iPhone Photography (tips and tricks!)

February 20, 2011 at 4:31 PM 3 comments

The iPhone is the highest quality phone camera that I have ever used (there could be better ones out there, though), and you can actually get some stunning photographs just using your iPhone and messing around with an editing software to make the image “pop” a little more. You can do some really creative things, and for being something you can just slip out of your pocket and snap a photo with it isn’t too shabby. If you have an iPhone and are wondering how to get “good shots” I am going to try my best to give you some tips for how I get my photographs to look interesting.

I usually edit 90% of my iPhone photographs, because I feel like they just need more work than the pictures I take with my Canon EOS XSi or Canon EOS 7D.

You can get creative with the colors by adjusting the contrast, which if you are using Photoshop Elements 4.0 it is going to be under “Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast”. Another fun thing to do is to create a new layer (Layers > New Layer) and then fill that new layer with a gradient of colors and changing the layer style to Lighten, Screen, or any other style you might prefer. If I choose lighten or screen I will usually flatten the image (Layers > Flatten Image) and then I will adjust the contrast using “Auto Contrast” so the colors will pop some more again. It’s really a matter of personal taste.

With black and white images I love playing with the levels and the contrast. I just play with the sliders until I feel like it it where it should be, where it “feels” right. Sometimes I love going for a slightly noisier “vintage newspaper” feel, and other times I want it to be crisp and clear.

Photography, no matter what camera you are using, is all about capturing light so if you find some good light take as many pictures of as many subjects in as many angles as you can and just learn. Practice and experiment, find out what YOU like and just do it. If you are not happy with your photography, nobody else matters. The last three images were not edited at all, and they are straight out of the iPhone camera. I got very lucky with some amazing lighting that day, outside of work on my lunch break. Yes, I got to dress up as a Scarecrow Girl at work. 😉 It was for a library program.

Don’t be afraid to shoot from odd angles. I don’t know how many times I have been asked why I am laying on the floor taking pictures, but then everyone always loves how they turn out. Try seeing things from creative perspectives. Does that tree you look at every single day look like a castle from directly below? Does your mailbox look different from below/above? Surely it does, but you’ll never know unless you try!

No matter what kind of camera you have, get out there and use it! You’ll be surprised what beauty you will find in the world around you when you do.

Happy Adventures,
Burkie

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. sparksinshadow  |  February 20, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    Thanks for these ideas! I have a kind of phone that doesn’t take good pictures (plus I can’t get them out of there anyway!) But I’m hoping that your tips about angles and light help me with the “good” camera I got last year. I really want to get good at it and take more pictures of loved ones, and for the blog, too. You’re pictures are delightful!

    Reply
    • 2. Heather  |  February 20, 2011 at 10:07 PM

      I’d love to post more tips and tricks and such in the future, because I learned different things I know from different sources on the internet. For this reason I feel like sharing the little things that I figure out, or even the things that I like that I learned from somebody else. I’m glad you found this useful!

      North facing windows, especially dirty ones, are a WONDERFUL source of natural light. Also, you probably already know this but I am always surprised how many people do not know this, when focusing on a subject taking the little extra time to push the shutter button halfway down and let it focus then push it the rest of the way. Use the viewfinder if your camera has one, and make sure the subject that you want to capture is in focus.

      Reply
  • 3. sparksinshadow  |  February 20, 2011 at 10:57 PM

    You are a sweetheart! Thanks for these tips, too!

    Reply

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Reading: just about anything I can get my hands on, other blogs, and especially YA Fiction Novels. Lately I have been really into anything by SARK and other non-fiction books. __________________________________ Writing: updates for my blog, a children's book, music/lyrics, and letters to pen pals. ;) __________________________________ Singing: Warm-Ups. __________________________________ Learning: How to use my voice as an instrument, History of Art, Watercolor, how to be actively involved in creating a better community, and something new every single day. __________________________________ Hoping for: Wisdom and patience when things are hard, a smile no matter what, and a better community. __________________________________ Dreaming about: HAPPINESS __________________________________ Eating: <3 Peanut Butter Pie. Peanut Butter Sandwiches. Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies. __________________________________ Drinking: Water, usually. __________________________________ Playing: The Sims 3, Dance Central, and the Piano and Guitar. __________________________________ Watching: Christmas/Halloween movies, Who's the Boss? reruns, and crazy-cool documentaries about dead people. __________________________________ Listening to: Informative & Educational Podcasts, all kinds of music, and trying to listen to my parents (they are very wise, after all).

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