even though a DSLR is on my Christmas wishlist this year, i can still be proud of my iPhone-wielding abilities, right? on a recent trip to an offshore island, i got to take nature shots (something i don’t get a chance to do very often in my built-up city). with my iPhone only, of course.
just saying: almost all photos on my blog/Instagram are taken with an iPhone camera (except for those that feature my phone in them, because, duh!). i thought it’d be cool to share some of my tips for using your iPhone camera, especially when it comes to taking nature shots.
Take Now, Edit Later
this is the main mentality i take with me whenever i’m shooting on the go. to be honest, the perfectionist in me really wants to take that single epic shot – but sometimes, the present situation doesn’t permit it.
look at this photo of foamy waves…
i took about 20 of these from on the boat, barely able to point and focus. it was quite scary, i swear!
but i kept reminding myself that i might miss the moment if i try too hard for the perfect angle. instead, i take photos in bulk, and there’s always a decent one amongst them that i can touch up with editing.
Use your Grid – And the Rule of Thirds!
did you know the iPhone camera can activate a grid? a grid helps you to make the most of the Rules of Thirds – which is basically a photography concept that subjects in the intersecting parts of the grid will draw viewers attention.
yeah, i know i sound pretty vague! you can read the complete (and probably clearer) explanation here.
you can turn on your camera’s grid (if it’s not already on) under Settings > Photos > Grid.
Experiment with Themes or Filters
one of the things i love about using my iPhone camera is the default filters. (y’all know me and my love for default things…!) i especially enjoy setting my camera on one filter and testing out how different subjects look in my viewfinder. i love how you can see how the photo’s gonna turn out without taking it!
during this trip, i stuck to using the “Fade” filter for most part, and this sort of gave me a general, overarching visual to work towards when composing all my photos.
call it a little creatively-stifling, but in a sense, when faced with some many overwhelming subjects, the use of a fixed filter and mood of my photos gave me a connecting link between all my photos. i ended up being more decisive and intentional in what i choose to take photos of!
Keep your Phone well-charged
not gonna lie, taking photos drains battery like nothing else. or at least for my iPhone 4. you know your phone’s battery capabilities, so work around those!
start out your photography expedition with the closest to 100% battery you can get, and if you intend to be out for a long time, bring along a power bank and cables.
you won’t regret it when it means being able to take as many photos as you want. for me, i wasn’t so prepared. my phone was almost drained (26%+) by the time i was halfway through my trip, so i had to be really pragmatic when it came to what i wanted to take photos of so as to save battery. at one point, i even had to ask my family members to use their phones!
Have an Eye for Details
details, details, details. nature is full of them! a leaf here and there, a part of the canopy where the foliage is not so thick… seek out these little variations in your natural surroundings and snap!
for example, in the photo above, the unusually shaped large leaf just somehow draws your attention in. (also, it’s sort of using the rule of thirds! just saying.)
stay alert and don’t underestimate how good small details can look when captured on camera.
Play Around with Different Exposures
did you know tapping different points of your camera screen can change the exposure of the photo? if you tap on a dark area, it will become brighter, while any bright spots in your photos will become, well, really bright (and a bit overexposed.)
using this camera feature, experiment and play around with different camera exposures when you’re pointing your camera around. personally, i like to take photos with a very low exposure (meaning the dark areas are almost so dark they’re black) because i can brighten the shadows during my editing process.
of course, it all depends on your editing style and preference. with this feature in mind, you get the chance to experiment with the different exposures and hopefully find a style you like.
sooo, the next time you’re going out for a trail walk or bike ride, just bring your iPhone along! you’ll be surprised what brilliant photos you can take with it. don’t forget to share this post with your photo-lovin’ pals, and tell me what type of camera you currently use in the comments!
p.s. hey you! i just shared a google drive folder with my favourite people, the email list subscribers! go snag your spot now and we can start sharing the freebie love ❤