iPhone In The Hands of The Pros

Following on from all the coverage of Apple's iPhone 7 launch last week, I'm excited to see photos emerge that have been taken with unreleased iPhone 7 cameras. Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted links to Sports Illustrated and ESPN last weekend highlighting images taken with the company's latest smartphone.

Tim Cook Tweet SI
Tim Cook ESPN Tweet

Sports Illustrated photographer David E. Klutho took photos at the Titans-Vikings NFL game in Nashville. The images look superb and if we hadn't been told in advance that they were shots taken with a smartphone we would never have guessed as they they do not look out of place amongst the other images on S.I.

At the same time ESPN photographer Landon Nordeman was covering the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York. His series of images were again captured using the new iPhone 7 Plus camera which is set for release tomorrow, Friday Sptember 16th. "The autofocus and exposure performed exceedingly well in various lighting conditions" commented Nordeman.

On assignment for TIME, professional photographer Corey Arnold was also one of the first to get his hands on the new phone, testing it in the canyons of America's stunning Zion national park. The resulting images, he says, are stunning: “I’m impressed with the improvements from the iPhone 6s Plus." 

Professional travel photographer Austin Mann is no stranger to the iPhone. He has test-driven previous Apple devices and he's done the same with the iPhone 7. In conjunction with Nat Geo Travel and Nat Geo Adventure, Mann visited Rwanda to track gorillas and put the new camera features through exhaustive testing. 

The video "review" (below) about tracking mountain gorillas is a beautifully produced 9 minutes long mini-documentary. Austin Mann's photos and full review can be found on his website.

Aside from the excitement of seeing the first photos emerge from the new camera, it isn't anything new for professional photographers to use the iPhone for their work. Take for instance Pete Souza, the Chief Official White House Photographer, who has long taken behind-the-scenes photos of US President Obama, his family and the various daily ongoings at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Pete Souza on Instagram

Pete Souza on Instagram

Indie writer and director Sean Baker used an iPhone 5s to create Tangerine, a movie which made a big impact at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. He has again repeated the act with Snowbird, a beautifully shot short film featuring model/actress Abbey Lee.

For years, professional wedding photographer Sephi Bergerson had wanted to shoot an entire wedding with just an iPhone. With the iPhone 6s Plus he finally advanced had to technology and fulfilled his plan and beautifully captured the wedding of bride Ayushi and groom Abhishek in India.

For the ultimate example of a professional photographer getting the best out of the iPhone look no further than Kevin Russ. His self-made job saw him abandon everyday life for a constant road trip, living out of his car, documenting the epic, rugged landscapes of America almost exclusively on an iPhone. He became a huge hit on Instagram in 2013 and the following year saw him embark on an even more testing journey through the Southwestern United States, hopping freight trains with just his phone and minimal possessions. 

Tomorrow, when the iPhone 7 goes on general release be prepared for a swell of images shared throughout social media and blogs. Technically, the images will range from stunning-to-average-to-poor emphasising what we already know - that regardless of the technology, the best images are made by the most competent photographers. The iPhone 7 once again confirms that the best camera is the one you have with you.