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Low Light Capability

Lesson 2 from: Using Your Apple iPhone 7/7 Plus for Great Photos

Julia Kelleher

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Lesson Info

2. Low Light Capability

Next Lesson: Faster Auto Focus

Lesson Info

Low Light Capability

In order to take any photograph, you need light. That's the reason we can actually have an image recorded on a sensor, to begin with. One of the nemeses of any photographer is shooting in low-light situations, where there's not a lot of light for the lens or the sensor to actually see. Well the Apple iPhone 7 and 7+ have really upped the game when it comes to making a better lens on the camera that handles low-light. So, it's what we call an f/1.8 lens. Now, I know that's probably total technical lingo, and you're saying, "Julia, talk to me in English." Let me talk to you in English. What does that mean? That means that this lens will allow 50% more light onto the sensor than before. All too often, you'll hear professionals talking about the speed of their lens and how fast it is. All that's really saying is that the lens actually has the capability to open up wider. So before, when you were shooting with your iPhone 6 or your iPhone 5, the lens could only open up a certain amount to a...

ctually let light in. Well now, that lens could open a lot more. It's what we call an f/1.8 aperture size lens. What does that mean? The bigger the hole, the more light that can come in, which means the lens is more sensitive to light. What does that mean? That means that in low-light situations, you're going to get an amazing image. The other thing that's really cool about the Apple iPhone is the optical image stabilization feature. Now, this was out on the 6+. Now they've put it on across the board, both the 7 and the 7+. What does that mean? Well, here's another thing when it comes to shooting low-light. When you shoot low-light, not only does your lens have to open up all the way to allow the most light in, but the shutter when it goes click-click, like that to take the picture, that happens at a certain speed. We call it shutter speed. Well, in low-light situations, the shutter has to move really slow. In other words, it has to be open for enough time for the light to actually hit the sensor. The ability of the lens to actually open up and be wide to allow enough light in is one factor when it comes to low-light shooting. But the other factor is what we call the shutter speed or that ker-click when you actually click the shutter. It's the speed or the time it takes for the sensor to allow enough light in, that it closes the shutter to take the actual image. So, in low-light situations, your shutter speed actually lengthens out. So it takes a longer time for the camera to go ker-clunk. And when that happens, of course, more light comes into the shutter. But what also happens is, you're sitting there and your body's shaking. We call it shutter shake. So now with the Apple iPhone 7 and 7+, they've added optical image stabilization. And you ask, "What the heck does that mean Julia? Again, talk English to me." What that means is there is built-in technology in the camera so that when you're shooting in low-light situations, it will help you keep the camera steady for when the camera needs to have a slower shutter speed. In essence, getting rid of shutter shake. So let's take a look at some low-light imagery and actually shoot some stuff and see what happens with the new camera, the new Apple iPhone 7. We're going to kill the lights down in this room and really show you how capable this thing is of shooting in almost dark conditions. So here we are in the Creative Live break room. We've simulated as like a dark restaurant environment at night. We have a couple twinkling lights, and that's really about it. The house lights are up just at touch. This is classic situation where you'd be in a restaurant with friends and you want to take an image. This is where the Apple iPhone 7 and 7+ really shine. Because of the wider lens capability, 50% more light hitting the lens, and that optical image stabilization feature, I'm going to be able to take a picture of Belinda here pretty easily. And I'm going to show you some fun hidden ways to make your image look different when you're in these low-light situations, okay? So, pretty much all I have is twinkle lights, a little bit of light coming from above, and honestly, not groundbreaking imagery here. This is for taking snapshots with family and friends, and there's so little light in this situation that…yeah, I want to take the image for the memory, but I probably wouldn't take this to put on my wall. But, what's cool about the Apple iPhone 7 is that, as I focus in on here, you can see that my image is a little bit grainy and that's because the camera has cranked up the ISO or the ability of the camera to be more sensitive to light, and it's doing that automatically. Now, the one thing you're going to want to make sure that you do is you turn Flash off. So when I go into the Flash feature here, most of the time, the default is to be on Auto. So if you're not careful, the camera will immediately try to use Flash because it is a low-light situation. This is where you want to take full control. So go ahead and make sure that Off is highlighted yellow like that. And you see, kind of a hashtag line through your Flash symbol there on the lower-left. That means that you are now taking an image with natural light or ambient light that's in the room. Okay, so you can see that I framed Belinda, and it's coming out pretty bright. This is how amazing this lens is and how much ability it has to add extra light to the scene, for lack of a better phrase. So I'm going to press on my...I have my grid set up, and we'll teach you how to do that in the freebie that you can download, but it gives you a way to compose your images. So if I press right there on that upper-left crosshair point where Belinda's face is... She's such a good willing subject. She's pretending to drink her coffee there. And what I can do is I can press and hold that, and you'll see AE/AF Lock go into place. That means the camera has locked exposure and locked focus on her. But if I take my finger and just slide down, I can make the image go darker and more ambient to the mood that's there. When I hold real still, optical image stabilization is taking place to help me keep the camera still as I shoot here. And then I can also make the image brighter just by sliding up. You can see that sunshine going upward, and it's all of a sudden making what was a very dark room, all of a sudden look brighter because I have controlled exposure by telling the camera to expose it greater. And with that better lens, that f/1.8 aperture lens and the optical image stabilization, all of a sudden I can actually create a decent image that looks like it was taken in a brighter situation when I'm actually in a completely dark environment.

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Ratings and Reviews


Julia Kelleher does a super great job in this class of relating to her audience. Her information doesn't presume prior knowledge. She breaks down technical information in a way that makes the viewers feel smart. She assumes an intelligent, artistically-minded viewer, which is a great, positive quality. Kelleher's review of the iPhone 7 and 7+ is in depth.. Every point is demonstrated on camera. I had my camera out in order to follow along and feel that I learned a lot, even though I thought I had all this down. This course offers a lot of value, and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to take better photographs with their Apple iPhone 7 or 7+.

Angenise Rawls

This is awesome! Not only does Julia teach how to use the iPhone 7/7+ to take great pics, but also video (and even a live Facebook Live demo) which is applicable for personal and business! Talk about how to promote yourself! This class makes me feel more equipped to succeed in business! And get my pics off my phone and into my life! Thanks Julia! You've done it again!

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