CNET's tasteful photoessay of California wildfire devastation tests iPhone X camera

Photo of a burned-out home in Santa Rosa, CA taken with an iPhone X. Photo by James Martin, CNET

Photo of a burned-out home in Santa Rosa, CA taken with an iPhone X. Photo by James Martin, CNET

The recent wildfires in Napa and Sonoma counties in California caused devastation of a scale that is almost unimaginable. CNET's James Martin spent a day with EPA crews documenting the removal of hazardous waste from the remains of burned homes and businesses, and instead of using his regular DSLR, he took all of his photos with the iPhone X

As Martin notes in his photoessay, "After the first half hour of shooting, I realized I wouldn't need the DSLR camera I always have with me. The iPhone X did what I needed it to do." The detail and color of the images is spectacular, and Martin made good use of Portrait Mode in several images.

Martin notes that "I made only basic edits on the images for contrast, color and saturation, either right on the iPhone X or in Adobe Lightroom -- the same as I would for any project." That kind of capability in a smartphone camera spells good news for photojournalists -- and regular snapshot photographers -- who want to quit lugging around heavy equipment to capture images.

A full slideshow of Martin's images can be found here