I thought, since I keep getting asked, I’d break down and do a little tutorial for you, on how to get good photos with your iPhone*. My iPhone is my faithful friend, and since my good camera is in the shop and my other one is on the way (A new 5D Mk III – EEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKK!), my iPhone is all I have right now. I have a few attachment lenses for it, but I don’t use them often, as it’s got to come out of the otterbox it lives in for them to work, and my friends, I drop my phone at least once a day. Like, DROP IT like it’s hot drop it!
Your iPhone has a 28mm lens in case you were wondering, and the 4s has a fixed aperture of 2.4. That’s all the more detail I’m going to go into about that for you. If you want additional discussion on the matter, feel free to comment, or let me know you’d like more on this subject.
I gave this first tip to my friend John when he was here with his sons over the fourth. It will change the way you take photos.
1. Shoot in the direction of your shadow.
That said there are exceptions to this rule, but for now, we’ll begin here.
You can actually see my shadow in this photo- which is why I chose it as a good example, because once I cropped it and ran it through Instagram the finished result was pretty:
2. Be closer than you think you need to be. These photos of the blossoming choke cherries are a good example of being too far away.
Here’s the whole “tree”.
I moved closer, and framed in a set of blossoms:
Here’s the finished version.
Your iPhone has the ability to change the exposure settings, and the focus point, if you touch the screen while you’re framing your shot. You’ve probably seen it – the little frame that comes up? Well that’s your “in a pinch” way to get more light into your shot if can’t shoot with the sun behind you.
Obviously, in this photo, the horse was shaded (this is the Gump for those of you wondering).
So I had to move. I didn’t want to stand on his right side, as there was all kinds of vehicles and “stuff” that would have made the background of the photo “distracting”.
But I managed to get the shot because I told the phone where to focus.
Notice that the barn in the background isn’t in focus but the horse is? Same if you go look at the chokecherry tree above.
On an iPhone, because the camera sensor is so small it’s actually best to frame in your shot from the beginning, because as the photo is cropped it gets noisier. I don’t want to get into a big discussion about noise right now, just know that it can ruin your photo quality.
Here’s a couple shots that were framed in like I wanted, but I still needed to clean them up to make the biggest impact:
Now you may ask, do I ever get any photos out of the camera that I don’t edit- and the answer is “of course”. I typically use the #nofilter hashtag or #sooc (straight out of the camera) hashtag when I do – in case you’re following along on twitter or instagram.
I hope this little tutorial will help you. I do plan to share my favorite apps with you for the iPhone photography in the very near future.
*These tips – aren’t only for the iPhone- most smart phones operate their camera in a similar way, and as far as a point and shoot camera is concerned, the first, second, and fourth tips still apply.