Photography: iPhone Lighting

January 30th, 2010
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Ok, so, this is pretty cool.
I’m still learning as a photographer, but I’ve been doing it long enough that I’ve picked up a couple things here and there in the process. Recently, I had a conversation with my friend Yelena (whose blog you should totally read, because it’s awesome) who was asking about this whole photography thing. As I was writing out my response, I realized it would make a good post. Procrastination being what it is, I haven’t posted that yet. But there’s this, which I think is pretty great.
I often shoot in dark places. Bars, restaurants, clubs all tend towards mood lighting that’s not so friendly to photography. And I’ve never been particularly fond of using a flash. My candid-heavy ‘fly on the wall’ approach doesn’t really work so well when a blinding flash breaks up the flow of the evening.
So, I’ve adapted to shooting in low light – a steady hand, leaning on various items readily available at the bar, that sort of thing.
The other night I figured out a really cool new trick: lighting the subject with my iPhone. Turns out that in a pretty dark room, like this restaurant in Aspen (more on the meal in a couple days), the light from the phone is plenty to light up a subject.
I did have the ISO set to 400, somewhat high, but not so bad that the noise took over the image. Best of all, unlike a flash, you’ve got a million different angles you can point the light, moving the shadows wherever you want them.

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