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When it comes to the iPhone, one of the most popular and raved about features is the camera. The iPhone is an impressive device to snap pictures due to its excellent hardware and software, and its simplicity allows persons of all ages to use it. Many believe that in order to take quality photos, you must own an expensive DSLR (digital single-lens reflex camera), but in reality well-crafted photos can be produced at the tips of your fingers. To become a “professional” iPhoneographer, you will discover that understanding basic elements of photography, familiarizing yourself with the iPhone, and being creative while using editing apps will utterly improve your photos. Before we begin using the camera app, it is important to note a few fundamental principles of photography. As with any art form, there are certain norms that are affiliated with what is considered apt and beautiful. The rule of thirds is possibly the most recognized of these norms; it is the idea that if your point of interest is placed in the intersections or along the lines of a three by three grid, the image will be viewed more naturally. In other words, rather than placing the subject in the center, try to slightly move it to one side. A second notable canon is making the most of light and shadows. Lighting is a key proponent when taking photographs, for it not only affect the camera’s operation but also the outcome of the photo. The level of light influences the measure of detail seen in light or dark areas of the photograph: if the camera’s exposure is high, shaded areas will appear darker. Hard light will create darker shadows and therefore a more dramatic effect on the photo, while soft light allows for less contrast and a more natural look. The angle of light, which refers to the location of the original source of light in the photograph, can determine the distribution of these shadows, thus affecting the mood of the photo. A last principle to consider is depth. Depth is the sense of three-dimensionality in a photograph, which can be created by using focus and framing. You can focus your subject by making it sharp and clear, causing the background to become blurry and out of focus. Framing will eliminate negative space, in which you isolate the main focal point by placing objects around it. Both focus and framing will lead the viewer to the point of interest and generate depth. Needless to say these are not the only elements of photography that you will ever learn to know, but they give a basic idea of what is looked for in a quality photo.Now that you understand the significance of a few photographing rules, it is time to use our beautiful iPhones. Depending on the model of iPhone you have, there will be a few different features. Open the Camera app, and you will find a variety of controls under the photo frame: Time-Lapse, Slo-Mo, Video, Photo, Square, and Panorama. At the top of the frame there is the flash control, HDR mode (high dynamic range), Live Photo, Timer, and Selfie. For now, the photo function at the bottom is all we need to shoot beautiful pictures. In order to easily snap using the law of thirds, you can use the grid. Return to the home screen, open the Settings app and scroll to Photos & Camera where you can enable the Grid. The lines will be used as a guide when shooting in the law of thirds. Another fun tool in the Camera app is the burst mode. This can be used by holding the shutter button when wanting to capture a moving subject. By quickly snapping multiple images, you have more options to choose from and are therefore more likely to have a clear shot. If you are trying to focus your subject and blur the background, tap and hold the subject on the screen, and the focus will lock in place. Now you can adjust your camera angles at ease without constantly refocusing. If the exposure is not to your liking, you can change it by tapping once on the focus square, where you will see a sun and exposure slider, gliding your finger up to increase and down to decrease exposure. This can come in handy when the sun is too bright or when you want to lighten shadows. Just knowing a few key features on your iPhone’s camera can significantly improve your photography. We have learned about the principles of photography and the basic manual of the iPhone’s camera, so now it is time to edit your shots and make them works of art. A variety of apps can be found in the App Store ranging from free installations to those that cost money. VSCOCam, Snapseed, and Adobe Lightroom are only a few to name of the vast array of apps. From here, it is really up to you to decide what makes your photo stand out from the others. In these apps, you can use the crop tool if the subject is not following the rule of thirds, enhance the colors, or even try photoshop. Personally my favorite app is VSCOCam because it allows users to discover an immense array of filters and presets to add to their simple photos and make them works of art. The best part about this step is that you can let your imagination run wild; the possibilities are endless. The beautiful thing about photography is that there is a lot of room for trial and error and improvement. Since everything is digital these days, you can easily take pictures at ease and delete them without any hassle. You can experiment using different angles, filters, etc. without wasting film. If you begin to look for elements of art, you will see a huge improvement in your photos’ quality. We are defying this notion that the iPhone cannot be used for serious photography because with the right knowledge and techniques, you can snap pics that are so great that everyone will believe a DSLR must have been used. It sounds too good to be true, but you are just clicks away from becoming a professional iPhoneographer.

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