Why the 3GS fashion shoot is misleading

Sure, the iPhone can take photos, and sure, someone could use it to do a top-end fashion shoot, but there’s a little bit of a problem with Lee Morris’s claim that he was capable of doing a photoshoot with an iPhone. Don’t get us wrong; the photos he has taken are stunning, and really show off the full capabilities of a camera phone, but we’d really like to see how these images hold up beside some other camera phones on the market before we get all frothy at the mouth looking at them.

Why are we such a downer? Well, there’s a lot that’s going on to make these photos look as good as they do. Here’s some points to consider while watching the video (below).

Lighting, lighting, lighting

You can get amazing photos out of any piece-of-crap camera if you spend a ton of cash on lighting your subjects. My crappy Cybershot point and shoot camera takes exquisite photos outside, but once we move inside, it’s game over. At 3:18 of the video below, Lee Morris, explains his lighting setup for the photo shoot. Cost of the lighting used: approximately $4,000.

Here’s some prices we’ve put together, in an educated guestimate of the lighting rig he shows off at 3:18 in the video.

Chimera Pro II Bank Medium Strip x 2— $439.90
Westcott Monte Window Light Complete Studio Kit — $3479.00
Studio Light Stands x 2 — $79.90

Total: $3,998.80 Canadian, or $3,817.78 USD approximately.

That’s not including the lights for the Chimera Pro II Bank Strips, or the overhead barebulb hair light system he has set up, which can also be quite the expense.

Then there’s the price of the giant softbox (~$830.00), and other softbox and stands he uses for the “fashion” type photos.

Not exactly something an everyday iPhone user would have kicking around their apartment, is it?

How much time to postprocess?

Right off the start Morris says he’s going to send the best photos off to an editor who’s going to do everything he can to make the photos looks as professional as he can. How much time was spent in touching up the photos in Photoshop, LightRoom, or Aperture? You can make the world’s worst photo look stunning if you spend enough time in one of these applications.

How much money went into the process? We’ll never know.

Final Point

Photography is about lighting and managing your light in the best possible way. If you have your lighting down, you can make the world’s worst camera look amazing. So sure, if you can spend over $5,000 on lights to make your iPhone photos pop you’ll get amazing photos, but don’t expect to get these photos from your iPhone unless you’re willing to pony up the cash.

Mad Props

We do have to hand it to him to think about using the iPhone 3GS for a photoshoot, and for proving that quality has very little to do with the camera in your hand, and everything to do with your skillset and ability to control light.

Video in Question

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Joshua is the Content Marketing Manager at BuySellAds. He’s also the founder of Macgasm.net. And since all that doesn’t quite give him enough content to wrangle, he’s also a technology journalist in his spare time, with bylines at PCWorld, Macworld… Full Bio