Cocoa Beach

Here’s a shot that I took with my iPhone as we left Port Canaveral on the inaugural Atlantic crossing of Symphony of the Seas. Not bad for a two-and-a-half-year-old iPhone.

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Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach from the deck of Royal’s Symphony of the Seas

I was up on the top deck without my camera as we pulled out of port. I wished I had my Sony because there was a lot of hoopla surrounding the first U.S. docking of the world’s largest ship. But, as the old saying goes, the best camera in the world is the one you have with you. In my case, that means the iPhone 7 plus. I think it did a pretty good job.

more iPhone images from the gallery

Nevertheless, I processed it a little in Skylum’s Luminar, and this is how it turned out. I like this perpendicular perspective of the beach. It’s a minimalist landscape shot, but not too shabby. One of these days I’ll get around to upgrading my iPhone to a new model and get even better pictures.

Water and Clouds

My favorite thing about the trip across the Atlantic was the open sea. For over a week there was nothing but water and clouds.

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Water and Clouds
This is the main sight in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean

When we booked the trip, I wasn’t sure what eight days at sea would be like. Now, I would do it again in a heartbeat. The entire time we did not see land, another boat, or a plane. It was an opportunity to detach from all land-based frames of reference.

more seascapes in the gallery

On the final day before arriving at Port Canaveral, we began to see planes in the sky and seabirds. It was the first signs that home was not far off. It’s nice to back on the ground, but at the same time, it was nice to have a glimpse of a perspective where all the familiar references were not there.

First Stop Nashville

A few days ago, Crystal and I left Florida for a summer road trip. Other than visiting friends up north, we had no real plans. So the idea was to get to Wisconson for a couple of days and then begin wandering for a week or so.

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First Stop Nashville
A view of the Parthenon in Nashville’s Centennial Park – taken with my iPhone!

The first day we left early from Palmetto and made it to Nashville after about fourteen hours. I don’t drive a lot, so that was a stretch, or should I say I desperately needed to stretch after we arrived.

After a bite for dinner, we wandered across from the hotel to Centennial Park to see the full-size replica of the Parthenon. I had my DSLR, but in the end, I liked the shot I got with my iPhone best of all. I held the phone at ground level and angled the camera up. I did the same with the big camera, but this ended up being my favorite picture. It just goes to show, it’s not the equipment, but the composition. I also edited this in Snapseed on my iPhone.

more images from my iPhone

Just after it got dark, we saw fireflies in the park. We were amazed because we don’t get them where we live in Florida. And to be honest, I can’t remember the last time I saw one. They added a faerie-like quality to the warm summer evening which, together with the surreal spectacle of the Parthenon, made for an excellent first day on the road.

Familiar Scene Transformed

Here is a familiar scene transformed by the weather. It’s another in a series of panoramas I’ve been doing; only this time I used an iPhone. I shot this on a rainy day with three vertical images side-by-side.

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Familiar Scene Transformed
Familiar scene transformed by he weather

I like shooting in the rain. When it rains, you may see things that make for interesting images. Maybe the opposite would be true if I lived in a rainy climate. I’d be writing about how I like shooting on a dry day because it offers a slightly different perspective than the typical rainy day. One person’s mundane is another person’s awesome.

Do we consider whatever we see regularly as mundane? I have a photographer friend who lives in a condo overlooking a beautiful beach. He’s been there a year and he recently told me he wasn’t tired of the view. But he does like going to other places to take photos. When I visit him the beach looks amazing to me so I take a lot of photos.

more images of bradenton

Anyway, I’ve been to this location in Bradenton a hundred of times, but in the rain at dusk it looked completely new to me. Sometimes I think we just need a change of scenery, even if that means just going to the same place on a rainy day.

Two-hour Ground Delay

A few days ago I was headed up to New York City from Tampa. We left with plenty of time to spare but by the time we made it through traffic and security we only had fifteen minutes before boarding. We ended up making some bad food choices in a frantic attempt to get a meal in the few minutes remaining. No sooner had we done that than an announcement was made that the flight was put on a two-hour ground delay due to weather. This is the scene from the bar at Pei Wei across from our gate where we made more questionable food and beverage choices.

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Two-hour Ground Delay
Two-hour Ground Delay at Tampa Airport

I am completely amazed at how I was able to make this photo. It was taken with an iPhone7 and then edited it in Lightroom mobile on the same device. By using the camera inside mobile Lightroom the images were saved in RAW format. That allowed me to recover a more detail, shadows and highlights than I might ordinarily.

The other cool thing is that Lightroom on the iPhone is hooked up with Lightroom on my laptop. As I was siting here editing the image on my iPhone, it and the edits were being save in the cloud. I opened up my laptop and started using Lightroom where I left off from on my iPhone. I continued using some of my favorite software including Photoshop and MacPhun’s Luminar as well as a few others, finally ending up with this.

more travel photography

Personally I am amazed, because it really felt seamless hopping from one platform to another. Sure, there is not as much detail as if I had used my three-thousand dollar Sony camera, but there is way more detail in this than I would have expected. You can see both our JetBlue aircraft and clouds at the gate across the way as well as interesting details in the darkened restaurant. For sitting at a bar in an airport, it ain’t half bad if I do say so myself.

The Display in the Sky

I was out without my camera feeling a little anxious as the colors starting blooming in the sky. They say that the best camera in the world is the one you have with you. I had to calm down and remind myself of that because the display in the sky would only last for a few minutes.

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The Display in the Sky
The display in the sky over Palmetto Florida

In this case I had an iPhone so I took three images using the Lightroom camera app. Later I combined them in Lightroom on my computer. The advantage of using the Lightroom app on the phone is that it saves the files in RAW and automatically syncs them with Lightroom on the desktop.

To be honest I’m biased towards my camera so I didn’t expect much from these; I almost forgot I had them. However when reviewing them in Lightroom later I had to do a double take. Certainly it’s not perfect but it’s not bad for a cellphone.

The sensors in smartphones are getting pretty good, even for landscapes under odd lighting conditions. If you’re a shutterbug like me it’s becoming less “necessary” to always carry a big camera.

other Palmetto images from the gallery

I remember the evening well because of how the sky looked. I wasn’t expecting I could capture the essence of it with just an iPhone, however this image is helping me to rethink that mindset. I won’t be giving up my Sony full frame camera anytime soon, but I also won’t be so anxious next time I head out without it; unless of course I forget my cell phone as well.