Recently our own Lee Morris shot a model photoshoot entirely with an iPhone 6s Plus, showing that with proper lighting technique, a good model, and proficient use of editing software, you can obtain professional looking results with even the most humble of cameras. Andrew Weber, a professional sports photographer, decided to take it one step further by capturing the unpredictable environment of a primetime NFL game with only his iPhone 6s Plus in hand. Weber was kind enough to answer some of our questions and provide a great sampling of his photos from the shoot.
Weber is a veteran sports photographer with a resume that includes high-profile clients such as ESPN The Magazine, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, and events such as multiple Superbowls and the Olympics. He recently took the opportunity to do an entire shoot with his iPhone 6s Plus of the Sunday Night Football matchup between the Detroit Lions and the Denver Broncos.
First of all, we wanted to know why he would even want to do any shoot with an iPhone when his normal setup includes a pair of Canon EOS-1D Xs, a Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L, Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L II, and a Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L.
The iPhone 6s [is] 12 megapixels and my pro DSLRs are 18 megapixels, so it's not that far off. I just wanted to show that it doesn't matter the tools, it doesn't matter the gear, you can tell the story and can make great images with a point and shoot iPhone, a Polaroid, or whatever... It's about being creative.
While Weber loved the handiness, ease of use, and mobility of a camera phone, he went on to address some of the limitations he experienced from using an iPhone 6s Plus, noting its functionality targeted more towards amateurs, ISO performance, and a fixed lens. And while he used multiple apps including the native camera, Camera+, and Manual, he found all of them to have some of the same issues centering around burst shots.
While there were of course many limitations, Weber also noted that the new challenges pushed him to think a lot more about his shots.
It just made me think a lot differently than if I had a DSLR in my hand, like okay, I'm just going to shoot this and I know how it's going to turn out. Compared to using the iPhone 6s Plus, OK I'm going to shoot this and I have no idea what's going to happen.[...] It's just a stab in the dark. I liked that aspect. The mystery of it.[...] Having a chance to do things with these tools you're not used to using.
It certainly goes without saying that, given more time, he could have gotten a lot more out of the iPhone as he gained comfort with its strengths and weaknesses. It should also be reiterated that no one is saying the iPhone is about to replace DSLRs. Well, not yet at least.
All images used with permission.