When the girls were little, Shannon and I, every Fall, without fail, use to bring them, and their friends in tow, to these roadside carnivals, along with Austin’s US 290.

Granted, they were cheesy as hell but still fun beyond belief.

And I, for one, have so many fond and pleasant family memories from these silly, impromptu, pop-up funfairs.

We would stay until we ran out of tokens or someone got sick from too many corn dogs, funnel cakes, nachos, cotton candy, french fries, soft pretzels, popcorn, pizza slices.

I stopped by one of these carnivals, last night, at dusk, for an hour, on my way home.

I couldn’t help myself.

Photographically speaking, what I came away, with was how, over time and iterations, iPhone cameras have improved in low-light shooting. Really improved.

The phones use to suck at this. Now that is amazing at the same.

The newer flagship iPhone 11, 12, and 13 all have built-in Night Mode and SmartHDR.

These are both separate pipelines for capturing low-light photography.

Both are uniquely special. Incredible actually.

I was thinking about how, back in the day, with my dedicated cameras, to get these very same low-light shots, I would have had to be shooting with a cumbersome tripod. Ughhh.

Not anymore. With an iPhone camera in hand, I can get a tack-sharp picture, hand-holding, between 1-3 seconds, sometimes longer.

It’s really remarkable.

And I’m not just talking about being able to handhold longer exposures but create captures that are color-accurate, vibrant, and natural-looking. Just wow!

Good gaddhhhh, I love my iPhone.

And I especially love the “‘Blue-Hour”-that period of time that usually lasts 20-30 minutes right after sunset and right before sunrise. It’s magical.



Jack Hollingsworth