Rad A. Drew Photography: 2023

Continental Divide at Dawn

Continental Divide at Dawn
Continental Divide at Dawn

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Accessories for iPhone infrared Photography

iPhone 15 Pro Max, Moment Filter Mount, 720nm IR Filter

Since starting to make iPhone infrared photos about three years ago, I’ve gotten lots of questions about the best accessories for attaching an IR filter to the iPhone.

Over the years we’ve tried many different methods and adapted as iPhones changed. 
FREE Webinar 
November 30

Here is the best option I’ve found to date. I found this method with the iPhone 12 and have used the same device with every iPhone since. 

Here’s why I think it’s best:

  1. This filter mount fits all the iPhones I’ve tried it on and some androids. 
  2. It fits over most cases so you can usually continue to use it with your favorite case.
  3. It is secure so you’re not likely to bump it off which can happen with some clip-ons. 
  4. Its size is 67mm, but if you already have a 52mm IR filter, you don’t need to buy a 67mm filter. Instead, get an inexpensive step-down ring so you can use the filter you have.
  5. If you’re buying a filter for the first time, you can usually find one at your favorite camera store, or on line. There are many different makers and quality varies as do your results. I’ve used Hoya, Neewer, and one from Spencer’s Camera. 

Below are links to these accessories. 


* Moment 67mm Phone Filter Mount



Look for Neewer, Hoya, or Spencer’s.  Prices vary. 

The one I use the most is this one from Spencer’s Camera.

On-Lens IR Filter - Standard Color IR (720nm).


I have both the 67mm filter, and the 52mm with a stepdown ring. 

Hunt's Photo and Video has offered me this link with a 15% discount on their IR filters. 



You can find a 67-52 mm stepdown ring from your favorite camera store. Here’s one I use.

Sensei PRO 67-52mm Aluminum Step-Down Ring



This mounting system doesn’t require a specific case. Usually, unless your case has protruding features like a wallet or lens protection, this filter mount will fit. 

We all have a favorite case. Mine is Apple’s silicone case.

iPhone 15 Pro Max Silicone Case with MagSafe 


To learn more about iPhone Infrared, see my 90-minute tutorial, How I Did It!™; Create Infrared Photos with Your iPhone.

You can also visit or join our Facebook Group, Open Group! Infrared on the iPhone.

iPhone 12 Pro Max, Moment Filter Mount, 720nm IR Filter

Monday, November 20, 2023

Black Friday Discounts on My Favorite Tools

When I like a product, I use it, teach about it, and share it. For some I’m an affiliate representative, which means if I share a product and you make a purchase, I earn a small commission. Know that I only rep the products I love and use daily!

This being that time of year, many of the products I love have holiday sales going on. Here are links to their deals, some with additional affiliate discounts that I can share.


Flypaper Textures

Purchase Link: HERE

Sale Dates November 21 to December 29

Discount Code: Black23

30% OFF

Try their latest addition to the collection, Midas Gold.


Nik Collection6

Purchase Link: HERE

Silver Efex alone is worth the price of this collection! I use it on black and white and infrared images with wonderful effect! There’s noting quite like it.

In addition you get:

  • 8 powerful plugins for non-destructive editing

  • Every plugin lovingly rebuilt by DxO for unity, performance, and stability

  • Hundreds of filters, effects, and premium presets

  • U Point™ technology for effortless local adjustments 

  • 1 x license code valid for 3 activations on Windows or Mac computers

  • Use as plugins or as standalone applications

  • Free updates until next major release

Nik Collection6


Topaz Photo AI 

Purchase Link: HERE

Topaz has corralled its three AI tools – Denoise, Sharpen, and Gigapixel – into the single tool Photo AI. This took does a remarkable job of removing noise, sharpening, and increasing resolution all in one fell swoop! Photo AI will increase the resolution of a tightly cropped image or smaller iPhone images. It works wonder for those of us creating infrared with the iPhone as it reduces noise while increasing resolution.

Topaz Photo AI


Luminar Neo

Purchase Link: HERE

Sale ends November 22

Savings up to 85% depending on the plan you choose.

Luminar Neo is the latest collection of tools from Skylum. The “remove spots” tool is the bomb for removing dust spots from my Palouse photos with a single click, and I love the new feature, “Studio Light” that allows you to add patterned light – like the light coming through venetian blinds – to any photo. That’s what I did with the image of the ballerina below. You can now also do photo stacking and compile multi-image panoramas. Luminar Neo is extremely powerful, yet intuitive and simple to use!

Created with Luminar Neo's Studio Light

Saturday, November 18, 2023

A Dozen Reasons Why Your iPhone Could Be Your Main Camera!

iPhone 15 Pro Max, Portrait Mode

In the 13 years I've been photographing with the iPhone I've gotten use to comments like these.

  • Did you make a version of this photo with your real camera, too?
  • Do you have a real camera, too?
  • Oh, so that's just an iPhone photo?
  • No way you made that with an iPhone!
For many years now, in some circles, the iPhone has been the Rodney Dangerfield of cameras. It just don't get no respect.

But things are changing as the latest iPhones offer some of the features and benefits of our big cameras  and in a much lighter, more compact package!

Webinar December 7

Here are a dozen reasons why you may consider making your iPhone your main camera.
  1. Portrait Mode; The ability to make portraits of people and pets with a shallow depth of field

  2. Macro Mode: The ability to make macro photos with the native camera

  3. Live Mode: The ability to create long exposures of waterfalls or moving clouds handheld, without the need for a tripod or neutral density filter.

  4. Live Mode: Photograph people or pets and switch to Portrait Mode after the photo is made, to create a soft blur behind the subject

  5. Panorama Feature: The ability to create extraordinary panoramas in both horizontal and vertical orientation.

  6. RAW; The ability to create in RAW format for more resolution and better quality prints. (for more, see my video tutorial, How I Did It!™ Create and Process RAW on Your iPhone.

  7. 48mp file size; The iPhone 14 Pro and 15 Pro create 48mp RAW files when shooting with the main camera (1x, 24mm lens).

  8. The ability to create Infrared photos with your iPhone. (For more details, visit or join our Facebook group, Open Group: Infrared on the iPhone! or see my video tutorial, How I Did It!™, Create Infrared Photos with Your iPhone.)

    FREE Webinar November 30

  9. Nightmode; Our iPhone camera senses when it's dark and activates Nightmode which determines settings and then fires for a duration of 1-10 seconds handheld, and up to 30 seconds when on a tripod. The images created during the timed duration are "stacked" using what is referred to as computational photography. Each image created has noise, but that noise is random, appearing in different locations on each photo. When the photos are stacked together, the noise disappears, leaving a sharp, noise-free night photo.

  10. Video improvements; you can now record in several video formats, including HDR and LOG. These improvements along with greater stability, make the iPhone an excellent video camera.

  11. Multiple lenses; the iPhone 15 Pro now has three lenses with 7 focal lengths, including a macro lens and a 120mm optical telephoto.

  12. We now have Topaz Photo AI; For those with earlier iPhones that produce smaller images and don't have ProRAW capability, we now have the desktop image enhancement software, Photo AI from Topaz Labs. (Available here.) Photo AI has corralled three Topaz tools – DeNoise AI, Sharpen AI, and Gigapixel AI – into one new tool called, Photo AI. I often run my iPhone images through this software to eliminate noise and to enlarge images before printing.
iPhone 15 Pro Max has a macro mode 
and six different focal length options 
from 13mm ultra-wide to 120mm telephoto.

Imagine all the gear you'd need to carry to do this many different types of photography with your traditional camera!

Infrared Photo with 720nm Infrared Filter
15 Pro Max, Native Camera, Nightmode

While I'm not yet ready to give up my Fuji camera's entirely, I find that I'm photographing more and more with my iPhone, especially now that I no longer have to sacrifice image quality for the advantages of portability. I recently returned from nearly three weeks in the Calabria region of Italy and (I'm a little embarrassed to say) I've yet to download my Fuji images. Everything I've posted and shared from that trip so far has been from my iPhone 14 Pro Max or the iPhone 12 Pro Max!

Whichever device you choose, it's important to remember that the most important feature of any camera is the "loose nut" behind the viewfinder! The new technology is great and fun and sparkly and all, but it's no substitute for our creativity and imagination.

Cheesemaker and Mayor of Terravecchia

Paulo Pignataro Leads a Double Life!

Paulo Pignataro, Cheesemaker and mayor of Terravechia, Italy

Paulo Pignataro in the Calabria region of Italy leads a double life.

In one life he is the new mayor of the medieval village of Terravecchia, in the Calabria region of Italy, and his mission is to breathe new life into the historic community.

In his other life, the one that has been his livelihood, he is a cheesemaker who makes cheese by hand in the old way. 

Paulo's life as a cheesemaking artisan faced a challenge when he decided to become mayor. How would he manage his cheesemaking and his mayoral responsibilities?

When we first met, he invited me to a traditional Italian lunch in a small restaurant in his village of Terrevicchia. We were joined by his two young sons and his mayoral assistant, Vanessa Filaretti, and others from his staff. 

Lunch was a boisterous family affair and featured a meal of local meats, vegetables, cheeses, anchovies, and red wine. As we ate, various locals paraded through the bar to say hi and to meet the visiting American curiosity! 

Lunch conversation was limited by my lack of Italian but Vanessa graciously translated many of my questions and Paulo’s answers. It was during this lunch conversation that I learned about Paulo’s other passion: artisanal cheese making. 

He explained that it is with the help of Vanessa, other staff, and community members, that he manages his mayoral responsibilities while continuing his work making cheeses.

Unlike much of today’s cheese manufacturing, Paola makes his cheeses by hand using traditional methods. And, he also raises the cows that produce the milk used in his cheeses. This allows him to influence all of the raw materials needed and to ensure their quality. His cheeses are sold throughout Italy and used in local restaurants. A few nights after meeting Paulo, I had dinner in a nearby gourmet pizza restaurant in Cariati run by an award-winning chef who features Paulo’s cheeses on his pizzas and other gourmet dishes. (Watch for my blog post about gourmet pizza making in Cariati!)

Here are a few photos showing Paulo at work making cheese, along with some of his products, and a couple of photos of the village that Paulo serves as mayor.

The Village of Terravecchia

The Medieval Village of Terravecchi where Paulo is Mayor.

Villagers from Terravecchia;
Paulo is standing next to me, 3rd from right in the second row,
with his Mayoral Assistant, Venessa Filareti, on my left.
That's my host, Fabio, in the green shirt taking the selfie.

The 224-year-old elm tree in the heart of Terravecchia
 is a source of pride among villagers.

Paulo Making Cheese

Friday, September 15, 2023

Part 2: Black & White Photographers from Whom We Can Learn

Impact-Site-Verification: -2110864453

Alabama Hills

Editors Note: This blog post is Part 2 of a two part series. 

In Part 1, Exploring the Timeless Elegance of Black and White Films: A Watch List for Contemporary Black and White PhotographersI suggested Classic black and white films as a source of inspiration and influence for your own b&w photography. 

In this installment, Part 2, I share some of the black and white photographers from the 20th century who, through their creative black and white images, not only influenced me as a young photographer, but also helped elevate photography to an accepted art form. 

I close by sharing several contemporary photographers whose work I admire.

(See my video tutorial, How I Did It!™️; Create Black & White Photos with Your iPhone!)

In college in the 1970s studying fine art and photojournalism, I was fortunate to have teachers who introduced me to some of the giants in 20th Century black and white photography. I have always celebrated them as heroes who instilled in me a love of the medium.

While there are a number of influential 20th Century black and white photographers, there are a few whose work continues not only to inspire me, but to shape the world of photography today. 

These are some who were important to me as a young photographer:

Imogen Cunningham, Edward Weston, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange, and, the only one still with us today, Duane Michals. 

These artists not only showcased technical expertise but also made powerful and impactful images that defined the medium. We contemporary black and white photographers can learn from their unique styles, composition, techniques, and the narratives they conveyed through their work.

Imogen Cunningham was known for her diverse range of subjects, including botanicals, nudes, and portraits. Her work often emphasized the beauty and intricacy of nature, using light and shadow to highlight details. Her photograph "Magnolia Blossom" (Imogen Cunningham: Magnolia Blossom - SAMBlog) is a renowned example of her ability to compose and capture the delicate forms found in nature. Cunningham's keen eye for detail and her ability to infuse her subjects with emotion make her a compelling study for contemporary photographers.

Edward Weston is celebrated for his mastery of form and composition. He often photographed natural and industrial landscapes, as well as still lifes. Weston's work is characterized by his use of sharp, detailed focus and careful attention to textures. His iconic image "Pepper No. 30" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepper_No._30) demonstrates his ability to transform an ordinary subject into a visually arresting image through his expert use of light and shadow. We can learn from Weston's precise composition and his ability to find beauty in everyday objects.

Henri Cartier-Bresson, a pioneer of street photography, is renowned for capturing candid moments of everyday life. His concept of "the decisive moment" revolutionized the way photographers approached capturing fleeting, spontaneous scenes. Cartier-Bresson's photograph Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behind_the_Gare_Saint-Lazare) exemplifies this concept, capturing a man leaping over a puddle in an otherwise mundane setting. His ability to anticipate and freeze these unique moments provides contemporary black and white photographers with valuable lessons in creating impactful images in the chaos of daily life.

Dorothea Lange's photographs from the Great Depression era, such as "Migrant Mother," (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migrant_Mother) have become iconic representations of the human costs of economic hardship. Lange's ability to convey deep emotions through her subjects' expressions and body language make her work a powerful study for contemporary photographers interested in documentary and social photography. Her impact goes beyond aesthetics, highlighting the importance of storytelling and empathy in visual storytelling. 

In August 2023, Nancy and I got to see the exhibit, Changing Views; The Photography of Dorothea Lange at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis that was tremendously inspiring. 

At 91, Duane Michals is the only one of my heroes who is still with us. I first encountered his wonderful sequences in the 1970s and his work inspired me to do some of my own in-camera double exposures using the 1953 Argus C3 that I’d claimed from my father’s camera collection. 

Michals is known for his creative and conceptual approach to photography. He often incorporated text and sequences of images to tell narratives and explore philosophical ideas. Michals' work challenged the boundaries of traditional photography, incorporating elements of storytelling and imagination. His iconic series Things Are Queer, demonstrated his ability to create enigmatic and thought-provoking narratives through the combination of text and images. We can all learn from Michals' willingness to experiment and push the boundaries of black and white photography.

I’ll close by mentioning some contemporary black and white photographers whose work I find fascinating and which continues to influence how I think about black and white. These photographers continue to push the boundaries of black and white photography, incorporating their own unique visions and perspectives.

Clyde Butcher’s photographs caught my attention only a few years ago. Regarded as one of the top landscape photographers in America today, it’s his photography of swamps in the Everglades that I find fascinating. You can learn more about him and view his work here: https://clydebutcher.com/photographs/.

Arthur Ransome (https://www.aransomephoto.com/the-contemplative-landscape) and I met in 2010 when we were both part of a “secret” Facebook group full of mostly professional photographers who created the space to explore what was then the new iPhone. What I love about Arthur’s work is what strikes me as its purity and the wonderful tonal qualities he achieves in his images.

Cole Thompson (https://colethompsonphotography.com) and I have never met, although we’ve corresponded a bit. I became acquainted with Cole’s work through my friend and mentor, photographer, John Barclay (https://johnbarclayphotography.com). What I love about Cole’s approach to photography is that his pursuit is uniquely his own. He practices something he refers to as “photographic celibacy.” That is, he avoids looking at the work of others so that he can clarify and pursue his own unique vision. You can read more about his concept of Photographic Celibacy here: https://colethompsonphotography.com/2018/03/22/photographic-celibacy-thoughts-ten-years-later/. While I think it’s a fascinating concept and I applaud Cole for his effort in this regard, the practice is not for everyone. Whether it’s his “celibacy” or something else that has enabled him to create, Cole’s black and white photography is some of the most engaging I’ve encountered.  There is one collection of Cole’s that I find particularly compelling: the ghosts of auschwitz. You can read his words and view his images here: https://colethompsonphotography.com/portfolios/series/the-ghosts-of-auschwitz/ This, to me, is what photography is all about, and black and white is the perfect medium to communicate this powerful story.

By exploring and celebrating these pioneering photographers and our contemporaries, we aspiring black and white photographers can gain valuable insights into how to create impactful, emotionally charged images and communicate meaningful, even profound, stories through our photography.

Here are a few of my black and white images created over the years, all influenced in one way or another by the photographers mentioned here. 

Abandoned Gary, Indiana

Ambassador Apartments, Abandoned Gary, Indiana

Along the Schuylkill River, Philadelphia, PA

Untitled, Cuba, 2017



Shadow, Light, Form

Farmer, Vinales, Cuba


Stream, Great Smokey Mountains

Vickery Creek, Roswell, GA

Tobacco Farmer, Vinales, Cuba

Palouse Loess

The Palouse