New York Comic Con is perhaps the only place where you can see Batman and Deadpool standing side by side or a half-a-dozen Harley Quinns purposefully ignoring each other.
It’s basically like the cosplay Olympics on the floor of New York’s comics, pop-culture, sci-fi and gaming convention. It’s also the perfect place to capture indelible images of many of these home-grown, custom-made costumes.
Last year, I took the iPhone 7 Plus out for a spin and captured mesmerizing portraits of comic-book-culture enthusiasts. This year, I decided to take it to the next level, using both the updated Portrait mode technology in Apple’s new iPhone 8 Plus, as well as the still-in-beta Portrait Lighting mode, which, like Portrait mode, uses the iPhone 8 Plus’s wide and dual telephoto 12-megapixel cameras.
Portrait Lighting lets you adjust the light on Portrait Mode shots either on the fly or as a post-process (it’s all done through software and the powerful A11 Bionic CPU). There are five lighting options, including Natural Light, Studio Light, Contour Light, Stage Light, and Stage Light Mono.
For New York Comic Con (“NYCC” if you’re cool), I chose the dramatic Stage Light, which turns the blurred background black, but leaves the color intact on the subject, plus casts a spotlight on them.
Even though Portrait Lighting Mode is still in beta, it worked fairly well. There are oddities, like the effect’s inability to properly light two subjects and the sometimes jarring silhouette work.
What follows are the best and most interesting subjects I found. I’ve provided an image slider so you can slide back and forth between iPhone 8 Portrait Mode and iPhone 8 Portrait Lighting Beta Stage Lighting.