I am an avid photo taker and Instagram user. For me there is something soothing about editing a photo and deciding the best way to present it to the world. It’s a way of showing people how I see things and sharing a bit of myself with them.
People are often amazed that I take all of my photos with my iPhone. It is definitely my most frequently asked question. Though would love to take the plunge and purchase a nice camera someday, I seem to manage just fine with the phone for now. It helps that its always with me when inspiration strikes because I am attached to it 24/7.
A few people have asked me over the years how I take the photos I do, and I normally just say something like “well, I just do”. I don’t mean to be flippant. I receive compliments with the same grace one receives a beach ball in the face. It momentarily stuns me. I have recently sat down to compile this short list of tips. I hope they are helpful.
Disclaimer: I am NOT a professional. I am a crafty creative with a camera. You lose me when we get to DPI.
In my various art classes taken throughout my Art History program, composition was always difficult for me to understand. I would draw something off to the side, or leave too much negative space. Teachers would always tell me that I had an “unbalanced composition” but I thought that made my work more interesting. I could never truly get an handle on classic composition style.
Painting: Liberty Leading the People, Eugene Delacroix, 1830
In my biased opinion, the off-center/off-camera look to some of my photos only makes them more interesting. (Also, I CLEARLY favor the left side of the photo. Lefties unite!) If I have one tip on how to take an interesting photo it would be to look at something from several angles and take a lot of pictures of the same thing.
My phone currently is the iPhone 6s Plus which is a 12 megapixel camera. It has image stabilization and advanced pixel technology. (This is what apple tells me at least, I really should know more about this.)
The best tip I can give you for iPhone photo shooting is to turn on the grid. This allows you to line up photos a little better and helps with that whole composition conundrum. To do this go to Settings> Photos & Camera> Grid , and switch the toggle to ON.
I have a LOT of photo editing apps on my phone. I try to download new ones and test them out if they are free to find that unicorn perfect photo editor. Here are my top favorites in no particular order:
Of course a favorite. I try to stay away from the filters and use it as an editing tool. My favorite three adjustments are Structure, Warmth and Saturation. By changing a combo of these three you can come up with some really great images.
A Color Story (Free)
While there are a bunch of filters you can purchase, the free version of this program has a feature called Curves that allows you to move the dots on the line and edit the colors and their intensity in your photo. Its well worth a try.
Snapseed’s interface similar to Instagram with out the social media aspect. I really enjoy how easy change a photo.
This app costs money so its not for the casual user, but its applications for photo editing and design are ENDLESS. There are tutorials and blogs you can follow to show you how to use app to the fullest and I plan on taking advantage of that someday when I have the time. (When I make the time). Enlight is one of my favorites for editing outdoor shots. The Punch feature is perfect for vibrant photos.
This app is by far my favorite. It works well with a variety of types of photo. What could be better than turning a masterpiece into your very own watercolor, and watching it happen as well?
I have yet to fully explore this amazing app. I cant get over the Mosaic Filter. I mosaic literally EVERYTHING. Its so much fun. I would definitely download this app ASAP.
Tips and Tricks
The last thing I will leave you with is just to look. Look at everything. That may sound silly, but I feel there is so much visual input in the world we sometimes live in a fog of our own making just to get through the day.
When I am bored or restless I play two little games in my head. The first is what colors am I seeing right now. Nothing is ever just one color. The lights on the ceiling, the shadows on the floor, the clouds in the sky- none of these things are one color. When you look for the subtle changes in hue in everyday things the world seems like a whole new place.
The other little game I play is trying to spot the different textures and patterns in everyday things. The metal ring on a soft hand, a woolly rug resting on a wooden chair. When you start to notice the textures and patterns all around you, its becomes difficult not to see mundane objects in a new light.
The most important tip of all is to just keep taking pictures. The more you take, the more you will like.Everyone has their own shooting style and their own eye for photos. There is no wrong way to do it, just get out there and do it. You wont regret it.
Don’t forget to follow me on instagram! @krae_mo!
Thanks for reading!