Fun with Portrait Mode

I bought an iPhone X the other day, and am having a lot of fun with portrait mode. I think this works on iPhone 7 Plus and above (I had a 6s until last month). Without a doubt, I’m having the most fun creating black and white images with the Stage Light Mono portrait option. This photo was taken at a local eatery.

A great smile. Taken with Stage Light Mono Portrait Mode on iPhone X.

Taking shots of things other than people can also lead to nice photos. This was a photo of a tea drip at a local coffee shop. Portrait mode will blur things behind the front item in the photo, so the drip further back was nicely blurred. Back in the day, you could get this effect when using a lens with a large f-stop.

Image a tea drip using Stage Light Mono Portrait Mode on iPhone X.

Apple says that the Portrait Mode is still in beta. I would agree. One common problem is that the camera doesn’t recognize the entire face (or object), and blurs regions that shouldn’t be blurry (or blacked out). It can also drop things around the edge of a face, such as hair on a person, or the handle on a cup. You may get a message above the circular focus region that says, “move farther away,” or “place subject within stage light.” On occasion I just can’t get the camera (software) to lock in on what I want it to. Waiting to get the ‘yellow ring’ to lock in around the portrait area can become a bit frustrating – since sometimes it looks like it should be able to figure it out.

The variety of portrait modes are interesting. I’ll keep playing with them just for a little bit of fun. Always nice to experiment with new things.

PS. Happy holidays!

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