By Graham K. Rogers
The release of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in Thailand has given me the chance to do what I like doing most: take photos. With the upgraded cameras in the two new iPhones, I had been expecting some good output and it does all I expect.
I had the iPhones a couple of days early and was under a news embargo so avoided posting anything: even on my Facebook or Twitter accounts. Since Friday, however, the chains were loosened and I have been trying the camera features.
As Saturday rolled round, I had more spare time. I came back early from the week's shopping and planned to walk around the neighbourhood with the iPhones and on of my other cameras. I did put the Nikon D7000 in a bag with a longer (85mm) lens, but thought, Why bother. The results show how the new iPhones perform in close quarters. Most of the images here were taken on the iPhone 6s Plus, but others I have taken on the iPhone 6s suggest to me that the difference (if any) is so small as to be unnoticeable.
The output starts with a couple of photos from Siam Paragon: the first uses a large glass panel from near the entrance to the BTS Siam station for a mirror effect. I took several with the iPhone 6s Plus but used a photo with the two boys to give the image some warmth. The image was cropped only using the tools in Photos on the Mac.
Turning slightly to the right, I took an image of the same tower block and included part of the area beside the entrance to Siam Paragon. I edited this first in Photos on the device, using one of the extensions available to Photos on iOS: Tadaa. I reviewed this earlier this month and was suitably impressed. Within Photos, only the filters are available. I then used the app itself to adjust the perspective: sometimes a problem with the small (4.15mm) lens of iPhones.
I followed this with a shot take in Burst Mode. Of great value, particularly when people are moving about, I use Select and often just keep one shot. In this case, there was a beginning and end as a student moved into the shot from the right: I kept both and the rest were deleted.
Back on the Thonburi side of the river, I started walking round the neighbourhood, starting with Thoedthai Soi 33, close to the BTS Thaladphlu station. The shot has been cropped only in the Photos app on the iPhone 6s Plus.
Not far away, with an elevated road and the BTS railway somewhere above me, the streets are well away from the tourist beats, although these days some organised cycling tours do occasionally come by. People here are approachable and friendly. The image was cropped and edited (light and saturation) in Photos on the iPhone 6s Plus.
Parts of the area are near a railway line that runs from Wongwianyai to Mahachai and this is home to a number of collectors: they gather recyclable trash and sell it to make a living. The transport they use is already old and sometimes it fails. The image was edited in Photos and then I used the Posterize effect available in the Photo Wizard extension in Photos
I stopped for a while at the railway and took a close-up shot of a dandelion there. As it was less than 6" from iPhone 6s to the flower, focus was better than I had experienced with earlier iPhones
On the short walk to Wuttakat was one of the many sidewalk vendors that are common in parts of Bangkok. People rely on these traditional stalls for food throughout the day and sometimes way into the night. Just behind was a new feature of Bangkok: a high rise. This area has seen a massive expansion of such tower blocks since the BTS was opened here.
Entering Wuttakat itself, there is a busy motorcycle repair shop in some of the old property that exists here. The image was cropped slightly and changed to Black & White in the Photos app on the iPhone 6 Plus.
The older shops are still busy and serve the community, even as the arrival of the high-rises sees a number of the shops demolished. These two images were taken using the Square option in the camera, edited and changed to black & white in Photos.
Back in Thoedthai Road I spotted some kids playing in a small soi and took a photo. The woman selling tea at the top of the soi, wanted me to meet her sister: one of those playing. This was actually a boy. Many people in Thailand fell no discomfort with the idea of a "ladyboy" in the family and this is not unusual here (nor is the opposite - girls who are boys). Both images were cropped, with the one of the group being enhanced as well (exposure, contrast, brighness) because of the darker scene.
Heading for home, I turned into Thoedthai 33, the soi I had started in. When I took the photograph of a wholesale beverage shop I was apparently standing in front of the home of one of my students, who told me this on Facebook.
I stopped at the level crossing in Thoedthai 33 and took a photograph, looking out towards where I had been 20 minutes or so earlier. The image was edited in Photos on the iPhone (Exposure, shadows, contrast and brightness).
I walked along the track until I reached the road where my condo is. Just under the bridge is the other Thaladphlu station. The image was edited in Photos: exposure, contrast, brightness, shadows and B&W.
This essay ends appropriately (perhaps) with a sunset. Looking west from my apartment, these are often spectacular, particularly at this time of year. The photo was taken on the iPhone 6s and was not edited at all. While the foreground is a little dark, the colours of the sky were exactly as I saw them. I did not think I could improve on Nature.
Arrival of iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in Thailand: Hands-On Experience
Arrival of iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in Thailand: Launch Photos, Central Ladprao
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.