So, you’re at a party. Say it’s a birthday party. The celebrants seem especially inspired, and you want to capture some good photos to remember the occasion. But the only camera you have handy is your iPhone.
The good news is: your camera is an iPhone. And iPhones take great pictures, especially if you understand one simple thing about picture-taking:
It’s all about the LIGHT.
If you want to take better photos, have that phrase tattooed on your shutter finger.
Just as, in real estate, the 3 most important words are location, location, and location, the 3 most important things about picture-taking are illumination, illumination, and illumination.
Taking pictures is painting with light. If terms like f-stops, focal length, depth of field, etc., sound complicated to you, don’t worry; all photographs have just 2 elements in common: light and shadow. If you pay attention to the light and shadows, the rest will follow.
It will follow because your iPhone is a tiny camera with a very powerful computer built around it. It’s not just a tool; it’s your partner. If you give it a few simple directions, it’ll take care of the math for you, leaving you free to compose your shot.
“Compose your shot” is another way of saying “Decide where the light and shadows go.”
In this blog, we’ll talk about how to make the most of the camera in your iPhone. But first — let’s use what we already know to get that birthday shot.
- Raise your sleeping iPhone. Double-tap the Home button to get to the Camera app fast; its icon shows up right next to the swipe bar. Tap the icon once and you’re in.
- Point your camera. Make sure the light is falling on the action, not behind it, and not directly into the lens.
- Is there a lot of sunlight, everything too bright and washed out? Tap once on the lightest part of the screen. You’ve just told your iPhone to close its lens a little bit to let less light in.
- Is too much in shadow, no details visible? Tap once in the dark part of the screen to tell your iPhone to let more light in and bring out the details in the dark parts. Tap and hold to tell your iPhone where to focus.
- Snap your picture.
Ahh. You did that rather well. [Come back for more in Session 2.]