I’m not totally convinced that the scene of the most devastating wildfire in California’s history is the most tasteful way to test the iPhone X camera, but I can kind of see why CNET’s senior photographer James Martin decided to do it.

News coverage requires a camera that not only produces good enough results for publication, but one that is sufficiently fast, reliable and flexible to cope with whatever might be thrown at it. In particular, you often don’t have much time for editing, so results have to be decent straight from camera …

And Martin does do it in a respectful way. The photo essay is focused on the clean-up operation rather than the fire itself.

I also live in the San Francisco Bay Area, where smoke and ash blanketed the region for more than a week as wildfires rampaged through Sonoma and Napa counties, just 50 miles north of the city. Now that the fires have been extinguished, I wanted to document what needs to be done before Napa and Sonoma counties — some of the most beautiful spots in Northern California — can emerge from such unimaginable devastation.

He said that he always carries a DSLR with him, but didn’t need to use it.

I shot this story in one day, taking several hundred photos. 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.

After I got home and scanned through the photos, I was shocked by the power and beauty of the images I’d captured with a phone. The fire was more devastating than I had ever imagined. These images will make sure I never forget.

Check out the photos over at CNET.

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About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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