How to use the new iOS Comic Book photo filter

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Shoot your own comic-book remake of
Shoot your own comic-book remake of A Scanner Darkly.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

iOS 12 has a great new camera filter: Comic Book. It turns your selfies and photos into pretty convincing pen-and-ink-style drawings, complete with flat blocks of color. It even works with Animoji selfies.

But hold on one second. You won’t find this filter in your iPhone’s Camera app, or even in the Photos app. Instead, you need to fire up the Messages app and use the camera there.

How to shoot stunning black-and-white photos on iPhone

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This wasn't taken on an iPhone, but it could have been.
This wasn't taken on an iPhone, but it could have been.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Black-and-white photos aren’t just regular photos with the color taken out. Or rather, they are exactly that, but they are also more than that. A B&W portrait can seem to say more about the subject than a colorful version, for instance. B&W is also ideal for showing more graphic images. Take a color photo of scaffolding and it looks super-dull. Take the same photo in B&W, jack up the contrast, and it becomes a stark grid — way more interesting to look at.

There’s much more to taking a B&W photo than just removing the color. For instance, did you know that a color filter will have a startling effect on a B&W photo? Let’s take a look at some of the tricks to capturing and editing stunning black-and-white images.

How to use Depth Control on iPhone XS and XS Max

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Depth Control on iPhone XS
Depth Control can add subtle or wild background blur to your images.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The iPhone XS has an incredible new camera, and the best part of that camera is the new Depth Control feature, which lets you adjust the background blur after you take the photo.

This is a powerful feature, but to get the most out of it, you might want to check out these tips and tricks on using Depth Control on iPhone XS.

5 great apps that bust out the bokeh on iPhone XS

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The iPhone XS' new bokeh tool is just the beginning.
The iPhone XS' new bokeh tool is just the beginning.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The iPhone XS camera is pretty incredible. The device uses its two rear cameras, plus the A12 chip’s Neural Engine, to record such an accurate 3D map of the scene that you can adjust the background blur with a slider. But that depth map is useful for more than just blurring backgrounds. It can be used by other apps to:

  • Add realistic lights to a scene.
  • Choose any subject to be in focus, not just the one you picked when shooting.
  • Add custom background blurs.
  • Remove and replace backgrounds, like movie green-screen effects.

Today we’ll look at the best depth apps for the new iPhone XS and XS Max.

The iPhone XS Camera review for iPhone 7 owners

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Depth Control gets confused by glass.
Depth Control gets confused by glass.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Most iPhone camera reviewers are upgrading from last year’s model, the incredible iPhone X. Most iPhone buyers are upgrading from an earlier iPhone, probably the iPhone 6s or 7. This review is for the buyers. In it, I compare the new iPhone XS camera to the iPhone 7 camera, and talk about just how massive an upgrade this is.

iPhone X owners shouldn’t feel left out, though. Camera-wise, the iPhone XS and XS Max might be the biggest iPhone upgrade since the iPhone 3GS added autofocus. One note: The iPhone XS Max has the exact same camera as the XS, so this review goes for both.

iOS 12 automatically saves iMessage photos to your Photos library

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The new iMessage photo filters are so good, you'll want them in the regular camera app.
iMessage photos are now saved to the camera roll, automatically.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you take a photo inside the Messages app in iOS 11 and earlier, that photo stays trapped in the message thread forever, unless you explicitly long-press and save it to your camera roll. In iOS 12, that’s changed. Now, when you take a photo using the messages app, any pictures you snap are saved to your Photos library. But that’s not quite the whole story.

Everything you need to know about white balance for your iPhone camera

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This is an almost impossible lighting situation for most automatic cameras.
This is an almost impossible lighting situation for most automatic cameras.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

White balance is one of the most important settings on any camera. It can make the difference between vibrant, accurate colors, and a muddy, flat mess. It is also the setting least likely to be tweaked manually by casual photographers. There’s not even a good way to adjust white balance in the iPhone’s own Photos app.

But don’t despair. Today we’ll learn everything you need to now about how white balance works, and what to do with it.

Everything you need to know about your iPhone camera’s aperture

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Here I could have blurred the netting by using a wider aperture.
Here I could have blurred the netting by using a wider aperture.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

A few days ago, we learned about the iPhone’s shutter, the part of the camera that “opens and closes” to let light onto the sensor. Today, we’re taking an in-depth look at the aperture, aka hole. The aperture is an opening in the lens that can be made bigger or smaller. Like shutter speed, its primary purpose is to control how much light reacts with camera the sensor (or film).

Also like shutter speed, aperture has some extra effects on how the image looks. Specifically, it can control how much of the image, front to back, looks sharp.

Everything you need to know about your iPhone camera’s shutter speed

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iPhone shutter speed
Camera blur can be your friend.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Your iPhone camera is pretty good at taking photos automatically. You just point it, shoot, and the camera works out all the tricky stuff. But what is actually going on in there? How does it take the light that you see and render it as an image on the screen?

In this short series, we’ll look at the physical parts of a camera — the aperture, the shutter, the magnification of the lens, and so on — and see how they affect the final image. Today’s topic: shutter speed.