This weekend I was in the city and had to take the Orange line of the L down to the South Loop and because I didn't plan on doing any shooting, my 5D was packed in my camera bag at home. While waiting at the something station in the Loop I noticed the morning light streaming down onto the tracks from between two buildings creating a nice contrast between the shade and sunlight. With a train coming down the tracks at me I got my iPhone 4 out and snapped this photo. Im always nervous shooting with the iPhone because of the shutter lag from when I hit the button but I timed it perfectly so the lead car was in the morning sun. I was frustrated that I didn't have my DSLR on me but they say the best camera is the one you have with you so I should be happy that at the very least I have a camera in my pocket at all times.
Seeing the result of this shot converted into black & white in Instagram left me pleasantly surprised, I like the level of contrast and sharpness. I still violently disagree with people who claim a smartphone can replace an SLR, but I believe they are good for casual shooting. Since it was about 8am on a Saturday the L was almost empty, so I headed back to the rear car to test out Instagram's Hyperlapse app. I had tried it once, but it was sitting at my desk or somewhere boring so I wasn't impressed - I wanted real world results.
Holding the phone steady on the back door of the train I shot a time lapse of the Orange line leaving the Loop heading southbound, letting the camera roll for 2 or 3 minutes. Hyperlapse compresses it down so the final shot was only about 30 seconds at 10x speed.
I was disappointed when I remembered that Instagram limits video to 15 seconds, the entire clip is pretty cool. I'm not sure if the lag in the beginning is due to the limited processing capabilities of the iPhone 4 or something along those lines, I was just irritated it wasn't as smooth as I had hoped. I was impressed enough to want to take some more time lapses in the future, so we'll see if its the phone or something I did.