Part 1: The basics of iPhotography
Whether you’re taking pictures to capture a moment, make a statement, or share a story, taking photos with intention will quickly improve the quality of your images. Today we’re talking about some hidden features you might not know about that will help you become a better iPhone photographer.
1. Don’t Miss It! Trying to capture those impromptu moments? Sometimes scrambling for your phone, unlocking it, and pulling up the camera app takes too long. Fortunately, iPhones have a remarkable feature allowing access to the camera in a split second. Pick up your phone, touch the home button, and just swipe left to directly open up your camera!
2. Find Your Focus. With your camera on and open, it’s time to start taking control of your photo. Your iPhone will have two functions that it will try to automate: focus and exposure. Have you noticed that yellow square that shows up when you tap on the screen? That’s the focus feature. Notice how the picture, and its tone, changes as you tap different areas of the photo? Focusing on the right subject can make a huge difference in the story you tell.
3. Manipulate Photo Exposure. As you click around, you may notice the photo will change its brightness, otherwise known as exposure. The iPhone’s exposure feature takes into account brightness, shadows, highlights, contrast, and coloring. We always say it’s better to “underexpose” rather than “overexpose”, meaning it’s better to let your picture be taken a little darker rather than too bright. An underexposed photo can be properly edited to create the look you want. This will be much more difficult with an overexposed photo. To change the exposure on your camera, tap once to get that focus square over your target subject, then tap again. Hold down your finger and swipe up or down. Swiping down will lower your exposure while swiping up with increase your exposure.
4. Lock It In! You’re not done yet! You want to make sure you’re getting the exact frame, composition, and angle that you want. Unfortunately, as soon as you move your camera, it will automatically change the settings you just worked so hard to perfect. But luckily, the settings can be locked! Just hold down your finger on the focus box until you see the AE/AF Lock in yellow on top of your screen.
5. Photo Composition. Composition means “putting together”, and in photography we think of it as the placement or arrangement of the visual elements in a photo. A well-known rule for a successful composition is “the rule of thirds”. Imagine there’s a 3X3 grid over your photo. The idea is that if you place the important subjects either at the grid points of intersection or along the grid lines, it will appear the most attractive for a viewer to look at. The iPhone has a “grid lines” feature, to help you visually see the placement of your photo. To turn it on, just go into settings, camera, and then turn on the “grid” section.
6. Use Your Headphones! You know those Apple headphones we all lose? (oops!) They can be incredibly helpful! When plugged in, you can easily snap a picture with the volume buttons. This is great for street photography, where you may want your photo taking to be subtle. The headphones are also a lifesaver when you’re using a tripod. iPhones, even more-so than a normal camera, can be extremely sensitive to movement. The click of a button can create enough movement to blur up your photo. When your camera is on a tripod, and you’re able to take the shoot with the headphone buttons, any unwanted movement is eliminated, keeping your photo still and focused.
Jen Barker Worley Photography
555 Grant Street, Suite 337 Offices at the William Penn Pittsburgh, PA 15219