UK local hero Jacob James is a young and talented travel photographer who will be sharing with you a series of 8 weekly articles entitled An Introduction to Photography – in the penultimate article of the series Jacob discusses how to get the best out of your iPhone photography.
‘The best camera is the one that’s with you’. This phrase has never had a greater relevance than during the last few years. With an increase in the numbers of smart phones sold and an equally exponential increase in the quality of the cameras on smartphones, many people are starting to use their phones in place of smaller compact cameras. Here we look at 10 tips to create great images with your smartphone:
1. Interesting Subjects – Regardless of whether you are shooting with your phone or with a high end DSLR having an interesting subject in your images is essential. Shooting with your phone allows you to be much more inconspicuous, allowing you to get shots of interesting people and subjects without standing out in the crowd.
2. Composition – The best smartphone images always use carefully balanced compositions to draw the viewer into the image. Looking for lead in lines, repetition, patterns and other compositional elements will help give your image a new dynamic.
3. Juxtapositions – Cleverly used juxtapositions can add a sense of humour or irony to your images. This technique has been used for many years by some of the world’s best street photographers.
4. Add Stability – In low light situations it may be nearly impossible to hand hold your images without camera shake. Using a photography specific case such as the Manfrotto KLYP (www.manfrotto.co.uk/klyp) will allow you to mount your phone to a tripod or monopod, allowing you to get perfectly sharp shots every time.
5. Zoom – Using the zoom on your iPhone will cause a large decrease in image quality. Therefore it is always best to zoom with your feet. This should allow you to consider new and different compositions and viewpoints rather than just zooming in from a distance.
6. Light – Small cameras require lots of light to get good image quality. Consider adding extra lights to your iPhone such as a small Manfrotto LED (www.manfrotto.co.uk/led-lights) for use when shooting close up portraits of your friends and family. These small LED lights can also be great for on-the-fly Skype calls, FaceTime chats or video conferencing.
7. Distractions – Always try to look around your frame before taking an image to avoid distractions. Keeping your compositions as simple and clean as possible will help the viewer concentrate on the subject you are trying to photograph.
8. Camera Apps – Using camera apps such as Camera Awesome and Camera+ will allow you to overlay compositional aid onto the screen, add a self-timer function, edit your images on the fly and also add a hand held stabilisation feature which will prevent you taking a picture unless your hand is perfectly steady.
9. Processing – Once you have captured your great images you will want to get the best out of each image. Using editing apps such as Snapseed or Photoshop Mobile will allow you to optimise each image and add your own style.
10. Social Media – Sharing your images online in seconds is the key benefit to shooting with your smartphone. Apps such as Instagram allow you to share images quickly with your friends. All the major social networks such as Facebook and Twitter also allow image uploads on the go.
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Look out for Jacob’s last article in the 8-part series: ‘Improving your Indoor lighting with flash and LED’. For more information visit Jacob’s blog at: http://jacobjamesphotography.co.uk or Twitter: @JacobJamesPhoto