Today’s smartphones have really taken the place of handheld camera’s for many people. The newer the iPhone the better photo it seems to take. But, it may not be the perfect picture yet. You can get a great picture by simply following a few professional photographer tips. And, try some of the photo apps the professionals use to enhance pictures.
Simple is Better
Keep your camera focused on one main object. People often over-complicate their pictures with too much going on in the frame. One interesting subject is all you really need to make your photo memorable. If you think you have too much empty space–you don’t. It will make your subject stand out more.
You should also keep in mind the size of the medium. If you are sharing the photo on Instagram or a similar photo sharing network, people will view them on a tiny screen and much detail will be lost to them.
Use a low angle to shoot
Shooting from a lower prospective usually makes a more interesting picture. Most people shoot from the chest of an adult because that’s the most convenient way. This also allows you to show any interesting details in the foreground that might be otherwise lost. Try bending down and shooting from waist high and see how you like the perspective.
Align subjects diagonally
Aligning the important subjects diagonally makes your pictures more balanced and harmonious. Balance really matters when you have multiple subjects. Rather than dividing your attention it will draw attention to both subjects.
Shoot from the level of your subject
This is particularly important with photos of children or pets. Shooting down at them from an adult level makes it look like a bird’s eye view and your subjects will disappear into the background. Get down and get close to your subject.
Include shadows in your composition
Pay attention to where the sun is. Shadows can make your subjects look even more interesting. It can create a backdrop or a focus for your photo. By shooting against the source of light you can create interesting shadows in your photos. This works best when the sun is low above the horizon near sunset or sunrise. Find an interesting outline and make sure the light is coming from behind the subject.
Water is the best surface to use to get really good reflections. Often this medium will cause some distortion with waves or surface movement. You see a lot of great shots with mountains reflected in a lake. Try combining the reflection with a solid form to get a standout photo.
Most importantly really look at the scene before you snap the picture. Look for shadows, reflections and objects to use as a frame. Once you have your picture snapped use one of the many photo apps available for iPhone users to enhance your photo.
We’ve listed several of our favorite photo apps below. Many of the best apps are free downloads. Some do cost so be sure to check before you download.
Instagram is probably the #1 app that has helped to raise the popularity of mobile photography. This app is not just a photo-sharing one, it features a basic and solid suite of editing filters and tools. It is user-friendly and free to download.
Snapseed is an absolute favorite app for many photographers. It offers a wide range of standard editing tools for adjusting color and exposure along with some special effect filters including vintage effects. It’s also free to download and use.
Hipstamatic is a very popular app. It offers photographers a simple and powerful way to create stunning images in a wide variety of styles. It is designed to mimic the effect of different types of vintage and modern films, lenses and flash. By using combinations of these you can achieve a huge range of different photographic effects. It also allows you change those combinations after you’ve taken a shot. It costs $2.99 and gives you the option of purchasing dozens of additional films, lenses and flashes as in-app purchases.
Oggl is another app by Hipstamatic which offers the same film and lens options. It lets you change the film and lens settings for a photo after you’ve take it. Oggl has its own online photo sharing community where you can share your images with other Oggl users. It is free to download but offers additional in-app purchases to expand the basic collection of films and lenses. It also offers an annual subscription option which allows you access to all available films and lenses.
ProCamera 8 offers all the features of a native camera app plus a wide range of additional tools for even more control. Some of these include fully-manual exposure control, adjustable shooting grids, an innovative HDR mode and image stabilization. There is also a substantial set of editing tools for processing images. It gives you the ability to control the quality and size of the pictures you take. And, it includes a high JPEG setting as well as a TIFF format. It sells for $4.99 in the App store.
EyeEm is based around an online photo-sharing community and while not yet as large as the Instagram community, it’s growing rapidly and works a bit differently.
Just like Instagram, EyeEm also features a set of basic editing tools and filters that you can apply to photos taken with the app itself, or imported from your camera roll. In particular, one exciting new feature that EyeEm offers is called “Open Edit.” This allows you to see how other photographers used the EyeEm app to edit their images (when applicable). It can be a great way to learn about the editing workflows of other photographers and apply some of the same techniques to your own images. EyeEm is free to download from the App Store.
VSCO is a camera app that offers a rich collection of filters and editing tools. This app is generally designed to emulate classic and modern analog films. Many of the filters feature a soft, slightly faded look which is popular among many mobile photographers. One of it’s best features is the sharpening tool which allows you to enhance your photo without too much graininess. VSCO is a free download and comes with a basic collection of filters. You can also download additional bundles of filters from inside the app. Some are free and others range from $.99 to $5.99 a bundle.
Remember, if you should be unfortunate enough to drop your camera while shooting some iconic picture and break your screen, WynWay can repair it for you. Bring it into our office between 2:30 and 7 p.m. Monday to Friday. If you get it here before 5 p.m. we can usually replace your screen same day. Visit our website for pricing information at wynway.com.