Flying West, Looking Down

Do you take photos with your phone when you’re bored?

On my last trip to California I snagged a window seat. About 3/4 of the way to my destination I was restless and ready to get off the plane…but I still had a little over an hour to go. To combat the boredom I pulled out my iPhone 7+ and took photos of the world below.

I was somewhere over the southwest (Arizona maybe?) when I started shooting, mesmerized by the patterns and details below. The telephoto lens on the iPhone 7+ performed remarkably well at 40k+ feet. While the photos weren’t anywhere near the quality I get from my DSLR the action of capturing the images filled my time with a creative outlet.

Now, a couple of months later I have quite a lot of photos from that segment of my trip and I’ve been wondering what to do with them. I chose to get creative with Topaz Simplify and create colorful abstracts. I rather like how they turned out! They are quite a bit different from my usual style of shooting, but sometimes its nice to try something different.

Looking Down…

Looking down, somewhere over the southwest
Captured on iPhone 7+ with native camera app, Processed in Lightroom CC & Topaz Simplify

 

Looking down, somewhere over the southwest
Captured on iPhone 7+ with native camera app, Processed in Lightroom CC & Topaz Simplify

 

Looking down, somewhere over the southwest
Captured on iPhone 7+ with Lightroom Mobile app, Processed in Lightroom CC & Topaz Simplify

 

Looking down, somewhere over the southwest
Captured on iPhone 7+ with Lightroom Mobile app, Processed in Lightroom CC & Topaz Simplify

 

Looking down, somewhere over the southwest
Captured on iPhone 7+ with Lightroom Mobile app, Processed in Lightroom CC & Topaz Simplify

 

Looking down, somewhere over the southwest
Somewhere over the Imperial Valley captured on iPhone 7+ with Lightroom Mobile app, Processed in Lightroom CC & Topaz Simplify

 

Looking down, somewhere over the southwest
A lake east of San Diego captured on iPhone 7+ with Lightroom Mobile app, Processed in Lightroom CC & Topaz Simplify

Thoughts on shooting with the iPhone 7+ from 40k feet

Some of the photos above were captured with the native iPhone camera app, and others were captured with the Lightroom Mobile app. Both have their pros and cons.

Native iPhone Camera App

  • Save photos in JPG file format – not much flexibility for post processing but usually look pretty good

Lightroom Mobile Camera App

  • Saves photos in JPG  or RAW/DNG (my choice)
  • RAW photos allow for more creative post-processing BUT look pretty bad (lacking in contrast/color, lots of noise) if you don’t process them
  • Syncs photos with the desktop version Lightroom – Super convenient!

If I’m doing something creative I usually use the Lightroom Mobile camera to shoot. However, if I’m simply capturing snapshots at a family gathering I’ll often use the native iPhone camera app. The JPGs can be shared without needing a lot of work.

As for shooting at 40k+ feet – both apps worked well, especially with the type of processing I did. However, if you prefer a more realistic look you may want to shoot with the Lightroom Mobile app. The RAW/DNG file will allow for more editing flexibility.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means that I may receive a commission if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase. I only share products that I believe will be valuable to my readers (most of which I personally use and love). All opinions are my own.

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