Feb29 | 2012
categories: Photography, Tips & Tricks | tags: , , , ,

Stop Taking Crappy iPhone Pictures! Part 2

Session 2: What You Did Last Time

Last time, you took a picture at a birthday party (remember?). (Also, you got a new tattoo.) But the picture you took was not just any old picture. Whether or not you knew it at the time, you used your iPhone skillz to compose your photograph. You tapped on light or dark areas of the screen to tell your iPhone what you wanted it to do about the focus and exposure.

“Just any old picture”: we have a word for those. They’re called “snapshots.” Your iPhone, being pretty good at what it does, takes a pretty good snapshot. For a snapshot.

But you’re here because you want to move beyond taking snapshots. And so we arrive at The Biggest Question in Photography.

The Biggest Question in Photography: What makes a good photo?

…or, stated another way, What makes a photo good?

That’s a big question. So big, in fact, that we won’t attempt to answer it. The answer is as big as the number of reasons why people take pictures in the first place.

But, for our purposes, the online photography site, Flickr, sums it up as well as anyone has. They call it “Interestingness.”

NothingEven a crappy photo can be “about” something interesting. But in any photo, interestingness always has to do with its arrangement of lights and darks. Even an abstract photo that has no subject matter can be interesting.

When we say “lights and darks” we’re not just talking about broad areas. When there are many small areas of lights and darks very close together, we call them “details.” When the details are crisp and sharply defined, we speak of them as being in focus. And if there ever was a word that’s famously associated with photography, that word is “focus.”

It turns out that, far from being just a snapshot camera, that iPhone in your hand gives you a lot of the same control that bigger cameras do. All you have to do is reach out and tap into it. (Literally.)

So, in this blog, we’ll give you a checklist of things that will help you take better pictures using your iPhone.

Item No. 1 in any photographer’s checklist:

1. Take LOTS of pictures.

So, go do that, and come back here for Session 3.

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