Portrait Mode for bonsai - picture taking

I just randomly tested Google’s Portrait Mode on one of my trees yesterday…and it blew my mind!!! Has anyone else played around with this? I’m curios, those with iPhones, how does their picture taking algorithm fair?

I posted both versions of the picture for comparison…the noise of colours and vegetations is pretty heavy in the 2nd pic, without the portrait blur effect.

With portrait mode:

Without portrait mode:


I really like that pine!

I tried it on a shohin last spring…

1 Like

Thanks! non are my merits. I just tipped the angle and wired it a bit :slight_smile:

Your’s is a larch right? Did you take the pic on a Pixel?

IPhone 7. Yes a small larch that I believe was a cast off at a club meeting. I have no idea what to do with it. I liked the top angling off, but this summer, the thing took off and is still growing. Time to make a decision!

What is this Google Portrait Mode? Is an app that adjusts old photos to blur the background and making the center come into sharpness?

The apple one does okay but also routinely makes mistakes with trees I found. Sometimes areas between branches don’t blur if the background is also brown/green. I keep trying but end up deleting the photos most of the time.

It’s a setting on the Android camera.

Michael - Portrait mode attempts to force the background in the picture to a fuzzy out of focus effect to highlight the subject. When it works, it is pretty dramatic.

On old cameras, it was called a bokeh effect.

And on cameras where you can adjust the aperture (F-stop) a wide aperture/low F-stop allows the short depth of field so only the tree is in focus. That is hard to simulate on the types of cameras in our phones.

There are 2 ways to use portrait mode:

  1. Google Camera app, ideally running on a Pixel (1-5) device, so that you also use the Pixel sensor along with Google neural chips to achieve a precise bokeh effect. On Pixel 4 and later devices I’m pretty convinced they use both cameras to calculate depth and distinguish planes. I took my picture on my Pixel 4 XL.
  2. Use an app like Snapseed (by Google) to create a Portrait effect - as far as I’ve seen this does not create the same effect, since it uses a bitmap (already taken picture) and applies some AI on it to identify faces/objects and achieve a bokeh effect on them. Since it does not use the actual lenses and sensor, it can’t really calculate real depth/plains.
1 Like