The iPhone 6 camera is the only camera you need

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Your iPhone 6 will take better photos than most pocket cameras.
Your iPhone 6 will take better photos than most pocket cameras.

Two things strike me about the camera in the new iPhone 6 models. One is that you can take better pictures; the other is that the iPhone is now a much better place for viewing those pictures.

With their bigger, brighter screens — and iCloud’s new Photo Albums feature (which stores all your photos, ready to view, in iCloud) — the iPhone 6 and its larger sibling, the iPhone 6 Plus, are looking to be the best smartphones yet, from a photographic point of view.

For truly stunning portraits, photog zaps his subjects with a Taser

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It happens all the time: The subject of a portrait tries to put their best face forward but the photographer senses a more authentic expression locked inside. To get to something real, the photographer utilizes a range of tricks and charms to peel back the subject’s veneer.

South Carolina photographer Patrick Hall used 300,000 volts.

Shockingly, close to a hundred people got zapped with a stun gun for Hall’s series of still photos and a slow-motion video that went viral soon after it was published on the Fstoppers website, which Hall co-founded.

“I wanted to start making more photo series of things I don’t normally do,” Hall told Cult of Mac. “Why don’t I get reactions of people doing something painful or joyful that is more than the standard portrait? What could I do to consistently get reactions?”

Vintage-style lens makes impression with its dreamy bokeh

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Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac
Lomography's Petzval lens clone will give your pictures a certain special something. Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

A photo editor friend of mine will often say, “It’s getting harder and harder to make a bad picture.”

It sounds absurd but he is partially referring to technology and how it can remove some of the thinking from photography. Cameras can be set to figure out aperture, shutter speed and, with the touch of a button, do the focusing. You can massage a bad exposure with software or, if you snap photos with your phone, choose apps and filters to effect a variety of looks and feels.

So it’s not uncommon for serious photographers to occasionally reach back for a piece of analog gear to challenge their thinking and reinvigorate creativity.

This summer I reached back to 1840. Well, sort of.

Vietnam War photos leave haunting impressions on artist’s unlikely canvas

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A new look at an old conflict

With images like Holding #2, Binh Danh uses leaves and documentary photographs to revisit the Vietnam War.

Gary McColloug, 20

Binh Danh's 2008 chlorophyll print on grass and resin shows 20-year-old Gary McColloug, whose photo appeared in 1969 Life magazine article, "Faces of the American Dead: One Week's Dead."

Memory of Tuol Sleng Prison, Child 6

A photo of a child from Pol Pot's secret prison, Tuol Sleng.

US soldier

From Binh Danh's chlorophyll print series Immortality, The Remnants of the Vietnam and American War.

Untitled (Combat 2)

From Binh Danh's chlorophyll print series Immortality, The Remnants of the Vietnam and American War.

US soldier

From the Immortality, The Remnants of the Vietnam and American War series.

Self-immolation of Thich Quang Duc

From Binh Danh's chlorophyll print series Immortality, The Remnants of the Vietnam and American War.

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A camouflaged leaf

From Binh Danh's Military Foliage series.

In memory of our troops: 6371 December 25, 2011.

An original "camera exposed" daguerreotype.

The coiled hose left a mark on the grass, a fading of color where the sun could not shine.

From this moment on his front lawn, Binh Danh realized he could create a photographic process using sunlight, leaves and grass. He had no idea his method would develop into an organic process of self-discovery.

On leaves from his family’s garden, Danh brings fresh examination to an old war, printing haunted faces and horrific scenes from the Vietnam conflict with light and chlorophyll.

Teen’s iPhone photos put vibrant face on homeless population

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Nic Tullis has his eye on St. Louis

The teen iPhoneographer is taking photos of the city's homeless population.

Blackbird

Focus

St Louis in the rain

Top Hat

Portrait

University

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Portrait_1

Banjo

Rear view

Busking

"I met a lady and her children who travel to heavily populated areas of St. Louis to play music for tips to buy food each night. The children's broken bikes and few cherished possesions carefully tucked in the run down van they call "home," Tullis says.

Nic Tullis has a summer project that doesn’t involve surfing or working at a frozen-yogurt shop.

The 18-year-old is at the tail end of a Kickstarter campaign to to raise $2,500 that will keep him out photographing with his iPhone 4s. His “Homeless But Not Hopeless” project aims to bring awareness about the homeless population of St. Louis, Missouri, which spiked 12 percent after the economic tsunami hit.

Tullis takes photos of homeless people that show how they live along with normal shots that show off St. Louis. The funding for the project would rent a gallery space to auction off prints as a fundraiser; proceeds would go to two local organizations that help people get back on their feet.