You don’t have to be a professional photographer to do some really great things with the photos you take on your iPhone. With a few tips, and a couple really neat apps, you can create wonderful photographs that you can load onto your computer, print, and even frame.
Tips & Tricks
- The biggest thing to remember when taking pictures with your phone is composition. Don’t be afraid to turn the camera at an angle, crouch down, or stand on something. Shooting a subject from below results in a dramatic effect by giving the illusion of greater size or speed.
- Shoot in the rain! Not only is it fun, but shooting in the rain (day or night) can lend to some really powerful, high-contrast results. Look for puddles and reflections and try taking shots from several different angles to get it right. Think about how you can use reflections from the water, street lighting, patterns, or shadows of your friends to compose your shot.
- There is magic to be found in low-light situations! Only the newest iPhone has a flash, which can be very discouraging for amateur photographers trying to capture a moment in low-light. However, there are ways you can be creative with the lack of light. Try to take photos with nice contrast and use an iPhone app to reduce the color saturation or make the image black and white or sepia-toned. The graininess (and blur) that occurs from lack of light will make your photo look like it was taken with an old film camera.
- Get up close! If the lighting is right and you can manage getting very close to your subject you can capture amazing detail. Also try cropping in closely on a piece of an everyday object to make an extraordinarily beautiful photo; for example, the soy sauce packets from the chinese buffet, or a “skill crane” machine filled with stuffed animals at the arcade.
Below is a listing of a few apps that I would recommend. I’ve used all of them to edit or enhance my pictures.
- Perfect Photo ($0.99) - This is my favorite image editing software for the iPhone. It’s everything you need to make your photos look their best, including all of the most essential tools you’d find in professional photo editing programs. Perfect Photo allows you to rotate/flip, crop, adjust contrast, saturation, and color balance. There’s also features to sharpen your photo right on the phone.
- Hipstamatic - This app simulates a vintage camera. It brings back the look, feel, unpredictable beauty and fun of plastic toy cameras from the past. Choose from multiple options for your lens, flash and film that give unique and interesting treatments to your photos.
- Cross Process ($1.99) - CrossProcess adds color and character to your photos by emulating the look of Cross Processing film. Cross Processing is the procedure of deliberately processing photographic film in a chemical solution intended for a different type of film to get a unique effect. It’s basically a big accident that turned out to be an amazing idea. Penicillin anyone?
CrossProcess features several different filters that you can apply to your photos. My favorite part - you don’t have to use the app to take the original photo; apply cross process filters to any photo in your camera reel.
- Toy Camera ($1.99) - Toy Camera is a neat little tool. It has 8 fantastic film filters ranging from high contrast black and white to antique vintage to vivid. Or, if you like, leave the setting on random and let the app choose for you.