iPhone or “Real” Camera? Which is better?

Author: Amy Horn

Have you ever wondered what is the difference between an iPhone image and a “real” camera image? Well, here is the test. I was waiting in a Northern Arizona University parking lot for students to arrive for a field trip and I noticed ice. For those that don’t know me, I love capturing images of ice. Instantly, I grabbed my iPhone 7 and built in camera app, placed the phone about 2 inches away from the ice and captured several photos. I still had a few minutes before leaving with the students, so I grabbed my new Olympus OM-D E-M1 MarkII with the 12-100mm lens (sensor equivalent 24—200mm). I zoomed in to 100mm (200mm equivalent) and stood about 12 inches above the ice and shot several images. Both shots were taken with non-macro lenses and here are the comparison images:

Both images are straight out of the camera. You might notice a slight difference in white balance from the different systems auto white balance. Unfortunately, I did not compose the images identically, but, can you tell which image is the iPhone image? Take my iPhoneography/Smart Phone photography class to learn the answer. Not really! The image on the left is from the iPhone and the image on the right is from the Olympus. When I examined these images close up, I have to say the only difference I saw was the white balance! Decide for yourself and compare your smart phone to a “real” camera. Sometimes that mobile phone can be quite a powerful option.

It’s not too late to join Amy in her iPhoneography/Smart Phone Photography class March 25! Follow the link to register.


Amy Horn is a lecturer of photography at Northern Arizona University and an instructor for Arizona Highways Photo Workshops. View her current teaching schedule at ahpw.org or horndesigns.com.

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Slot Canyons: Natures Sculpted Sandstone

Author: Megan Galope

Last September, I was lucky to attend the Arizona Highways Photo Workshops Slot Canyons trip as a trip leader. This workshop is based around Page in the northeast corner of Arizona. As the name of the workshop implies, we visited some incredible slot canyons in the area; however, the workshop also includes other lesser known locations that are just as amazing. Our photographer for the trip was LeRoy DeJolie, a renowned photographer and Native American who is very familiar with the area.

The first slot canyon that we visited was the well-known and popular Lower Antelope Canyon. Although beautiful and well worth the trip, it was a challenge at times to work around the number of tourists in the canyon.

Lower AntelopeLower Antelope Canyon

We also visited a lesser-known slot canyon called Secret Canyon. For this canyon it is necessary to go with an outfitter, and therefore we were the only group in the canyon at that time. What a difference it makes!

Secret CanyonSecret Canyon

In addition to slot canyons, we also visited Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend, Little Cut, Waterholes Canyon, Stud Horse Point, and Toad Stools. Many of these locations are not known to the general public or are difficult to get to, which made it easy for us to make beautiful photographs without having to fight the crowds.

Horseshoe BendHorseshoe Bend

Little CutLittle Cut

Stud Horse PointStud Horse Point

WaterholesWaterholes Canyon

Arizona Highways Photo Workshops is offering a similar workshop to this one in March. It will be led by another accomplished photographer, Suzanne Mathia, and space is still available. You can find the details about it here: http://ahpw.org/workshops/2016/Slot-Canyon-Photography-Workshop-2016-03-19/.  Don’t miss out on an amazing experience!

Megan Galope is a trip leader with Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.

Top 10 things to bring with you on a photo workshop

Author: Christina Heinle

We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 things to bring on a photo workshop, outside of your camera, of course!

  1. The best lens for the workshop.  If you’re on a wildlife or birding workshop, a zoom lens (300+) will give you the best results.  For a landscape workshop, a wide angle lens will allow you to capture the sweeping landscapes.  You can always rent lenses for workshops.  Just get it a couple days prior to give yourself a chance to play with the lens.
  2. A tall, sturdy tripod.
  3. Spare camera battery and battery charger
  4. Flashlight or headlamp- used for early morning or late evening walks from/to the car, looking for stuff in your bag and for light painting at night.
  5. Snacks – while on an Arizona Highways Photo Workshop there will be snacks available but maybe they don’t have your favorite chocolate bar.
  6. Wired or wireless shutter release or know how to use the timer on the camera.
  7. Cleaning cloths to wipe off dust and clean your lens. It can get dirty out in the field.
  8. Lens caps and the cap for the camera. You may want to separate the camera from the lens and you’ll want to keep the sensor clean.
  9. Filters: Depending on the type of workshop you’re on, filters can enhance your photograph.  Bring your ND filter, graduated filter and/or polarizer.
  10. If you’re expecting rain, bring rain gear for yourself and your camera and pack an extra pair of socks in case your feet get wet.

Antelope Canyon Offers Endless Possibilities of Texture, Color and Leading Lines

copyright Jeff CoxAuthor Jeff Cox

You’ve probably seen images of Antelope Canyon before—natural smooth sandstone, carved by the wind and water over hundreds of years. This canyon area, located on the border of Arizona and Utah, is enchanting in the way it evolves in color tones, from oranges and reds to purples and blues, as light changes throughout the day. Shafts of light make for striking photographs and the swirling wall formations are unforgettable.

“This image was taken in Lower Antelope Canyon.  I was intrigued by how the sandstone seemed to flow like a liquid. Also of interest was how the colors changed from lighter to darker. The lower right part of the photo was left in to give a contrast from the smoother flowing to a rough broken area of sandstone.

I used a Sony A77 with a crop factor of 1.5. The ISO was 250 the lens was set to 28mm with f-stop setting of 13. The exposure was 1/4 of second. Post processing included cropping and adjusting the highlights and shadows with adding some clarity.  Post was done in Lightroom.”


Jeff Cox is an Arizona Highways Photo Workshop trip leader.