photography ranting

My Best Mobile Photos — 2015

Judging by my 2015 mobile photos on Flickr, taken with the iPhone 5S [] or taken with the iPhone 6S [], I must have been exhausted from the amount of good mobile phone photos I took in 2014 []. I counted and there are about 50 photos in 2015 while there were over 70 in 2014. Not as big a difference as I thought but still…

Anyway, most of the year I continued to use the iPhone 5s and I took a couple of shots I would point to as “my best of 215”.

First up is this shot of a dandylion taken in Stockholm at a friends house. Lovely detail for macro shot on the iPhone.


Second, another macro shot of matcha power in a tea cup, waiting for the hot water. The color of the matcha is intense and set off well against the dark ceramic cup. The harsh light from my kitchen lights is a bit much.


At the other end of the spectrum is this telephoto shot of Millenia Tower near my office in Singapore. The monotony of the windows and the shadows are great. Too bad it’s not leveled correctly.


Per the norm, I changed handset to the iPhone 6S [] when it came out. Skipping one generation. The 6S jumped the rear camera up from 8 megapixel to 12 megapixel. A sizable jump but, seeing as I didn’t get the 6S until late November, I didn’t take many photos with the 6S in 2015. One I will share is not because it’s that good of a photo but because it’s the return of the panorama!

You will remember, of course, that I started this journey into my best mobile photos in 2004. Back then I had a Sony Ericsson K700i. and it had a built in panorama program. You can see a panorama taken on the K700i in both the 2004 [] and 2005 [] entries in this series of posts. Apple introduced it’s panorama functionality originally with the iPhone 6. But I didn’t have an iPhone 6 so, I first got it with the 6S in 2015. I made full use of it in Harbin, China on my winter vacation. Here is the best example:

Click to see it bigger on Flickr

Please ignore the poor people on the right hand side, that a tragic story.

That’s really about it for 2015, but I want to jump back to the 5S and include this shot of some sticker graffiti in Tel Aviv:


Happy little clouds.


Amazing clouds tonight in Singapore. Looks like a painting.

photography ranting

My Best Mobile Photos — 2014

In 2014 I used the iPhone 5S [] all year, so nothing new or interesting to say on the hardware side.

In terms of photos; I took a lot of travel photos in 2014 with my mobile. I remember in 2011 I went to Turkey and I used my Canon G12 along side my DSLR. But when I went back in 2014, the iPhone was good enough. In fact I did quite a bit of travel photography in 2014 with the iPhone 5S. In addition to Istanbul [] which was a stopover on a work trip, I managed another side trip to Delhi and Agra [] while in India for work, and book ended the year with a trip to Japan and February: Matsumoto [] and Nagano [] and a trip to my grandparents house in Minnesota with a day-trip over to the Badlands [] in South Dakota . In all cases my Canon DSLR was my main camera but I used the iPhone for snapshots.

OK enough, let’s get to the photos, and lets cover travel first.

In chronological order, we start with Japan in February and this shot of Matsumoto castle in the snow. It was taken early in the morning, we were out before sunrise because it was our last day and it was the only day we got snow.


A few months after holidaying in Japan I went to Israel for work, and managed a stopover in Istanbul. I planned a 12 hour stopover on the way to Israel but got a free 24 hours on the way back too because I missed my connection due to bad weather. On this trip I use a couple of snap on lenses for the iPhone, a macro, fish-eye and zoom. Mostly I played with the fish-eye. The photos were cool but I never really used them again, too much hassle to carry and use. Here is one of the better shots with the fish eye though you can’t see the full fish eye effect in this one but you can see the distortion in the bottom.


And here’s a great shot of the inside of Hagia Sofia (not using the snap on lenses):


My next travel destination in 2014 was India. I took advantage of a two week work trip to go and mark Taj Mahal off the bucket list.


Last travel shot is from the Badlands of South Dakota, taken on a day trip, by car where we drove from my grandparents house in south western Minnesota most of the way across South Dakota to spend a few hours in the badlands before driving back:


On the same trip we stopped in Washington, DC for a few days, to spend some time with my mom and I snapped this photo of plants outside the Natural History Museum. I love the complexity of tihs plant, it’s amazing:


But I didn’t just travel, I also took a few shots around Singapore that I think deserve some love. This one of a staircase at Suntec looking up a the sky:


… and this photo of Tibetan prayer flags taken in Gaylang:


A lot of good photos with the iPhone 5S in 2014. The quality of the camera on the iPhone really showing. The best camera is the one you have with you, right? I think the iPhone 5S is where this really became more than ‘snap a memory for yourself’, you could actually take a good photo, that you would be proud to share.

photography ranting

My Best Mobile Photos — 2013

In 2013 I used the iPhone 4S [] I got in 2011 and a new iPhone 5s []. Both are 8 megapixel and output images that are 3,264 by 2,448 pixels, I don’t see much difference in the quality of the photos in general, though Wikipedia lists improvements in the sensor and a lower f-stop for the 5s.

My favorite photo taken on my mobile in 2013 is from the “The Art of The Brick” [] exhibit at the ArtScience Museum [] at Marina Bay Sands. The exhibit is comprised of numerous sculptures made entirely out of Lego Bricks by Nathan Sawaya. I’ve always liked Lego and decided before I had kids that Lego would be an important toy for them. As such my daughters have way too many Legos. My younger daughter was only 8 months old, too young for Legos, especially since everything went into the mouth for her at that age… but my older daughter enjoyed the exhibit, though she hardly remembers it today. I didn’t take my DSLR with me the day we went so only mobile photos.

Not only my favorite mobile photo of the year, but this was my favorite sculpture of the exhibit.

Next up, another art work, this one hanging in the atrium at Millenia Walk. An anatomically correct balloon man.

Just hanging around.

Last one for the 4s: this is a good example of getting amazing detail out of the 4s’ camera. Taken on a rainy afternoon at Millenia Walk in the small parking lot where there are always a lot of expensive cars.


As for the 5s, there are not a ton of photos, given it was late September when I got it. But I’ve picked two that are good.

The first is a shot taken on a business trip to Seattle. After some working sessions in the morning we took a walk down to Miners Landing at pier 57 to get lunch. It had been raining, a light misty rain, most of the morning but cleared up just before we left and the blue skies started to open up as we got to pier 57.


The last mobile photo for 2013 is one that inspired me. I took it while waiting for a coffee one evening at Starbucks. I pointed my camera phone up at the lamps hanging over the counter where the baristas deliver the food and drinks to you and got this:

The first “Looking up at Lamps” photo I took.

I never posted this one but I continued to take photos like this pointing the phone camera up at lamps in restaurants, pubs, shops and anywhere I thought I could get a cool shot. Today there are 58 other shots in my “Looking up at Lamps” [] album on Flickr. And you can read more about them in this post here on confusion [].


Summer sunset


Amazing sunset today in Singapore.