Apple breaks down just what makes Portrait Lighting special on iPhone X

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portrait mode
Even our very own Ste Smith can benefit from the magic of Portrait Lighting.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is very proud of its Portrait Lighting feature for the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus, and it’s willing to let users take a peek behind the Cupertino curtain to show exactly why.

In a new video shared Wednesday evening, Apple gives an overview of the development process which led to Portrait Lighting — including collaborations with photographers to study lighting, state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, and more. Check it out below.

Learning from the best

“We studied the art of portraiture from paintings to photographs,” Apple notes in accompanying text. “We worked with global image makers and the world’s best photographers. Combining timeless lighting principles with advanced machine learning to create an iPhone that takes studio-quality portraits without the studio.”

Apple has talked up its Portrait Lighting technology since the iPhone X made its debut. In his recent interview with Fast Company, Tim Cook singled the feature out as one of the ways Apple is “wowing” customers.

“This is something that you had to be a professional photographer with a certain setup to do in the past,” he said. “Now, iPhone X is not a cheap product, but a lighting rig–these things were tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

For more on how to get the most out of Portrait Lighting, check out out “how to” guide here.