1. Look at the light
Phone cameras perform best in bright, natural light. Open shade is ideal. Stand your subject in the shade (eg. cast by a building or trees) so direct sunlight is not hitting him/her causing squinting and/or harsh shadows. Ideally your subject is looking out of the shade toward the open sky.
To achieve lens flare without ruining your photo, you need obstruct some light from hitting the lens by positioning trees or an object in front of the sun.
My favourite time to take photographs is during the last hour before sunset. This is known as ‘golden hour’ and produces the most beautiful flattering light.
2. Shoot from different angles
We often take iphone photographs from chest height – using different perspectives such as shooting from a low angle or perhaps a birds eye view can add a new dimension to your images. I can often be found lying on my tummy to capture my favourite shots!
- Shooting very low is also especially good for photographing wildlife.
- Useful for removing distractions from images
3. Blur the background/foreground
Draw attention to your subject by blurring out the background and making your subject sharp. Newer iphones have a ‘portrait mode’ to do this. A shallower ‘depth of field’ or blurry background can also be achieved by getting closer to your subject and, where possible, having a long gap or ‘separation’ between your subject and the background.
4. Action shots
When chasing your children or any fast moving subject, the ‘Burst mode’ on your phone can be the best way to ensure you get a clear shot with plenty of options to choose from. Depending on your version of iphone you either tap and hold the shutter button or put your finger on the shutter button and drag it to the left. To stop shooting, just lift up your finger and the burst will be saved to your Camera Roll.
5. Keep it simple
Moving your position to remove distracting items such a bins or signs can really improve your images. Embracing ‘negative space’ is also an effective technique in photography to draw attention to your subject
6. Rule of Thirds
Give structure and interest to your photographs and make them more appealing by following the rule of thirds. This means placing the focus of your image either along the line or at one of the 4 cross sections of a 3×3 grid on your phones Your iPhone has a grid option available, which can aid you in lining up photographs so that they follow the rule of thirds. You can turn this option on by visiting Settings > Photos & Camera and enabling the Grid switch.
7. Leading lines and framing
As well as good composition using the rule of thirds, using natural elements outdoors to draw focus and depth to your image can make a huge difference.
8. Lock focus
To ensure your phone focuses in your subject, you can tap and hold on the subject in question until you see the yellow AE/AF Lock alert. This means that the automatic exposure metering and automatic focus metering have been locked on your subject; to remove the lock, just tap anywhere else on the frame.
9. Adjust the bright and darkness while shooting
If an image is too bright or dark for your liking in the viewing screen, you can fix it before snapping the picture by adjusting the yellow sun exposure slider next to the focus square. Just tap once on the focus square and exposure slider, then use the sun icon to increase your exposure (brightness) by sliding upward, or decrease exposure (darkness) by sliding downward.
10. Snap photos with the volume button
Because the iPhone is so thin, tapping the digital shutter button can cause camera shake and blur the photo you’re trying to take. Instead, you can use the volume up button when in the Camera app to snap a photo — and avoid camera shake entirely!
I have attached an ‘iPhone Photography’ Cheat sheet for you to save to your camera roll on your phone. This should help remind you of the top tips when you are out and about! Have fun and I would love to see any images that you take: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out more of Sarah’s photography here