The best camera is the one you have.

Such a simple quote often used to justify the iPhone photography population. It’s true. You can’t lug your DSLR with you everywhere. DSLRs don’t fit in your pocket either. Of course, iPhones don’t have the glass, sensor, or manual sophistication of a dedicated DSLR, but they have always proven themselves quite capable when it comes to pointing and shooting, no hassles. It has even rendered the points and shoots obsolete. It’s a classic case of convenience trumping control.

So how do you make your iPhone photos better than your average selfie?

The answer probably lies in exploiting both aspects. Understanding both basic photography and the iPhone.

Disclaimer: I’m using the name iPhone loosely to represent most modern smartphones because a. iPhones are the most popular “camera” brand on Flickr and b. besides the Samsung Galaxy line, there isn’t any other single smartphone brand that has as many users, and (strangely) I haven’t seen many articles saying “get better pictures with your Galaxy.” So iPhone it is.

 

All the photos featured here (both part 1 &2) as samples/examples are unedited raw iPhone photos. No filters were used at all. The photo of the iPhone on red leather (the first image on this page) was taken with a DSLR, and not an iPhone.

 

1. Get in close.

Simple, right? This is a great way to improve your photography because of the way lenses work. Without getting too technical, what you are going for here is manipulating depth of field. Simply put, the closer you get with the subject the more shallow the depth of field becomes. This means you can get the nice blurry background most people associate with DSLRs. Oh, and make sure you tap to focus exactly on what you wanted.

Photo May 17, 11 40 24 AM

Photo Sep 21, 2 17 36 PM

Photo Jan 18, 11 57 10 AM-food

 

2. Check Your Backgrounds

This is probably one of the fundamentals of good photography. Here are some simple tips for checking the background.

  1. Make sure trees aren’t growing out of anyone’s head.
  2. If the background is way too noisy or complicated and just messes up the photo overall, try to find a different angle.
  3. Try not to decapitate anyone with the horizon.
Tree coming out from Elsa's head.

Tree coming out of Elsa’s head.

A Little Better

A Little Better

The horizon goes through her neck.

The horizon goes through her neck.

Don't put the face in the smack middle either.

Don’t put the face in the smack middle of the whole picture either.

This looks better, right?

This looks better, right?

 

3. Turn on the Grid

Using the rule-of-thirds is better than nothing. Also, you get a better feel of space if you keep the grid on. So, the rule of thirds is basically putting points of interest along the grid lines. Doing it for EVERY photo would be boring, but thinking about it as a general guideline is always a good idea.

Photo May 22, 12 55 20 PM Photo May 22, 12 55 35 PMPhoto Apr 30, 4 07 08 PM Photo May 17, 11 38 10 AM

 

4. Make Sure You Have a Subject

Subject, topic, or just simply something to look at. A good way to do this is to check if you have imaginary lines leading towards a subject.

Photo Apr 30, 4 06 33 PM Photo May 01, 10 48 24 AM

 

 

 

See you in part 2! Click me!