Following hot on the heels of my DSLR tutorial, I’m proud to present my iPhone photography guide. Let’s get started after the jump…
You’ll need this selfie-stick camera holder minus the stick
Equipment you will need:
iPhone (or any smartphone)
White background paper (art shops sell A2 sheets individually and come in a host of colours)
Tripod (I’m using one that costs £12)
A selfie stick camera holder (available on eBay/Amazon, very inexpensive)
Two or more lamps
Set the tripod up and screw the camera holder into the top of the tripod and put the iPhone in it. Use a sheet of paper and have it curve upwards, you may need to tape it to something. Set up your lights either side of the subject. Make sure they’re evenly spaced so they cancel out each others shadows.
The picture above was taken with Apple’s in-built camera. As you can see it isn’t very good (read the previous tutorial to find out what makes a good miniature photo). The background isn’t very white and whilst the subject is correctly exposed, the background is underexposed. Sadly there aren’t enough features on the in-built camera app to allow us to fix this.
I’m using an iPhone, so I’ll be using the Camera+ App in the examples below.
When open the App you’re greeted with this view. Top left icon is flash on and off, we’ll want this off. Top right icon is switch camera. Down the right side is a slider for zoom. Bottom left icon takes you to your pictures. The large white circle is the shutter button, the plus sign next to the shutter is the shooting options and the menu on the bottom right is settings. Click on settings and change the quality to Pro. It’s always best to shoot in your highest settings. General rule of thumb is you can reduce an image’s size but you can’t increase it.
Tap the screen on the subject area and the tap will leave a purple square with a plus symbol. Press the plus symbol.
Now this is the cool thing about this App. You can separate the focus and exposure points. Just move them apart with your finger on the screen. Look at the picture on the right above. Click the square targeting reticule and then move the purple square over the subject. Over a head is a good place because you’ll want that in focus. Then click the middle aperture symbol so you can move the exposure orange circle. Move it around and you will see the picture change lighter and darker. Aim for an area of the picture that is dark, this will ensure the dark areas are exposed correctly and mean lighter areas like the background will over expose.
You can also set the exposure manually using the slider below the aperture symbol (see above). You can over expose by sliding for a longer exposure. Because you will expose for longer you will need the tripod to avoid camera shake blur. You can also change the ISO. Keep this as low as possible to avoid grain and noise on the image. Don’t go over 400. The aim here is to get the subject nice and bright and the background as white as possible.
Now we need to set the White Balance. Sadly there isn’t any custom WB option in this App but there are plenty of options. I initially set it to incandescent as I’m using lamps but it’s way to yellow. I click through the options and in the end my best option is Auto White Balance.
With the settings dialled in, we just need to set the timer. Click the Plus symbol next to the shutter button (its turns into a blue cross) to bring up shooting options and set the timer. Take the picture.
Having taken the picture, I press the pictures button on the bottom left to view the camera roll and click my latest picture and then select edit. There are filters at the bottom that you can use to further enhance your image. I clicked standard and then chrome and it really helped brighten the background.
Here is our finished photograph. It’s a vast improvement on the first one we took. It’s not perfect though. It should be possible to get that background perfectly white with enough light.
Check back soon when I post the tutorial on how to colour correct your image using cheap (£22) photo manipulation software called Pixelmator (Mac only, but the tutorial translates perfectly to GIMP which is free for PC and also Photoshop).
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