So you’ve watched the video and we’ve established that iPhone can be your go-to camera for capturing and sharing your life. So now let’s get down to taking better photographs. First, we will go over a few general techniques for taking better photos, and then look at a few additional apps for editing or processing them.  Here are a few tips to get you headed in the right direction.

Rule of Thirds: To explain this, go ahead and turn on the grid feature of your iPhone in Settings > Photos & Camera > Grid. With this enabled, when you launch the Camera you’ll see two horizontal and vertical lines that divide the screen into thirds. The principle is that the subject of your photo should lie at one of the four points where these lines intersect. Even if your photo does not align this way when you take it, you can apply this principle in cropping as well. This, by default, also supports the principle of not having the subject in the center of the photo.

Natural Lighting: As great as the iPhone is, lighting is key to getting a great photo. Natural lighting (light produced by the sun but not direct sunlight) is your friend. Direct light causes your subject to squint and be washed out while backlight, on the other hand, leaves the subject in the dark. So again, bright natural sunlight is going to deliver the best possible image. To focus your lens, simply tape the subject and you will see your iPhone automatically adjust. An added bonus is catchlight, which is the reflection of light in your subjects eyes. This definitely gets that extra “awwwwww” factor when posting numerous photos of pets and babies, which is basically what social media is 😉 

Get Close: Beauty can be found in the most mundane of moments. Shapes, textures, and colors can be striking when you capture them well, even if it's a seemingly ordinary object. The iPhone can take very close photos, and products such as the Olo Clip provide an even more powerful macro function. Instead of using the digital zoom, use your feet instead to get closer to the subject. Digital zoom can create a grainier image, so instead use the crop tool to remove unnecessary peripheral 

Angles: building on the rule of thirds, angles can bring balance and movement to an image. Our eyes naturally follow lines and motion, so use any lead lines (horizon, shoreline, path, curb, etc.) to draw the eye to the subject. Also, if taking a photo of a person, leave room in the image to follow their gaze. For example, if a person is looking to the left (when looking at the image) but is also aligned on the left, it can feel a little cut off. Or, if a car is moving in the frame toward the right, leave room in front for where the eye anticipates motion. 

Of course, all of these are simply guidelines. There are many images that I love that do not follow these principles. Use your own creativity and share your perspective through your photos. 

AFTERLIGHT (http://bit.ly/1mSXt36)

Afterlight is a great choice for quick and straightforward editing. Not only is this a top download in the App Store, it’s also my go-to photo editor. Afterlight’s clean aesthetic and and intuitively navigable layout make it really easy to use. Of all of my photo apps, this one is visually my favorite. 

Like the other apps, the opening page gives you the options to take a new photo or choose one from your camera roll. Once you have the photo you want to work with, you’ll see a menu on the bottom of the page with icons for rotating, adjustments (such as color temperature, saturation, sharpness, exposure, etc.), filters, film textures, cropping and rotating, and frames.  

Sailboats at dusk, Long Beach. Created with Afterlight

Sailboats at dusk, Long Beach. Created with Afterlight

HIPSTAMATIC (http://bit.ly/1dz1ybD)

Modeled after a plastic body camera of the same name, Hipstamatic has cool interface that allows the user to choose and swap film, lens, and flash to create the a variety of effects. Once you hit your stride you can save your favorite combinations. If you’re feeling spontaneous, the app also has a “shake to randomize” feature that changes the film, lens, and flash with each shake. With numerous in-app purchases available, Hipstamatic is a great choice for those who are looking for digital photos with a truly analog feel. Additional bonus: order prints and magnets of your creations from inside the app. 

 

Created with Hipstamatic. Sunset in Huntington Beach. 

Created with Hipstamatic. Sunset in Huntington Beach. 

 

CAMERA+ (featured in the video) http://bit.ly/Miq1bF

 

SLOW MOTION & PANORAMA

As you saw in the video, the iPhone camera takes amazing slow motion videos as well as stunning panoramas. Here are a few examples of each:

The Needles district of Canyonlands National Park in Moab, Utah

The Needles district of Canyonlands National Park in Moab, Utah

The Needles district of Canyonlands National Park in Moab, Utah

The Needles district of Canyonlands National Park in Moab, Utah

The Needles district of Canyonlands National Park in Moab, Utah

The Needles district of Canyonlands National Park in Moab, Utah


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