I’m stuck with it; I’ve had it since I was barely in high school; I have an eye for and I intuitively knew how to take a good picture — once I got past the focusing and steady hand issues at an early age, and, the rest is history; a story of “Hey Scott, can you take pictures of tomorrow’s … (whatever)…and, I’m destined to be a Nerd for the rest of my life.. And, in case you’re wondering, yes, my iPhone is the ONLY camera I use nowadays.
Basic Photography Empowerment = Learn to Use and Have Fun with Your iPhone
Hint: It’s Not Rocket Surgery
5 Simple Sakamoto-Rules:
Before I get into the good stuff, let me mention that in addition to this post, I also have a Pinterest Board (ScottSakamoto) at www.Pinterest.com/ScottSakamoto/, Photography for the Internet is full of interesting articles; some begginer, some advanced; they all satisfy and answered some curiosity I had at some point (Google-Fu). 1
Because I know a few of you are about to spend some serious money hiring good professional photographers to help Brand your business, I know there are many more who still don’t have the budget’s to acquire top photography talent. The following are your BASIC “Sakamoto-Style” — Stop and Focus on what you’re doing tips. = There are only 5 of them = Easy: It’s Not Rocket Surgery.
Rule #5: Photography is painting with Light
Light your Object or Subject. The better lit, the sharper and more in focus your image is likely to be. When possible shoot outside or turn on lights when shooting inside. I prefer to use natural light in most situations because most modern cell phone cameras use technology that allows this IF you have steady hands. 2
Do NOT Use your FLASH!. You won’t be happy and I won’t use your images either — End-of-Story!
Rule #4: Rock Steady — Hold Your Camera Still!
Use Two Hands: Just as important as Light is to sufficiently illuminate your Subject, the steadier you hold or support your iPhone Camera, the sharper and clearer your images will be, particularly when taking photos in low light or at night. When you take a photo in these conditions, the iPhone camera will need to use a slow shutter speed to allow more light to hit the sensor. The problem with this is that any movement of the camera will result in a blurred image. So, hold still; get a good grip on your camera. Remember the lens is just a tiny hole in one corner of that thing you’re holding. So, sometimes I fully grab it securely and rest my elbows on another solid object or table or sometimes I get on the ground and use that. Have fun and use your imagination and I’ll bet you’ll enjoy some satisfying photography results. 3
Rule #3: Shoot! > or Click, Click, Click, Click!
Did I make myself clear? Take multiple shots! Professional photographers do. One image taken on your iPhone is going to cost you the same as if you take 100, so shoot away and better your chances of capturing your “Hero-Image”. You have unlimited “Clicks” and Immediate Feedback on what you just took a picture of, so Why not?! 4
Rule #2: Fill the Frame — Get up close and personal
One of the most common mistakes with iPhone images is that the subject ends up being a tiny, unrecognizable object in the distance. Your iPhone photos will lack impact if the main subject doesn’t stand out clearly enough against its surroundings. One simple composition technique is to fill the entire frame with your subject. This means getting closer to your subject so all of the surrounding background is eliminated. Filling the frame gives your photos a more intimate and significant impact. Cutting out unnecessary background detail ensures the subject gets the full attention of the viewer (and not the background — Get it?) 5.
Sakamoto’s Rule #1:
Image Resolution — Shoot at High Quality
Most cell phone cameras by default are NOT set to shoot in high-quality mode. Please check your camera settings and check to make sure you are shooting at maximum resolution and that picture or image quality is set at the highest setting — ALWAYS!
Depending on your particular phone and the camera app that comes with it, you may have a few settings you need to adjust before taking a quality image. Please review your camera setting (they are often different, but worth this One-Time effort). Always shoot at your camera’s highest quality setting.
Feature Image (left): Craig Sunter, I’m listening my dear!; Above: Craig Sunter, Close up ! ↩
Figures Ambigues, Chez le Dentiste ↩
Photo: Ian Collins, Macgyver-style iPhone tripod For taping my jumps. Inyo National Forest.↩
Photo: Alessandro Saponi, Contact Sheet↩
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