I personally take lots of pictures with my iPhone, it’s just so darn accessible! Having a camera attached to your phone sure doesn’t leave room for excuses in the not-photo-taking department. I mean, why not snap it? Get at it! Grab that pic and share the pixels out of it! Pardon my slang but I get excited over this stuff. I can shoot a two exposure merged HDR image then edit it like a raw converter then share it in all its glory in under five minutes? On my phone? This blows me away!
Below are the steps I take when making pictures with my iPhone 4, right from shooting, editing, apps and then sharing on your social networks like Instagram and Facebook. All this can be done in three easy steps!
First you need to take a picture. The art stuff of the actual picture I will leave up to you. I shoot many different subjects with my phone so I break it down in two categories. First is easy light. An example of this would be bright frontal light like facing away from the sun on a nice blue day or a cloudy dull day with low contrast, in this case a single shot will work so I simply use the iPhone camera. I use my finger and tap the screen over the area I want exposed and well focused.
Second is hard light. An example would be a backlit sunset or sunrise with high contrast. In this circumstance I like an app called HDR Pro, it combines two images to make a single shot, this is called High Dynamic Range Photography. The two merged exposures form a single exposure capturing both shadows and highlights. Once you decide on which way to shoot, single image or HDR then tap the screen and take the shot; make sure to turn off your flash.
Once you have captured a great photo with the best possible exposure your phone camera will allow, do some quick editing. The app I like to use most often is called Picshop Light, it’s easy to use, super cheap and most importantly does the basic edits I like to do without down resing the finished image too much. Typically, I will only do a few quick edits to contrast, color saturation and brightness. I also can use this app for straightening the horizon line or cropping and sharpening when necessary. The app also does have a number of cool built-in filters so you can play around and find one that suites the image and gives it the look you’re after. Once I finish this edit I save the image in the highest setting to preserve all the resolution. The awesome thing about this particular app is it makes a copy so you always have the original as a back up!
Now that we have shot our super cool image and it has been doctored up a little, it’s time to get it in front of the world! Well, most importantly our family and friends! I would say that the two most popular social network sites right now are Instagram and Facebook. I personally use them both but prefer Instagram for my iPhone photos. For those who do not have an Instagram account, you will need to create one.
Instagram uses a square format for photo display so keep that in mind when shooting or you can allow the app to crop it for you and, here too, you will not lose your original. Once you upload your photo you can use the hashtag symbol # to keyword your image so that people searching can find it. For me hashtag examples would be #flyfishingphotography or #sacredcoast and #Vancouver to name a few. The trick is to use relevant hashtags so those that are looking for your style of photos will find them!
Facebook requires that you set up a free account as well. By now I assume we all have one already or have consciously decided not to. Within Facebook, simply upload your photo straight from you phone and type in a caption. You can tag your friends to make sure they see it and your done!
I find these steps to be fast, easy and, most importantly, super fun! The best thing is they are all done right on your phone in under five minutes! I hope this will shed some light on photo taking with your phone. I use the iPhone but any smart phone will do the trick!
Smart Phone with built in camera
HDR Pro App
Picshop Light App
All apps can be purchased through the iTunes store!
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