Terrible Weather? Grab Your Phone!

The gale-force winds that swept through the area were some of the strongest I’ve ever experienced. I saw full-grown people being blown around like twigs.

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to return to Norway’s Lofoten Islands in late February. If my previous experiences were any sort of baseline, I knew to expect extreme cold, lots of snow and aurora-filled nights. Fate, it seems, has a cruel sense of humor because the two weeks I spent there were filled with some of the most peculiar and backward weather for the region during that time of year. Most of the snow had melted due to the warmer weather and the windstorms were producing massive gusts, making it dangerous to even walk outside.

After almost of week of being shut-ins and getting a serious case of cabin fever, the group of us decided to brave the weather and test our luck by heading to one of the region’s most well-known beaches for winter surfing, Unstad Beach. Naturally, the weather was terrible: windy and rainy. While I didn’t feel like taking my mirrorless camera out, I was completely excited to use the next best device: my iPhone!

The beauty of shooting with an iPhone (or any capable mobile phone, really) is that it really is almost effortless. Yes, your camera sensor is likely far more powerful than the tiny ones in these devices, but with the ability to shoot in Raw (well, technically DNG using the Adobe Lightroom Camera), you get back a lot of editing control that you normally lose when you use the stock Camera app.

Because I already had my iPhone in my hands, I was able to quickly capture AND edit this photo of a church near Unstad Beach through the rainy windshield of our car
Because I already had my iPhone in my hands, I was able to quickly capture AND edit this photo of a church near Unstad Beach through the rainy windshield of our car.

Thankfully, the principles of compositional best practices are the same even if you’re using an iPhone, which is why I always treat shooting with it the same way I would any other camera. Just because you’re using a phone doesn’t absolve you from trying to find a great shot. By aligning myself properly, I was able to get some shots at unique angles that I’m very excited about.

Finally, one of my favorite reasons why I love shooting with my iPhone is because it really is always with me. Even after we packed it in for the day, I walked by a pier with some cabins adjacent to it. I didn’t have my camera with me, but I did have my iPhone, and because of that, I was able to create this fun reflection shot without breaking a sweat.

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