iPhone Cloudscapes

While taking a walk in our community, we noticed very low huge cloud formations. They were quite impressive, so I shot a series of images with my iPhone 11 Pro. Most were panoramas shot with multiple images to be assembled in Photoshop for the final image. I do not usually use the pano feature in the iPhone because it distorts the left & right ends of the image giving a “bowing distortion” in the middle. Most images were shot with the 6mm lens with digital zoom added in the iPhone. I never really used the digital zoom feature much before, but it actually worked out quite well, especially for clouds.

The featured image is a single shot with the 6mm lens with 318% Digital Zoom added on the phone. I was photographing from a distance because if I got closer the trees blocked more of the bottom of the clouds and I only could photograph the small top cloud section.

Clouds_#15_6mm_55mm_106 dig zoom

Cloud Panorama, iPhone 11 Pro, 4.3mm lens, 195% Digital Zoom Added, 3 Image Blend in Photoshop


Cloud Panorama, iPhone 11 Pro, 6mm lens, 168% Digital Zoom Added, 4 image Panorama, Blended in Photoshop

Clouds_#9_3img_6mm_134mm digitl zoom_v1

Cloud Panorama, iPhone 11 Pro, 6mm lens with 260% Digital Zoom added, 3 image Panorama, Blended in Photoshop

Clouds ip11_Pro_6mm_318percent Digital zoom

Cloud Panorama, iPhone 11 Pro, 6mm lens with 318% Digital Zoom added, 3 image Panorama, Blended in Photoshop

Clouds_iP_11_Pro_52mm_2x digital zoom_16x9_

Cloud Panorama, iPhone 11 Pro, 6mm lens with 213% Digital Zoom added, 5 image Panorama, Blended in Photoshop

Clouds 3_iP11_Pro_6mm +213_digial zoom_

Cloud Panorama, iPhone 11 Pro, 6mm lens with 214% Digital Zoom added, 5 image Panorama, Blended in Photoshop

Night Photos with iPhone 11Pro

We were taking an evening walk in our community to get a few more steps in before settling in for the evening. It was a pleasant evening and the sidewalks were well lit. As we were going by the Meeting House, I decided to try a few night images with my iPhone 11Pro. It is supposed to be pretty good in low light, but have not really tried it at night. Here it was actually dark and I was surprised how good the images were straight out of the iPhone. It seemed to automatically somewhat balance nicely the highlights & darkness. Especially since there was a wide mix of darkness, spotlights and ambient lights along the sidewalk. I have tried shooting Raw files on the iPhone 11 Pro, but did not see that much difference so I just shoot jpegs with it. But I do have my Photoshop setup to open jpegs as raw files so I can pull even more detail and have more adjustments from the jpeg file before I actually  open them in Photoshop. I have not seen a significant difference on the jpeg files in image quality doing this and have printed these kind of files quite large. It goes against my normal work flow of shooting Raw files on all my other cameras. I was using the iPhone 11 Pro’s 4.3mm lens (Full Frame FOV equivalent ~26mm). The featured image is also 2 vertical 16×9 images blended, side by side to get a little bit wider view. When I am photographing with the iPhone I usually always use the 16×9 format. The image below is basically from the same spot but I just turned around from photographing the featured image. I was pleasantly surprised at the images because the exposures were 1/30 sec. on the Meeting House and 1/8 sec. for the image below. The exposure actually seemed much much longer and you could see some blurry movement during the beginning of capture on the phone’s screen. But I guess the phone was doing a lot of processing & adjusting of the image as it was saving the final file.

Commons_2img_pano_16x9_iP11_4_3mm FF26mm

180 degree Opposite View from where I was standing

Garter Snake Shed Skin

As we were taking a walk in our community I noticed a shed snake skin in the grass near the sidewalk. The featured image is a closeup side view of the head area. Images were taken with my iPhone 11 Pro with the 6mm lens, 4:3 image format, (Full Frame Field of View equivalent 52mm). I never have seen a shed snake skin before in person, only in photos. It almost has the look of a 3D computer modeling display!


Full view of shed skin – iPhone 11 Pro, 6mm lens, 16×9 format


Closer image of Head Area & Some Body, 6mm lens, 16×9 format (with slight crop of image)

Head snake skin_v4_6mm_IMG_2877

Closeup Head & Eye Area of shed Garter Snake Skin. iPhone 11 Pro, 6mm lens, 16×9 format, cropped slightly.

Head Snake_Skin_v2_IMG_2875

Head snake skin_v3_6mm_IMG_2877

Another Closeup Head & Eye Area of shed Garter Snake Skin. iPhone 11 Pro, 6mm lens, 16×9 format, cropped slightly.

As garter snakes grow, they must shed their skin. Unlike other creatures like humans, a snake’s skin does not grow along its body. Its scales are made of keratin, which is the same protein found in our fingernails. When garter snakes slither along the ground, their scales scrape on rocks, dirt and other debris. This movement is important to help snakes shed their skins. Snake skin usually sheds off in one continuous piece, starting around the lips and ending at the tail.

The young garter snake grow rapidly as they feed on prey items such as insects, amphibians and earthworms. As they grow, they have to shed their skin approximately every four to five weeks. As they mature and grow into full-sized adults between 2 and 4 years old, the amount of shedding declines since they are not growing as rapidly. Mature garter snakes shed a few times each year, due to wear and tear on their scales. In a healthy garter snake, the entire shedding process takes a little longer than one week.

Shedding Skin –

The initial shedding process involves the garter snake secreting a milky fluid that helps separate the new skin from the old skin. A garter snake hides and won’t eat since he is blind when he sheds. When ready, a garter snake rubs his mouth on the ground to help push up the older skin. He then slowly makes his way out of his old skin by slithering along the ground, encouraging the skin the retract inside-out as it comes off in one piece.

Garter snake_v1_IMG_2884

Garter snake that was by the shed skin, photographed the next day. It seemed like we interrupted the Garter Snake eating it’s shed skin.

Eastern Garter Snake In Garden

We had started to put a few plants in our gardens yesterday so we went out to take a look today. We were surprised to see an Eastern Garter snake stretched out along the edge of one of the garden beds. The featured head image was shot with an iPhone 11 Pro, standard 4:3 format, 6mm lens (Full Frame Camera Field of View  equivalent focal length = 51mm). I then switched to the 16×9 image format with the 4.3 lens (Full Frame Camera field of view equivalent ~26mm) to get an image of the whole snake along the edge of the garden bed. All focal length info listed above are from notations from the equivalents listed when opening the images in Adobe Bridge & Camera Raw info. It is nice to have such a versatile camera in a phone you usually always have with you. Between the 3 different lenses and different image formats it comes in handy for those unexpected image opportunities! Is it as good as a “Real” Camera? No, but if  you are careful and use Adobe Camera Raw carefully, it does an amazing job! The more you use it the better the results. Especially for multiple image & multiple rows for landscapes!

Eastern Garter Snake_v1_IMG_2687

You Never Know What You Will Find In Your Yard

I was surprised to see these bones under a tree in the corner of my yard. There is a wooded area on the other side of my sidewalk where we used to see a lot of turkeys, deer & foxes. But it is chain linked fenced from the larger woods beyond. The featured image is also a 2 image iPhone panorama.

2_img Bones_yard_v3_IMG_1924

2 image panorama, assembled in Photoshop, iPhone 11 Pro

Bones teeth IMG_1912-v1 iP_4_20

All Flags Half-Staff For Victims Of COVID-19

2 image panorama of the Flags at Half-Staff at the Club House in our community. Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 114, ordering the flag of the United States of America and the flag of New Jersey should be flown at half-staff at all State departments, offices, agencies, and instrumentalities indefinitely. This started on Friday, April 3, 2020, in recognition and mourning of all those who have lost their lives and have been affected by COVID-19.

I had trouble photographing the flags because of the wind & the flags not blowing nicely or even in unison. So I shot the main scene view with 2 vertical images on my iPhone 11 Plus. Then I shot a video of the blowing flags. Back at my computer I combined my 2 main images into a slight panorama to get both street lamps bordering the image. I then did screen grabs from the video and selected the best blowing Flag position of each Flag. I then placed the grabbed images with Photoshop in the shot for my final image. I also was going to clone out the slight vertical cloud to the left of the flag pole, but decided to leave it in.  I am surprised at the versatility and quality of the images from the iPhone 11 Plus. Also the quality of the flags from the video.

7 Image iPhone Panorama

Another panorama from our trip to Florida in February. For this panorama I chose to shoot with the 1.5mm lens on my iPhone 11 Pro. This would be an equivalent field of view of 13mm on a full frame camera.  I shot 2 rows of images, top row 4 images and bottom row had 3 images.  Somehow I miscounted on the bottom row, but it worked out anyway. I selected the files and adjusted the phone jpegs in Adobe Camera Raw before opening them into one layered file in Photoshop. I have my Adobe Camera Raw setup to open jpegs as raw files with settings. I tried setting the iPhone to shoot HEIC raw files, but that just slowed down the camera and did not see much of a difference in quality only a much larger file size. The panorama images below are multiple images in one row, combined and blended in Photoshop.


Another Multi-Image version of the same view. This time a one row, multi-image blend shot with the 1.5mm lens.       (Each Image in Series Full Frame Equivalent 13mm)

LW Landscape_2img iPhone 11_Pro_4_3mm lens 26mmFF

2 image iPhone panorama, shot with 4.3mm lens.                (Each Image in Series – Full Frame Equivalent 26mm)

Another Lake Woodruff NWR Landscape

Here is another 2 image iPhone Landscape panorama from our visit to Lake Woodruff NWR in Florida. The 2 images were brought into Photoshop on 2 separate layers, then I let Photoshop align and blend them into one final image. In this image if you look closely you will see 9 Black Vultures on the path. The images were shot with the 4.3mm lens (full frame FOV equivalent would be 26mm). In previous visits years ago the vultures would sometimes follow you around on the paths. When this first happened it was a little unnerving to have a large bunch Vultures follow you for a quite while. As we walked they were making a hooting noise. At least this time they flew away if we walked close.

14 Image iPhone Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge Landscape Panorama

For this landscape I used the 1.5mm lens on the iPhone 11 Pro and shot 14 images. (Full Frame Camera Field of View equivalent is 13mm). I brought the files into Adobe Camera Raw to adjust the files and pull out detail and balance my settings. Than I open them into one layered Photoshop file with each image in a layer. Next in Photoshop I align and blend Automatically the 14 images into one final blended image. I still have layered sections and save the layered file just in case I need to touch up something. Then I flatten the image for the final image.

Fall Walk In The Woods

We took a walk through the woods at a local park just to get some fresh air. I only had my iPhone 11 Pro with me since I was not thinking anything would be interesting to photograph. The sun was low and most of the leaves were off the trees, but the shadows of the trees were amazing. The iPhone did a nice job photographing in a variety of lighting conditions. After getting use to the new iPhone for a while now, I tend not to use the pano mode as much,  preferring to shoot multiple images to assemble my own wider or panorama views. Even with the 1.5mm lens selected (Full Frame Equivalent 13mm), I want more width without more height. On this walk I had enabled the phone to shoot HEIC Raw files instead of jpeg files. This way I supposedly had true Raw Data to work with in Adobe Bridge before opening in Photoshop instead of enabling Adobe Camera Raw to open jpegs as Raw files with settings. Also for certain scenes I like using the 16:9 capture mode setting for longer scenes without using the 4:3 usual capture. The 16:9 does not work with the 1.5mm lens.


1.5mm lens 


1.5mm lens


16:9 format – 4.3 lens

DM_11_19_4_3mm_16x9_2 img pano_v1

2 image panorama – 4.3mm lens


4.3mm lens 16:9 Format


2 image panorama – 1.5mm lens – assembled in Photoshop


2 image vertical panorama – 4.3 format

DM_11_19_4_3mm_16x9_2 img pano_v1

4.3mm (26mm Full Frame Equivalent) 16:9 Camera Format


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