhone, I have to upload everything to my iCloud account, then download them again to bring them into Lightroom and eventually into Photoshop for editing. Seems like much more work than simply downloading them from the camera into Lightroom. But, I’m certainly no iPhone expert, so maybe I’m doing something wrong. I am a lighting expert, however, and it will be interesting to see results from my iPhone with this little gimick! I will pick one up and do some tests.

Follow this link http://petapixel.com/2015/06/09/tric-is-the-worlds-first-professional-flash-trigger-for-iphones/  to read the article.

There are some problems with this unit however, so it may not be for everyone. But it’s a pretty good indicator of how the field of photography is headed for even more change in the future.

The fact remains that the iPhone, or any camera phone, for that matter, was never designed as a professional tool for image making! There are snap on lenses for some of the newer models, but they hardly take the place of the superior optics available for professional grade DSLRs. Camera phones, as I have said many times, have been designed as, more or less, foolproof snapshot cameras, designed for the more than several billion users worldwide! I’m not sure what the future iterations of iPhones will be like, but I am sure that manufacturers will try to make the taking of professional grade images ubiquitous worldwide in the next few years!