Phoneography Series: Part I

Most people do not carry around an actual camera with them any more. Since most cell phones come with a camera built it, it is easier and more convenient to grab your cell phone to take a picture. But it can be very disappointing when your picture turns out blurry, too dark or too light.

Over the next several weeks, I will post the ins & outs of cell phone photography (phoneography) and tips & trips for taking amazing pictures with your cell phone. After this series, you will be a phoneography pro!

First Up: Features of an iPhone Camera

Quick Access: from the lock screen, swipe up to access the camera quickly

IMG_4448Shooting a Picture: tap the center circle in the camera app or use the volume buttons on the side of your phone

6246869175_f03c82f27a_z*Tip: You can use your headphones that came with your iPhone to snap pictures too (if they are plugged in to your phone). While in the camera app, press the volume up button and the camera will snap a picture.

Zoom: pinch in or expand out

IMG_4449Flash: Auto, on, or off

IMG_4449_bFront Camera: for selfies

HDR: picks up details in the darkest & brightest parts of your picture (more information below)

Panorama: takes 240 degree pictures (sorry for such a dreary picture – it’s almost spring in Mississippi, which means it is almost always raining)

IMG_4451Exposure: Your phone does all of the work for you by auto-exposing, but sometimes your picture can still come out too dark or too bright. To avoid this, just tap the area of the picture you want exposed correctly (before snapping the picture) and the camera will adjust the exposure for you.

One thing to keep in mind is that exposing and auto-focusing go hand-in-hand with your iPhone camera. When you tap your screen before you take the picture, you are not only exposing for that area, but also focusing on that particular area.

*Tip: If the auto-exposure keeps changing, tap and hold down your finger to lock the focus & exposure. Tap again to unlock.

HDR – What is it?
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. If you are taking a picture of your friend on a bright day, sometimes the sky will turn out too bright or your friend too dark. When you shoot in HDR, your camera shoots three pictures and combines them into a single image that has the right exposure.

When shooting in HDR, keep your hand as steady as you can. If you move, the three different pictures won’t line up right and your single image will turn out crazy looking.

*Tip: Tap the darkest part of your picture before shooting in HDR and it will properly expose for both the dark and bright spots.

Next week, part 2 of the phoneography series will focus on composition (photo arrangement, stability, perspective). If you have any questions about part 1 or want to know something specific, leave a comment below.