Ice carving of a beta fish at the Reading Fire + Ice Fest in Reading, PA, USA

Testing Out my New Smartphone Camera

I recently upgraded my old smartphone to a new one, an iPhone 6s Plus.  I wanted a bigger phone, and my husband and I usually stick with Apple phones, usually a model behind the most recent one. I know, my phone has been out a while, but it’s new to me.

On January 14, 2017, Joan and I went to the Reading Fire and Ice Fest in Reading, PA, USA.  It’s the third year in a row we’ve gone, and that’s how many years the festival has been happening.

Ah, but this year I didn’t take my DSLR.  Nope.  It was drizzling outside, and I don’t like to take my good camera out in the rain, but I figured my phone would be a decent proxy if I wanted to take some photos, like I did, of the beta fish ice carving above.

The camera in the iPhone 6s Plus is decent.  You can do those live photos now.  I tend to turn them into GIFs, like this one of my dog getting his belly rubbed.  Sputnik's belly rub face

Ok, back to the fest.  Here are two more photos from the fest that I took.

Ice carving at the Reading Fire and Ice Fest 2017


Angel fish ice carving from the Reading Fire and Ice Fest 2017

Huh, I just realized that all three photos that I chose to feature here are carvings of fish.  I can be so thick sometimes.

I also popped these three photos into Lightroom to see what results I could do to jazz them up.


That’s basically the ice aspect of the fest.  As for the fire, here are a few that I captured on my phone.  You can see more of the fire photos over on my hooping blog.

As usual, it’s hard to capture frozen motion in low light on a smartphone camera.  At least my model of the iPhone isn’t immune to that.  I believe the iPhone 7 does better.

The iPhone 6s Plus has the usual decent iPhone camera.  It’s good in a lot of situations.  It’ll do.

Purple Coneflower

Purple Coneflowers in Binn’s Park

I’m glad I had my iPhone with me the other, because the purple coneflowers are blooming in Binn’s Park, Lancaster, PA, USA, and they are gorgeous.

I always think of purple coneflowers as harbingers of summer.  Once they bloom, I know it’s getting hot outside.  Know the herbal supplement echinacea?  Well, you’re looking at where it comes from.

Here’s another one of the blooms I saw in the park.

Purple Coneflower in Binn's Park, Lancaster, PA, USA

I like the lighting in this one, actually.  What do you think?

I just wanted to do a quick Friday post to share these photos.  Have a great weekend!

Screenshot of iPhone camera grid

The Grid

I’m a big fan of using the Rule of Thirds, so that’s why I like using the grid on my iPhone when taking photos.  (The grid is automatically added in your camera app.  It’s even available for selfies.)

In fact, that’s why that grid is there; it’s there to help you compose better photos, if you want.  When I went to Ocean City, New Jersey, USA on Saturday and got my phone out to take some photos, I decided to use that grid and see check out my results.

Here’s the first photo:

Seagull on a lamp post in Ocean City, New Jersey, USA.

I lined up the light post vertical line on the left hand side, and made sure the bird was right at the point where that line and top line intersect, which is pretty much how the Rule of Thirds works.  It made for a pleasing composition with this photo.

As for the second one, this is what I got.

Kites, the moon, and the Atlantic Ocean at sunset at Ocean City, New Jersey, USA.

It was such a clear evening, and the moon was beautiful of the ocean.  Along with the kites, I tried my best to line up the top kite at one intersection, and the moon at at another.  For taking a photo without zooming in, I think it turned out decent.

So, that’s how I use the grid in my iPhone, in case you were wondering why it’s there.  I hope that help you our with taking photos on your phone.  Happy shooting!