We’ve all fallen into the misconception at one time or another that having a better camera will help us take better photos. That we’re not “really” photographers unless we have a specific set of gear.
Of course that couldn’t be further from the truth! So our friends at City Headshots put together some basic tips and tricks to help you take some amazing images with the camera in your pocket.
1. Pay Attention to Light
When it comes to working with a camera that automatically adjusts the majority of its settings for you, having great light can mean the difference between a good shot and a stunning shot. This is true for manual cameras as well, however having less opportunity to manipulate your settings makes good lighting that much more important.
When we say “pay attention to light,” what on earth do we mean?
Well if you’re taking portraits, a soft light, or the kind of light that does not cast harsh shadows is going to work best. That means shooting in shade is going to make the lighting on your subject much more flattering. If you can’t avoid harsh light, say you’re standing outside in the sun, you’ll want to position the light source directly behind you so that there are no distracting shadows on your subjects’ faces.
Looking for harsh light on the other hand, or the kind of direct light that casts darker shadows, can also help you grab some great shots of buildings, silhouettes, or shadows.
2. Use HDR Mode
Speaking of light, how should you best shoot something like a sunset or a landscape if you just have your iPhone? We suggest keeping HDR mode on auto. This stands for “High Dynamic Range” and will let you take pictures that include a vast range of light and preserve more of the details, like a bright sunset paired with a dark cityscape!
3. Use Your Focus And Exposure, Get Up Close!
One really cool thing about your iPhone is that it has the ability to create some nice depth of field if you want to take macro shots. This means that you can make close detail shots look more professional. All you have to do is hold your finger on the subject until you see the focus box lock and you can take your shot! The best thing is that you can also manually set the focus on subjects that are far away. You won’t get as much of depth of field but you will make sure everything is crisp.
Once you set your focus you will also see an exposure icon next to your focus box allowing you to brighten or darken the image as needed–You don’t have to rely entirely on your phone’s automatic light meter.
4. Flip Your Phone, Look for Straight Lines
Shooting in landscape and making sure to keep your phone straight as possible when you shoot can make a world of difference in how polished your iPhone images look, especially when it comes to landscapes or objects. If you are taking a portrait either orientation will work well, but always remember to keep straight lines.
Professional photographers very rarely send or use unedited images, why should you? Both the in phone editing options as well as third party apps like VSCO, Avairy, or Snapseed can help you post process your images to enhance contrast and add filters that will make your portrait, landscape, silhouette, macro shot, or whatever else you may want to shoot look amazingly polished.
So there you have it, our top tips for taking your iPhone photography to the next level. Of course the investment you make in a more professional camera can help you experiment and grow as a photographer, but learning with what is in your pocket can give you a great foundation!