A Mobiographer’s Journey From Analog to iPhone
A couple of years ago, mobiographer Erica “Spin” Simas moved…
Summer is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the weather. While you’re doing so, you might be inclined to take photos of your summer memories with your iPhone. Whether you’re at the beach or the local park, there are a few factors you need to consider while snapping outdoor photos. Your iPhone may have a high-tech built-in camera, but it’s up to you as a mobile photographer to capture everything perfectly within the frame.
Depending on the time of day, you’ll likely end up using different settings. Understandably, the sun will play a large role in your mobile photography. Natural lighting is convenient, but too much exposure can create harsh shadows that mask your subject matter.
During the summer, you may also find yourself outdoors after the sun sets. When taking photos with your phone under the night sky, you’ll need to make up for the lack of illumination. Flash, which can bleach out your subjects, isn’t always the answer. This is when exposure adjustment is necessary, as well as a steady hand.
The outcome of your mobile photos doesn’t have to depend on the summer sun. Understanding how it impacts outdoor mobile photography can help.
For example, taking a photo with the sun behind you and in front of your subject can give you full illumination. On the other hand, taking a photo with the sun in front of you (and behind your subject) can transform your subject into dark silhouettes in your pictures.
Don’t be afraid to play with the sunlight. Positioning your subjects at an angle that allows sunlight to cascade over one side (rather than all over) can create a unique look.
The iPhone camera app has a feature called “HDR,” which stands for High Dynamic Range. By turning it on, you can balance the amount of exposure, highlights and shadows in your photos.
When HDR is enabled in the camera app, you’ll quickly notice that it takes a bit longer for the camera to capture the shot. However, it’s worth using if you’re in a situation when lighting is not ideal – HDR can balance the dark shadows, glare and extremely bright light.
Just keep in mind that the extended capture time renders more room for error. For instance, any movement of the camera during the actual capture will present itself as blur in the final shot.
Whether you’re sitting by a campfire or walking through an artificially lit city, your iPhone can capture all of these summer moments. With a steady hand and the right amount of exposure, your mobile photography will come out crisp.
That being said, it may not be easy to keep your hand completely still while capturing a photo. At night, it’s especially necessary to keep your iPhone stagnant, as the camera will be attempting to take in as much light as possible. Movement can create unwanted blur, which means you should consider utilizing a tripod if you don’t have a steady hand.
Take the time to adjust the iPhone camera’s exposure as well. Simply tap anywhere on the live preview screen to bring up the focus point. Tap and hold the exposure button that appears next to it (It looks like a little Sun), and adjust the exposure with the slider. To lock the exposure settings, tap and hold your finger on the focal point within your frame. When the AE/AF Lock banner appears at the top of the screen, you can lock the exposure and focus until you’re ready to snap the photo.
After the fact, you can also try out Enlight’s Clarity presets (Image > Clarity). We’ve heard it works wonders on summer campfire photos.
Summer is fleeting, but you don’t have to forget all of the good times and memories you make along the way. These mobile photography tips can ensure that everything is beautifully captured on your iPhone throughout the season.
Written by Krystle Vermes.