If you know me, you know that it’s no secret that I’m a big proponent of all things Apple. Their products just work. Apple products run my business day to day and I use my iPhone when I’m not in my office for taking calls, emails, checking and making appointments, etc. It’s a fantastic tool for running a small business. The iPhone is also a fantastic way to carry a camera with you at all times. Having a camera with you means you can capture spontaneous moments or fun scenes where ever your travels may take you.
If you don’t buy into the Apple fanfare, that’s alright – many phones on the market today come equipped with cameras that are perfectly capable of taking and making decent images as well. It’s all about the camera that you have with you. For the sake of this post, however, I’m going to talk about the iPhone. In 2010, I documented each day with an image, and the majority of the images taken were taken with the iPhone. You can see the project HERE.
Some tips to get the best images out of your iPhone
Hold it steady
The iPhone (and other camera phones) often use a pretty slow shutter speed. If your intention is to have sharp images, then you’re going to want to hold it as steady as possible. Hold it steady with two hands on either side of the phone, and slowly press the shutter button to take the picture. You don’t want to jar the phone just as you press the shutter – it could result in a blurry image. Also, take more than one image if time allows. I’ll generally take a series of images of whatever I’m photographing, that way if the phone exposes weirdly or if the image is blurry, the odds are better that you’ll get a passable image.
Focus on simple compositions
Camera phones are not on par technologically with the digital SLR’s that we’re all familiar with these days. They’re fairly low-fi in comparison, and shouldn’t be expected to be able to capture the fine details that DSLR’s can. That being said, the iPhone is fantastic at capturing simple compositions. Look for lines, shapes, shadows and highlights in your images and focus on creating a strong composition from those simple elements.
Edit each image
Like any camera, the images as they are shot don’t always have that ‘pop’ that you expect to see in a good image. To counteract this, download a couple of photo apps to help you get the image looking a little more lively. I posted a blog post about some of my favorite iPhone apps last year, you can check it out HERE. At very least, you’ll want to tweak the color and contrast a little bit, maybe add a vignette or convert the image to black and white for maximum effect. Play a bit, don’t get caught up in making a technically perfect image, just make an image that looks good to you.
Use it’s size to your advantage
Because the iPhone doesn’t have the physical size that a digital SLR has, you can put it many places that a digital SLR cannot go. Play with angles, reach over your head to capture a different perspective, or place the phone on the ground to get an ants’ eye view of the world. It’s all about seeing things differently.