Back in the fall of 2016 when Apple announced the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus they also talked about a new camera mode for the iPhone 7 Plus only, called Depth of Field Portrait Mode.
Using this new mode on the 7 Plus’ camera, you can shoot a portrait and have the great “bokeh” effect for the background while the subject is in sharp focus. At the time it was mentioned that the new mode would only work when the iPhone’s camera recognized a face, so it would only be useful for human portraits. I am happy to say that now that Apple has actually released this feature via software update that it actually works quite well even on objects.
On a recent weekend I went out shooting with my photography club and I decided to try out this new Depth of Field Effect mode on my iPhone 7 Plus. During our photowalk we went to Constitution Lakes Park in Dekalb County, Ga. A man that did volunteer work at this park found a pit full of trash and decided to start using the trash to make art.
One of his pieces is a Tiki character attached to a fallen tree and when I spotted it, I thought it would be an interesting subject to test the new portrait mode on the iPhone 7 Plus camera system. As you can see in my attached photo, the new mode does work quite well even though my subject is not an actual person.
On Sunday I was out shooting for my Forgotten Pieces of Georgia series and stopped in Sparta, Ga to shoot some video of this small town which is turning into a ghost town. Before filming, I spotted a rusty old fire hydrant and decided to test the iPhone 7 Plus camera again and again it worked quite well with the bokeh effect.
Last weekend I was also visiting the family of my girlfriend Janice and while there, I used my iPhone 7 Plus to snap a photo of their hummingbird feeder using the new portrait mode.
If you have an iPhone 7 Plus, I encourage you to give it a try and see what kind of images you can create. It cannot replace your DSLR, but you can make some interesting images with this new tool in your bag.