Apple shows how to disrupt portrait photos in new video

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iPhone XR
Learn how to give your portrait photos some pop.
Photo: Apple

Apple serves up a master crash course on how to take better Portrait Mode photos in its latest ad, courtesy of photographer Christopher Anderson.

A lot of times Apple’s tutorial type of videos are pretty generic, but Anderson actually has a lot of cool tips on how to add more intrigue to your photos. He plays around using objects, creative backgrounds and striking light juxtapositions to shoot some of the coolest iPhone photos you’ll see.

It’s best to watch this on your iPhone:

Portrait mode remains miraculous — but frustrating — on iPhone XS [Opinion]

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Portrait Mode is great, until it’s not. Fix failed focus with Focos.
When it works, Depth Control lets you dial in just the right amount of blur.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Portrait mode on the iPhone XS is pretty amazing — when it works. I gave it a good, hard workout after the device’s launch in September 2018, and found it to be an almost miraculous trick to fake the optical depth of photos taken on a bigger camera.

But after using it for half a year, does Portrait mode still seem so great? No. While it’s still just as impressive, sometimes it’s so frustrating to use that I just give up, quit the Camera app, and don’t bother to take a photo at all.

Depth Control starts feud in funny new Apple ad

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D5CF3129-981A-4C9B-B1D5-FE1123C0DAE1
“Did you just bokeh my child?!”
Photo: Apple

Depth Control is one of the best features on the new iPhones, but Apple shows that you might want to be careful about who you choose to use it on.

Apple just drop a hilarious new ad highlighting the new the feature that lets you adjust the amount of blur in a Portrait Mode photo. The funny 30-second ad shows two moms who start beefing with each other when one of them notices their child has been bokeh’d.

Get ready to giggle:

How to erase the background in your photos

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This needs some fine-tuning, but took just seconds to do.
This needs some fine-tuning, but took just seconds to do.
Photo: Cult of Mac

There are a bunch of reasons to remove the background from a photo. You might just hate the background — a perfect portrait ruined by crowds, or ugly construction work, or both. You may want to remove the background in order to extract the subject — maybe you’re doing some kind of Photoshop trick, or making a greetings card.

Whatever your reasons, it’s easy to do. Removing the background from an image used to be a nightmare. Now, you just need the right app. And if you’re a regular with our Cult of Mac photo how-tos, you probably have that app already.

How to fix up your janky Portrait Photos with Focos

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Portrait Mode is great, until it’s not. Fix failed focus with Focos.
Portrait Mode is great, until it’s not.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The Portrait Mode in the iPhone XR and XS is hands-down amazing. In the time it take to snap a photo, the camera scans the depth of the image in front of it, and uses that data to blur the background, and make the subject pop out, sharp. But it doesn’t always work. The depth detection gets confused by glass, for example, ruining what could have been an amazing image.

Today we’re going to use and app called Focos to fix these depth glitches. Focos is an all-round focusing powerhouse of an app, recently updated to support the iPad, including the new iPads Pro. The area we’ll focus on today (sorry) is the ability to edit the depth map, and paint back in the glass or hair that the iPhone missed.

How to change background blur in iPhone XS and XR photos

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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  amazing camera, and the best part of that camera is the 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.

Google Photos can now adjust background blur on Portrait Mode pics

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Google Photos library backup on iPhone X
Google Photos is the photo and video backup app we all wish Apple would give us.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

You no longer need to buy the iPhone XS or XS Max to take advantage of one of the best features on the new devices’ camera.

Google Photos pushed out an update this morning that allows any iPhone owner with a Portrait Mode camera to adjust the background blur after a photo has been taken.

Halide fixes iPhone XR’s Portrait Mode

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Best iPhone photo accessories
Halide unlocks Portrait Mode on the iPhone XR.
Photo: Chroma Noir LLC

Apart from the screen, the big different between the iPhone XS and XR is the camera. The XS has two, and the XR only has one. This means that — like a one-eyed person — the XR camera can’t calculate the depth of objects in a scene, and therefore can’t use the Depth Blur feature to blur the background. It works around this by using clever facial recognition tricks to allow Portrait Mode with people, but that’s it.

Until now, that it. In its latest update, camera app Halide adds back this functionality to the new iPhone. That’s right. With Halide, you can take depth-effect pictures of anything with the iPhone XR.

iPhone XR camera gives some iPhone XS users buyer’s remorse

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iPhone XR portrait mode
Thinking the iPhone XR would have been worth the wait?
Photo: Apple

The early reviews for the camera on the iPhone XR have been impressive – and that has a few who purchased the iPhone XS wishing they had waited a few weeks.

Apple, trying to accommodate more budget-minded consumers, announced the mid-range iPhone XR for $799 at the same time it unveiled the more expensive iPhone XS and XS Max.

The XS line was available on Sept. 21 while the XR, not quite ready for shelves then, went on sale today.