Review: Get Portrait Lighting on Your iPhone 7 Plus With Apollo

A cool app to come onto the photography scene recently is called Apollo. Not to be confused with the Reddit client of the same name, Apollo lets you light up your Portrait Mode photos. It gives you 3D lighting similar to portrait lighting, and it works for the iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.

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Portrait Lighting

When you take a photo with Portrait Mode, you can add multiple light sources with Apollo. The light interacts with the scene as if it were really there. I’ve seen a similar feature with a different app, but that one only works on faces. Apollo works on all Portrait Mode photos and it’s really cool.

The team uses a special algorithm that uses the GPU to calculate photorealistic lighting. You can add up to 20 light sources, and calibrate them to change the light intensity, color, spread, and position and 3D space.

The wine bottle’s light is a bit uneven, the flowers have weird negative space, but the beer bottle is great.

You can place light sources behind subjects, on the side, or in front. For best results the photo should have even lighting without deep shadows or bright highlights.

As you can see in the photos I took, Apollo works best on solid subjects. Taking a picture of the flowers doesn’t work because of the spaces in between the stems. The spaces are also in portrait so it looks like a solid object when it shouldn’t be.┬áIn the image with the wine bottle, the lighting does look uneven and strange, but I’m sure the algorithm will improve over time.

Apollo is US$1.99 on the App Store and I highly recommend it to iPhoneographers.

[iOS 11: Master Portrait Mode Photography With the iPhone]

Product: Apollo: Immersive Illumination

Company: Indice, Ltd

List Price: $1.99

  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone X

We Like It. You Should Get It.

  • Portrait Lighting for any iPhone with a dual-camera
  • Relatively easy to use
  • App design is a bit hard to navigate

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