The Apple iPhone has one of the best cameras available in a mobile phone. A lot of people are now forgoing a camera altogether, and just using their iPhone for all their photographic needs. This is no surprise, as the iPhone takes great photos in almost all different kinds of light. Learning to take photos with an iPhone is a little different than a regular camera. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out your iPhone photography.
Wide Angle Photography
The iPhone comes with a wide-angle lens, in fact it is so wide that it can distort your subject in ways that can be either be desirable or undesirable depending on the circumstances. It will take some practice to get used to the lens’ fish-eye effect but, when used properly, the wide angle can make landscapes to look vast and subjects pop. In the example below, the phone was tipped down to make the train seem closer, but it also makes the mountains seem farther away and stretches the length of the lake a little bit. Tipping your phone to different angles will allow you to play with the wide-angle fish-eye effects.
Photographing Close-up Subjects
When shooting people or animals, keep the camera aligned with your subject to avoid any wide-angle distortion, and to get close to your subject. Being near your subject without tilting your phone will allow the wide-angle to distort your subject in what appears to be a natural way. This will accent the lines and contours of the main focus of your photo and make them really pop. Here is an example of this used to good effect when photographing a puppy.
One of the great things about iPhone photography is that the phone comes with some free editing tools. The ‘Edit’ option in the camera roll allows iPhone photographers to crop, drop a filter over a photo or auto-enhance. These options are pretty limited, but they come free with the phone. There are also some great apps available in the app store that can really ramp your photos to the next level. Instagram is one such app, it’s free and offers a large variety of awesome filters to lay over your photos. You can also share your photos through their social network. Instagram is a great addition to your camera’s photo tools, however, for best results, continue to shoot with the regular camera app, not Instragram directly. Import a photo into Instragram for post processing after you've taken the shot with your regular camera app.
Light and the iPhone
Light plays a huge part in photography, no matter what kind of camera you are using. Each camera uses light a little differently, and the iPhone is no exception. The iPhone, particularly the new C and S models, are wonderful in low light but like all cameras, the iPhone does need to take longer exposures. The first tip I have when shooting in low light is to turn off the flash whenever possible. Low light shooting with the iPhone can yield some amazing results, however, photographers need to be as steady as possible when shooting to avoid blurriness due to camera shake. Apps like Instagram will also really help these low-light photos pop in some really interesting ways.
The one type of light that the iPhone may not deal with is harsh contrast, where there is both very bright light and dark subject or area in the frame. When done correctly, the results can be stunning, like this sunset below, but If there was a person in this photo, they would be nothing but a silhouette which would get lost in the clouds.
Clean Your Lens Regularly
This may seem like common sense, but you might be surprised how much dust and dirt gets on your lens from having the phone in your purse or pocket. Cleaning the lens is fairly simple. Take a cotton swap and wipe around the lens to get any large debris off. Then dampen the cotton swap with water and wipe the lens again, then dry with a new cotton swap. This will help to keep your photos crisp and clean.