Rad A. Drew Photography: November 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