Using the iPhone 8 Plus Camera’s Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting (Contains Cat Photos)

I did it. I bought a clown-shoe sized iPhone. I got the iPhone 8 Plus because I was interested in the camera features in this photo. Portrait mode, and the new portrait lighting, are useful features for portraits of people, but also of pets, and probably still lifes (I’ll try that later).

Here are some examples of photos I shot of Rosalind the Cat in portrait mode. The first is portrait mode with the natural light option chosen in the portrait lighting option.

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This one uses the studio lighting option.

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And here’s the above photo with background blur and a VSCO filter to give it a film-like look.

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And here’s another photo, in three versions. The first is with natural light, but without the background blur of portrait mode. You can use portrait mode like this, applying just the lighting, or background blur, or both. Note how it pulls the subject from the background.

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Here’s the same photo with background blur and natural light.

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This photo with background blur, natural light, and a filter applied to just the background layer using infiltr.

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Here’s one more, before and after applying the background blur (or Depth, as Apple calls it).

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And the same photo with the depth effect and a VSCO filter to give it an analog look.

On some of these photos, you can make out a bit of feathering around the right side of Rosalind’s face when background blur is applied, and part of her whiskers are cut off, but I’d say that overall it’s pretty good. I especially like being able to adjust the background layer with infiltr. This app lets you apply filters to the entire photo, or to the foreground and background independently. So you could, say, make the background black and white and the forerground a more saturated color, and so on.