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  • Writer's pictureCherise Adams

Shot on iPhone

Updated: Feb 13, 2019

We are all aware of how forward moving technology can be. Think back to the first time you took a photo. Was it with a Polaroid, a Kodak disposable camera, a point-and-shoot?

As a professional photographer, it is getting easier and easier to by-pass the DLSR and utilize your smartphone as your primary camera; I know because I’ve done it. If you can believe it, some of the most captivation ad campaigns have been based on or shot with smartphones. With all the advertisements showcasing amazing photography shot on these devices, I figured I’d provide some insight and quick tips on how to take your smartphone photography to the next level.

1. Capabilities

The first thing you need to do is understand your smartphones capabilities, and what that means for you.

I have my iPhone 8 Plus at my arsenal, but have taken some of my favorite photos with my iPhone 6+. So far, the 8+ has been my favorite shot device. While the capabilities of both are relatively the same, there are some key differences that those with an eye for specifics will notice. First, the 6+ has a standard 8 megapixel (MP) camera while the 8+ has a 12MP camera. While often more megapixels is better, what is most important is the A11 chip processor inside. Your smartphone’s processor is what preserves the quality of photos and decreases the noise that occurs from small-format, high-resolution photos. (Noise is basically that thing that makes pictures look kind of static-ey, if that makes sense. Though there are many smartphones on the market that offer more MP in their cameras, if the image processor inside does not match the technology on the outside, it will surely show through in your photographs.

It is also important to know your smartphones limitations as far as ISO and aperture. This will let you know how much (and low little) light your camera can take in, and the sensitivity that the lens has to changes in low and high light. The best way to experiment with your cameras ISO and aperture capabilities is to take a photo in complete darkness and introduce one element of light. Then, focus on that one element and see how your camera reacts. If your camera is capable of a low aperture, or ability to take photos in low light, you’re in luck! This will make for very dynamic photos in your future.

2. Utilizing third-party products

Every photographer has a few lenses in their arsenal to use, so why not have the same for your smartphone! There are plenty of awesome products on the market, from selfie-sticks to the Hisy bluetooth trigger, that allow you to take your photography to the next level. I have the Olloclip 4-in-1 lens kit with a fisheye, wide angle, 10x macro, and 15x macro. I love using these on the scene for professional shoots that I do. Here are a few awesome examples of how these will elevate your photos.

Now that you’ve taken your photo, let’s focus on post-processing - or editing - with applications

Just as photographers use the Adobe Creative Suite and other post-processing applications, it is just as important to utilize smartphone applications to take your iPhone photography to the next level! There are tons of great applications on the market (outside of Instagram) and they all have wonderful benefits.

There is Boomerang that allows you to take a series of photos and turn them into gifs, and the very popular VSCOCam with specialty user-generated presets. It allows you to adjust each preset to your liking and gives you the ability to manually edit your photos with more options than Instagram. Can you see the difference?

Another fun one that I’ve just discovered is HUJI, which is a play-off of the famous FujiCam disposable cameras. The random color distortions and timestamps will bring you back to your younger days playing with disposable cameras and discovering what happens to your memories once the film develops. Take a look! I’m sure you will love what you see!

I hope you’ve discovered something new about how you can elevate your photos. Just simple things like playing with light, clip-ons, and editing applications can take you from making memories to showcasing you skills! Remember, you don’t need expensive equipment to make something great!

Thank you

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