Help with iPhone's Photos

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Hi guys,

I currently take shots of the tank with the iPhone and the photos seem to be too blue! Is there anyway to get better photos on these phones?

Mike

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Reply #1

The problem with automatic cameras like those in Mobiles is you can't adjust the white balance before taking the shot.

That's the issue. The light in a reef tank is really bizarre and not what cameras are designed to be used to. So you get dull, blue washed out photos with no colour.

If you can change the white balance in post processing, you might be able to improve it a little, but most of the colour information would have been lost, as it's already been "baked" into an image.

When taking pictures with a DSLR, bridge or any decent dedicated camera, you have the option to set the white balance before the shot is taken, so you can match the kelvin rating of your lighting (roughly) and you'll get pictures that look how you see with your eyes, bursting with colour.

So if it's with an iPhone, try changing white balance (if iOS 8, photos app has these adjustments built in now), or iPhoto if you've got an older iOS, but as said, you won't be able to improve it much, as the colour information just isn't in the photo any more.

You can try adjusting your LEDs if you can, to lessen the blues, if you can't make adjustments in the camera, you might be able to adjust the lighting in-line with what the camera is expecting.

HTH.
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Hai

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Reply #2

Thanks i-CONICA, about bridge camera, is the Panasonic Lumix FZ38 any good in taking tank shots?


Mike

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Reply #3

Yeah that'll be a huge step up from mobile phone photos.

Switch it into manual mode, and change from jpeg images to raw, and you'll have the entire data the sensor captured stored in the raw file for turning into an image later on.

When cameras take a photo, they gather huge amounts of data from the sensor, then based on your image settings, white balance, saturation, sharpness, etc, it'll apply those settings to the data, and save the result as an image, compressed as jpeg. It'll then throw away the rest of the "unneeded" data.

RAW is all that data. It's not an image, it's just the data, and each will be around 25MB.

You can use something like Adobe Lightroom to then process them into an image and you'll get wonderful results.

Failing that, at least use manual mode, a lower than normal exposure, as darker scenes draw out richer colours, change the white balance until all the colours look correct and you should be getting far better results.

I'm not familiar with that exact camera, but it should have a custom white balance option. If it has, you can use a gray card to get your white balance perfect. You'd get a white or gray paper/card and have your tank's lights shine onto it, then set your exposure so the card is well exposed, but not blown, so it's a kind of middle gray, then take a shot of just the card, out of focus, up close, and if your camera supports it, you should be able to tell it to use that image for setting the white balance, it'll analyse the image and see the exact colour cast over the neutral gray/white and set the WB appropriately.
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Hai

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Reply #4

Thank you very much i-CONICA, I am pretty sure this camera could capture in RAW format and I think I have seen the while balance setting before. Just haven't used it for a long time and have lost the battery. Just ordered some battery :)

Mike

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Reply #5

Looking forward to the results. You'll be amazed. Download Lightroom and have a play.

The scope of what can be done when you've got the raw data is phenomenal. I once on a photography forum took a photo at night, of my avenue, then by changing values in Lightroom on the raw file, made the photo look like day time.

Try that with a jpeg and it'll turn to mush. lol
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mars109

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Reply #6

I came across this post not too long ago which may be helpful to those who struggle with phone pictures

I have a solution for better cell phone pics - Reef Central Online Community

carlcall

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Reply #7

I found an App called ProCamera https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/procamera-8-+-hdr/id694647259?mt=8 and you can adjust all sorts on it but it's £2.49 unless you're phone is JB.

I also saw someone post this up the other day and it's FREE Manualshot https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/manualshot/id891992855?mt=8 and it is rather good

Mike

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Reply #8

Yeah using gels is only useful for when you can't manually change the white balance in the camera. i.e, most phone cameras. They're bad because they cut down the available light which means you'll need a longer exposure time which means motion blur, and/or a higher ISO level, which is just amplifying the signal, and the noise.

If you can get an app which lets you change the white balance, so long as it's actually changing it at shot time, not just post processing, then that's good, but if it's just post processing, that's not so good as it'll trying to boost colour channels that don't contain much colour, so you'll get noisy reds if the picture was primarily blue, etc. Done at shot time is just interpreting the raw data from the sensor differently, which is what a proper camera does. The problem with the phone camera is that apps interface with it via an API. They just request a photo, and get it returned to them, they have little control over the camera itself. So it might be a bit of a con, on iPhone at least, I'm not sure what control apps have over Android phone's cameras.

It's worth a try though, if the end result is better, then it's money well spent, how ever it achieves it.
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eamon3

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Reply #9

I use snapseed free ap that allows you to adjust after. Good luck

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