13 Ways to get the most from your iPhone photography
Photography is more of an art than a science, but with the advent of smartphone technology comes an influx of photographers with great power in their hands. The masses have never been more enabled to record and snap pictures of the world around them. So the question we want to answer, is what are the best ways to get the most out of your iPhone photography?
1. Prop up the phone for low level lighting shots
Low-level lighting conditions are among the most difficult to capture if you’re not stationary. Holding an iPhone in your hand will pretty much guarantee a lack of stability which will be translated back to your photos with blurriness. It’s best to use a tripod or another form of prop to hold up your iPhone.
2. Use the volume keys to trigger the shutter
An article from 9to5mac.com suggests that it’s almost always better to use the shutter keys to snap a picture. The main reason is that it offers more stability since you can get two hands on the phone. Obviously this technique is not as useful in the world of selfies.
3. Use motor drive for low-level lighting shots
The iPhone sensors will constantly be searching for a subject to take a picture of. Use your finger on the screen to touch the area where you want your iPhone to focus. Next take several shutter takes at a time to generate 3-4 different photos. One of these photos is likely to come out perfect as they’ll be in sequence and the iPhone’s built in software is less likely to wander around the viewpoint.
4. Leave HDR option enabled
For new iPhone users, this option should be the default. According to Google, HDR stands for “High Dynamic Range.” The software causes the your iPhone to take a series of photos all at once and combine them in high and low exposure lighting to create 1 combined image that looks much better. Just leave this option enabled to take advantage of it. Check out this video tutorial featuring HDR if you have any questions about it.
5. Keep flash off (as a rule of thumb)
The flash on the iPhone is basically just meant to be used as an LED flash light. It’s far from the kind of lighting you would want to bring with you even if you did have a real flash. The flash on the iPhone also doesn’t cast very far which will just make your photos look worse. Try to use different lighting sources.
6. Pay attention to the direction of the light
In most cases you’ll want the light coming from behind you and hitting your subject. That means if you’re outside, the sun should typically be behind you. If you’re on the opposite end and facing the sun, your photos may turn out to be under exposed and the subject of your image could be too dark to see against all of the brightness coming from the background. Consider the image below as an example of when underexposure actually works:
7. Research your photo destinations
Knowing where to take photos can be the start of something great. If you research the areas you’re planning to take photos in, you can get a great head start on exciting scenery to be photographed on its own or to be used as a backdrop for a portrait as an example.
8. Consider all possible Angles
Going down load or up high can yield certain benefits that you wouldn’t normally have access to from being on the same plane as your target. Experiment with different angels to see which shots get you the best positioning and can lend a unique viewpoint to the subject of your photo.
9. Consider all possible distances
Sometimes you have to consider distance when judging how much of the scenery should be in the background of your photo’s subject. In the case of a portrait, you may want to capture surrounding groups of people or a unique scenery. Getting up close can also blur the background to create a refining effect on the subject of your photo.
10. Consider foreground and background
Having two distinct areas in the foreground and background of your photo lends itself to creating depth in the scene. Think of a lake picture where you see the shore in the lower half of the picture and the edge of the lake and sky in the top half of the picture. Practicing good placement for your foreground and background is a great way to represent our 3 dimensional world in the flat 2 dimensional world of photography.
11. Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds says having your subject or point of interest a third of the way up, down, or across the horizontal axis of your iPhone photo can improve the sense of balance in your photo. Try researching this attribute of photography if you’re not familiar with it already.
12. Get up early
Seriously, wake up early. If you want to take a photo of a popular tourist attraction, get up and get on-site before all the tourists show up. Getting there before the mad rush of people can affect how the landscape of your photo is going to look.
13. Use the Grid-View in your iPhone Camera
Having grid view on can help you see the balance and proportion in your photography. See more on how to turn on grid-view here if you’re not familiar with it already. Grid-view will only show up on your screen display and not in the photos that you take with it.