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How to Use Portrait Mode on an iPhone 7 Plus, 8 Plus, or X

Portrait Mode[1] is arguably the best reason for picking up the last-gen iPhone 7 Plus[2]. The intuitive feature makes good use of the iPhone 7’s rear dual cameras, allowing you to imbue your photos with a shallow depth of field effect, one typically reserved for fancy DLSRs. With iOS 11[3] and the new iPhone 8 Plus[4] and iPhone X[5], Apple is adding cool lighting effects and other new features that will give your photos a more personalized look.

Thankfully, learning how to use Portrait Mode on an iPhone[6] only takes a moment — simply open up the camera and tap Portrait, which is located directly above the shutter button. Once your camera is in Portrait Mode, a wheel of lighting effects will appear. The first effect is Natural Light, which is essentially the same as the regular Portrait Mode introduced in iOS 11.

As the name implies, the effect will simply blur the background and not adjust any of the lighting. The next effect is Studio Light, which tries to even the lighting across your subject, so it looks as though you shot the photo in a well-lit studio. Contour Light tries to even out the lighting, too, but it also adds shadows to your subject’s contours, giving their cheeks and other features a more pronounced look.

Studio Light Dramatic Light

For dramatic shots, try opting for Dramatic Light.

The effect offers up the same features as Contour Light, but it also blacks out everything surrounding your background. This gives you the feeling of being the only thing lit on a black box stage. But if Dramatic Light isn’t moody enough for you, then the final Portrait Mode effect, Stage Light Mono, will probably do the trick.

It’s the same as Dramatic Light, except it results in a black-and-white photo. Once you’ve chosen your desired effect, you’ll want to position the subject in the center of the camera and far enough away for you to snap the shot. The photo will then pop up in your Photos app with the applied effect.

If you want to change the effect after you’ve taken the photo, then find your picture in the Photos app and tap Edit. You’ll then see the same choices as before, but at the bottom of the photo. Just remember that you can only change or add an effect to photos that you’ve previously shot while in Portrait Mode.

David Cogen — a regular contributor here at Digital Trends — runs TheUnlockr[7], a popular tech blog that focuses on tech news, tips and tricks, and the latest tech.

You can also find him on Twitter[8] discussing the latest tech trends.

References

  1. ^ Portrait Mode (www.digitaltrends.com)
  2. ^ iPhone 7 Plus (www.digitaltrends.com)
  3. ^ iOS 11 (www.digitaltrends.com)
  4. ^ iPhone 8 Plus (www.digitaltrends.com)
  5. ^ iPhone X (www.digitaltrends.com)
  6. ^ how to use Portrait Mode on an iPhone (support.apple.com)
  7. ^ TheUnlockr (theunlockr.com)
  8. ^ find him on Twitter (twitter.com)

Astronauts on the space station are playing around with a fidget spinner

Why it matters to you

Working in a weightless environment provides its own set of unique challenges, as this video demonstrates. What happens when you combine a NASA fidget spinner with a nearly weightless environment? Wacky hijinks, of course. Astronaut Randy Bresnik[1] took time out from capturing pictures of the Earth and taking selfies during spacewalks to share a video on Twitter.

The clip shows the crew of the International Space Station[2] enjoying themselves with a fidget spinner[3]. “A fidget spinner in space! How long does it spin? I’m not sure, but it’s a great way to experiment with Newton’s laws of motion!” he wrote.

Grabbing hold of the spinner allows the astronauts to spin at a speed relative to their mass. That’s why even using a simple tool such as a screwdriver can be difficult in a weightless environment if you don’t have something to anchor yourself down to.

A fidget spinner in space! How long does it spin?

I'm not sure, but it’s a great way to experiment with Newton’s laws of motion! pic.twitter.com/5xIJDs2544[4] — Randy Bresnik (@AstroKomrade) October 13, 2017[5]

If you’re not following Bresnik, aka @AstroKIomrade on Twitter[6], you’re missing out on some of the most spectacular photographs of our planet and the ISS you’ll ever see. When they’re not playing with children’s toys, the crew is hard at work performing experiments, maintaining the station, and transferring cargo.

The latest mission to the ISS launched a few days ago, set to deliver almost three tons of fuel, food, and supplies to the station. You can experience life aboard the ISS for yourself with this free virtual reality app[7]. The ISS is actually visible from Earth, and it’s the third-brightest object in the sky and fairly easy to see with the naked eye.

It looks like a very high, very fast-moving plane. The space station completes nearly 16 orbits of the Earth per day, and NASA has eve set up a Spot the Station website[8] where you can find a viewing spot in your area. The ISS can’t be seen during the day and is only visible during the morning or evening hours, when it’s reflecting light from the sun.

Depending on the orbit, you may be able to see the space station several times a week or only once or twice per month.

You can set up email or text alerts at the site to notify you when a viewing opportunity is coming up.

If you’d like to snag your very own NASA fidget spinner[9], they’re available at the NASA store for £6.

References

  1. ^ Astronaut Randy Bresnik (www.nasa.gov)
  2. ^ International Space Station (www.digitaltrends.com)
  3. ^ fidget spinner (www.digitaltrends.com)
  4. ^ pic.twitter.com/5xIJDs2544 (t.co)
  5. ^ October 13, 2017 (twitter.com)
  6. ^ aka @AstroKIomrade on Twitter (twitter.com)
  7. ^ with this free virtual reality app (www.digitaltrends.com)
  8. ^ Spot the Station website (spotthestation.nasa.gov)
  9. ^ very own NASA fidget spinner (www.thespaceshop.com)

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