Canberra Lifestyle

iPhoneography: tips to have you shooting like a pro

The way smart phones are going now, it’s almost like having a DSLR in your pocket. Gone are the days of having to carry around a separate camera to capture those moments or scenery that inspire you – just whip out your phone and shoot. Photography on iPhone’s is starting to get more and more popular, especially with the continual upgrades to the camera software. We’ve compiled some handy tips that’ll have you shooting like a pro in no time! 

Turn on the grid

Head to settings, scroll down a little bit until you find camera and turn on the grid. Go on, do it now! The grid helps to keep your photos in line with the rule of thirds – according the rule, your photos should be divided into nine equal parts. The grid not only helps to keep your photos level (especially if you’re shooting a landscape), but it helps to frame your subject and make for better composition, helping you to take into account the entire photos, not just the thing you’re trying to take a picture of. 



Keep it simple

The biggest rookie mistake is trying to over complicate your photos. Too many details take away from the focal point that you’re trying to showcase. Clean and simple composition helps to make your photos stand out.


Use the volume button

It can be really hard to keep a steady hand at the best of times, especially if you’re trying to take a picture in low-light (or a selfie). To get a better grip on your phone, hold it at both ends firmly and utilise the volume button to snap your shot instead of tapping the button on the screen. The volume button also helps to lock in a sharper image. 


Draw attention by framing your subject

This one is pretty straight forward, and sometimes you probably do it without even realising. Essentially, you’ll create a frame within the frame that you’re already trying to define in the photo itself. To create the inner frame, utilise any element of the scene that you’re shooting. This could be like using the branches of a tree near your subject, a window or an open doorway. Framing will draw the viewer’s attention right into the subject and add another dimension to your composition. 


Shoot from different perspectives

This one works particularly well if you’re shooting buildings or in the city. Instead of shooting flat, front-facing photos, get creative with your view. To get perspective on your building shots, look up and find an interesting angle, or get low and shoot your subject from that perspective. Most often than not, this will make your subject stand out against the sky or you can show more interesting details from the foreground. 


Manually adjust your exposure

Okay, so there’s a little yellow box that pops up randomly in your camera while you’re lining up the shot – what is it? This is your focus box. What you might not know is how to use it. The little sun icon next to the square is host to a slider that helps to adjust the exposure of your image. If you want it to be darker and underexposed, simply drag your finger down anywhere on the screen. If you want it to be brighter and overexposed, just drag it up. An example of when you would use this is if you’re shooting a backlit subject where your phone will automatically underexpose the subject, overexposing may be useful in this situation. 


Make sure your lens is clean

Now this might sound silly and obvious, but it’s easy for your camera lens to get marks on it. The last thing you want is to get your shot perfectly lined up, only to have it blurry or smudged because of marks on the lens. Give the lens a quick wipe down before you take your shot for guaranteed clarity. 


Add some depth

Most photos look better when the composition convey’s some type of depth. The easiest way to do this is to find leading lines. Compose the photo so the line leads off into the distance towards the bigger subject. This draws your viewers through the scene and makes for an interesting photo.


Search your photos

This is a handy, little known tip. Taking so many photos will obviously clog up your camera roll and can make things hard to find. Did you know that since the latest iPhone update, there’s an option to search your camera roll using keywords? E.g if you’ve taken a photo of a bridge, you can type ‘bridge’ into the search box and it’ll show all photos of bridges you’ve taken! It’ll also provide you with suggested search terms and you can keep adding terms till you’ve found what you want. 


Never underestimate the power of composition for your photos – once you master this, and start figuring out your leading lines, you’ll be taking photos like a pro in no time!


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