From my content track session at TBEX Europe 2014, here are some handy tips on how to do more with iPhone photography. We start with things to think about before you shoot, tools to use while shooting, and apps for editing after you shoot.
Text of How to do more with iPhone Photography - TBEX 2014
How To Do More With iPhone PhotographySarabeth Jones
Let’s start with BEFORE you shoot. Here are some things to keep in mind! Take LOTS. Never snap just one, check what you have before you leave scene, give yourself choices in editing later.
ANGLES. Get low, higher. Overhead. Bend down to street level. Come at it from another side.
LIGHT. Look for where it’s coming from. This is the same photo, with light behind & light on faces.
COLOR. It’s important. Can be a pop. Don’t let it overwhelm.
B&W. Some pics are way stronger in B & W. Use contrast strongly if you go that way. Buildings, lines, or when color is distracting.
OPPOSITE. This is the cheat rule. If you can’t remember all this other stuff, then remember to take a bunch and try the opposite of what you just did. Close/far. Light front/back. Straight on/side/overhead.
FRAME. Look for natural frames, help anchor photos or emphasize subject.
LINES. Leading lines make you want to go into the picture. Give a photo great interest.
THIRDS. Imagine a grid laid over your image. Like a tic tac toe board, dividing it into thirds horizontally & vertically. Instead of centering things dead on, try to place objects of interest along those lines. Or at the intersections of lines.
GRID. If you need help visualizing the rule of thirds, turn the grid on your phone on.
Now let’s talk about things to NOT DO. Bless your heart is our way of saying “Don’t be an idiot” in the South. FLASH. Don’t use it, you don’t need it. It flattens and washes everything out. DIGITAL ZOOM. Don’t zoom when you shoot, zoom later when you’re editing. BROWN FOOD. It might be tasty, but it looks like poop on screen.
WHILE YOU SHOOT: some great tools. AE/AF LOCK. Click for focus, but hold to lock it.
EX OF AE/AF LOCK. Helps on a pic like this.
EXP ADJ. Roll that little sun up to lighten, down to darken.
TIMER. Set your timer for 3 or 10 seconds. Works on regular or front-facing camera. Great for selfies or when your camera needs to be still (no shake).
HEADPHONES. You can fire your camera with the up volume button on your headphones.
TRIPOD. Great for use with timer or headphones – keeps things still, allows you to be in shot. Can get a great, fairly inexpensive one from photojojo.com. Not sponsored, just love the site.
LENSES. You can get external lenses – again, I love these photojojo ones – affordable, and you can attach to your phone while the case is on. Not true for Olio.
MACRO. Beautiful photos but not super practical. Have to get verrrry close.
WIDE. Think this would be super helpful for buildings, areas where you want to fit a little more in the frame. This is regular vs. wide-angle.
SELFIE STICK. Great to put yourself in the surroundings, can really get a lot of the location. Gives you a great angle. Also really good if you’re trying to to take a big groupie. More people fit. Or how about using it as a makeshift tripod while you vlog?
AFTER YOU SHOOT: favorite apps. SNAPSEED. It’s my go-to. Great for enhancing but still having a natural look. I use the tune image – always up your contrast and saturation – and details. Structure provides crispness to pic. DSLR-ish.
EX of SNAPSEED. Shot/edited shot
VSCOCAM. Great camera (instead of default iPhone camera) and beautiful filters. Also has toolkit for contrast, sat, details, etc.
CAM. You can separate the focus point from the exposure point in the VSCO camera, move it around on the screen until you have the light just right. Also? Whole bottom bar of screen is button.
EX of VSCO. Previews and sliders, little diff from Snapseed.
SKRWT. Corrects perspective. This thing is amazing.
EX of SKRWT. When you take a pic of a building, door, window, etc, and one corner is out of perspective, this can fix it. This is what the editing screen looks like, there all all these different ways you can stretch and bend the picture…
TYPIC PRO. For all your text-on-photo needs. Also has great design elements in it. If you need a badge for your blog, you could make it in here.
EXIF-FI. Starting to get a little nerdy, but this can be handy if location tagging is important to you. When you’re traveling and you have data turned off to your phone, and you take a picture, it doesn’t record the location where you took it. So, if you want you pic to come up when people are looking by location, you need to add it. This app lets you do that.
EX of EXIF-FI. You just open your picture, and drop a pin where you were when you took it. Then, when you post your picture to instagram etc., it will come up with the correct choices for that location.
MEXTURES. For heavier editing, ones that obviously are edited. Fantastical rather than realistic. Not just filters, but textures, blending modes, and a toolkit with editing tools and film looks. You can go on and on.
EX of MEXTURES. Also, these apps have hashtags & communities – esp Mextures, Snapseed, VSCO. Can see what folks are doing out there!