Making Your iPhone Photography Better
The iPhone has long been held as a defining moment for photography. As soon as the iPhone 3GS hit the market, it became one of the most used cameras ever. It had enough resolution for general usage, especially since most of the delivery was either to the internet or other phones, and was extremely ubiquitous. With hundreds of millions of phones sold worldwide, it brought photography to a new generation of users.
Now, with the latest version of the iPhone 6s, the hardware is impressive and the 12-megapixel camera blows the 3GS out of the water. However, there are still ways to add your own creative flair to take better pictures with good technique.
VSCO is like Instagram — if Instagram wanted to emulate real film rather than just desaturating or adding a sepia tone to your photos, VSCO has everything you need when taking and sharing photos. Because the company has spent so much time trying to emulate classic film stocks, you can get unique looks due to the subtlety that different films can lend an image. There are many more premade options than most other photo apps and it still gives you granular control over other settings like the exposure, white balance and added grain.
If you want completely sharp images, then nothing is going to serve you better than a tripod and delayed shutter. Even small vibrations from you pressing the shutter on the phone can cause a certain amount of blurring in the photo. With a delayed shutter or using your headphones as a cable release, it eliminates that possibility.
If you are trying to capture something with a lot of detail, this is the way to ensure you get as much detail as possible.
There are plenty of accessories to attach your phone to, but something like a GorillaPod is much more flexible than a traditional tripod. GorillaPods have articulating legs that can be straight or wrap around a branch or pole, which means you can get the same height as a full-sized tripod without having to carry one around.
Using frame lines on your camera app of choice is going to ensure your photos don’t have a slightly off-quality look to them. These can help correct everything from slightly off horizons to helping to place your subject where you want relative to the edges of the photo.
The rule of thirds and centre framing are both traditional framing options that are traditional for a reason. It allows the viewer to isolate the subject quickly as well as highlighting leading lines or other photographic elements in a scene.
Using the Camera to its Potential
Where you run into a limitation of the smartphone camera is that it is a fixed focal length. Usually, they are fairly wide, so you can easily capture a room or landscape without having to move too far back. But when you want to get something far away, your only option is to zoom. However, this really is just cropping the image. Instead of getting 12 MP, you end up with 4 MP at the end and you lose all the detail of the scene. So you don't have to use the digital zoom, it is better to get closer to your subject or to crop it later so you still have the detail of your surroundings.
Instead of using the digital zoom, it is better to get closer to your subject or to crop it later so you still have the detail of your surroundings. Another technique to keep in mind is moving the camera away from chest level and to be more in line with your subject. The wide angle lens can give an interesting perspective when placed at the eye level or below your subject. It can help to emphasise the surroundings, as well as help isolate the subject due to the shallower depth of field when you are closer to a subject.