Keep your photos simple
A busy scene makes it hard to create a beautiful composition so one interesting subject is all you need to take great pictures.
Don’t worry if most of your photo is empty space. In photography, we call this negative space and it’s a great way to make your subject stand out.
Before you take the shot, always check the scene for any distracting elements. Move closer, or change your viewpoint, to remove unwanted objects from your photo.
Consider your angle
Learning how to take a good photo involves thinking outside the box!
Automatically we take a photo from chest height, but it’s amazing what taking a photo from ground level will do for your photo composition.
Consider setting the phone down low, or trying from a bird’s eye view, don’t be afraid to play around with angles.
It’s like looking at the world from a new perspective – literally!
This helps draw the viewer’s eye into the scene and is especially important in landscape photography.
Consider the use of leading lines – and by this I mean roads, paths, railway tracks, rivers and fences – or at the beach, use the water’s edge or ripples in the sand.
Allow the line to lead from the foreground into the distance. This draws the viewer through the scene, creating depth.
Capture close-up detail
Get close, like really, really close. Close-up patterns, textures and colours will bring your photos to life – think flowers, leaves, water droplets and other textured subjects.
Keep in mind that your iPhone won’t be able to focus if the lens is too close to your subject though – portrait mode is great for this, but again it worn’t work if too close.
Focus your screen
Leading on from this – always tap the screen to get focus on the object you are taking a photo of.
On an iPhone a yellow box will appear – click and hold and this box will lock into position, keeping focus on the object should your hand move out of position.
All you need is an interesting subject. Then shoot towards the light.
Ensure your silhouette appears nice and dark – in the Camera app, tap to set the iPhone focus and then swipe down to darken the exposure.
Silhouette photography works best during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset.
Create visual harmony through alignment
Photographing against an amazing backdrop? Think of the frame, and alignment – do you want your subject to be front and centre? Or off to the side?
Consider the symmetry but also the diagonal alignment – it encourages the viewer’s gaze to flow through the scene.
If everything is on one side of the frame, your photo can look unbalanced.
Consider the rule of thirds
Easiest way to explain this is a sunset over the beach: one third is the sky, another is the sea, the other is the sand. Do you want two thirds sky and one third sea and sand?
iPhones already work to a grid of thirds (in fact you can select this in your camera settings to include the gridlines when you take a photo) so that you can line up your shot to work with this rule.
The rule of thirds states that the important compositional elements or subjects should reside along the lines or at the intersections of the lines.
It makes a much more interesting composition when you follow this simple rule!
Use natural light
It’s the best light you’ll ever find, and where possible, avoid the iPhone flash – it’s not great and your photo is worth more than that…
Use your phone’s shortcuts
Did you know about the iPhone volume down trick to take a selfie? Have you tried portrait mode? HDR mode? Or even pano?
Have a play with the features and go and look at your camera settings to see what else you can discover.
Edit your photos
While I’m not an advocate of editing images for beauty reasons, sometimes there’s a person in your sunset shot that hadn’t seen at the time of taking your photo, and now that six second sunset window is gone, and you’ve missed your chance to take another.
Using a photo editing app you can erase obscure objects out of shot, as well as making tweaks and changes to your images, such as lightning and brighting them.
While there are many out there to download – I highly recommend Snapseed as a personal favourite!