Smartphones have transformed our ability to take photographs – particularly whilst travelling. Arguably anyone can take a cracking picture nowadays – the ability to add filters, to work in low light, crop, edit and colour pictures really makes us all a David Bailey (or think we are).
Not only can we take pictures but we can also share them with the world in an instant and we can document our holiday ‘live’ every step of the way. That’s why social media was invented – wasn’t it?!
So, as you pack for your holiday and think about your luggage allowance – how many of you are ditching your camera and lens bag for a smartphone and an extra battery pack? You are not the only ones. You have become one of the world’s iPhoneographers.
Monica Stott, a travel blogger and multimedia journalism graduate, has used an iPhone for several years to take the photographs for her blog, The Travel Hack. “I recently invested in a fabulous new digital SLR camera. However, I’ve realised that I actually prefer using my iPhone.” she says.
Kirsten Alana, a New York-based photographer and travel blogger, who writes Aviators and a Camera, says: “I discovered a love for iPhone photography a few years ago – it was such a switch from my decade of earning a living shooting with SLR and dSLR cameras. Now that I use the iPhone as my primary camera for travel, I’m longing again to experiment with other technology. For me, the joy exists in continuing to always try new things.”
So we thought we would give you a quick 10 tips for iphoneography and some ideas for easy technology that could also help. Don’t forget that we love to see the results of your imagery and that you can share it with us on our Facebook and Twitter feeds.
1. Adjusting exposure and focus
If you are looking to create an image with only a small portion sharply in focus with great depth of field you can use your finger to touch the screen and tell the camera where it should adjust both exposure and focus.
2. We all love the ‘Lux’ setting in Instagram
The small sun-like icon in the bottom-left corner is the ‘lux’ setting and can assist in correcting poor exposure and enhancing contrast. It is used retrospectively but is worth bearing in mind if you take a photograph in poor light.
3. Black and white
Black and white photography is always a portrait photographer’s choice and creates a great sense of story. It’s also useful when you are using the effects that some apps can give with enhancing shadows and contrast. Be brave and experiment – you can always change it back – that’s the beauty of phone photography.
4. Group multiple images
Sharing pics online with your friends? An effective way is to group photos together in a collage to tell a story. Picollage or Diptic and Frametastic make it simple to add 2 to 9 images at a time and it won’t clog up your timeline with hundreds of images!
ProHDR is a great app that does simulate the work by pro digital camera photographers as it allows you to take as well as to import photos for effect application.
6. Be careful with food shots
We all enjoy our food on holiday. But those at home are not always quite so interested – it often looks a lot less appetising in a photo than it did on the plate! Apps like Hipstamatic and their ‘Foodie Snap’ pack can help – but less is more. Oh – and turn off the flash when taking photos of food.
Snap on additional lenses, like the one Olloclip makes, to give your iPhone photographs added interest. Macro, wide angle and fisheye lenses – even telephoto – are all available from companies like Olloclip and Photojojo. An external wide-angle lens can really help to get amazing close up shots.
8. Use Photography apps
Sophisticated photo editing apps such as Camera+ and Kitcam allow you to enhance images without them looking overly manipulated. You don’t ant your friends to think that it’s all about the technology and not about skill now do you?!
The grid feature on your phone is there for a reason. It’s all about helping you to set the composition using ‘The rule of thirds’. Which means that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections to create more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject.
10. Use the headphones
Did you know that you can use the headphones that came with your iPhone as a remote for taking photos? If you plug them in, open the camera app, and press the “up” volume button then you can snap pics. It’s a great tool if you’re using a tripod or want to take a selfie. No need for that selfie-stick either!