Most of us have a smartphone of some flavour (many apologies to those that haven’t) with a built-in camera at the back. The lens may look tiny but it is amazing what stunning photographs you can take. With a little imagination and a creative eye, you can produce images that capture a moment in time, a lasting memory of a cherished flower, family, friends, landscapes, pets, gardens… the choice is unlimited.
These cameras are mini-marvels that take care, automatically, of most of the technical bits you need to know when using a conventional camera. Exposures are generally spot-on, sharpness is well handled and colours are vibrant. That’s not to say that they are fool-proof and here I will attempt to give you a few simple tips on the things to avoid.
When you launch the app there is the option to open your image from your phone’s photo library (open from device) or a live photo straight from the camera. Here we look at the first option.
Your first option is a selection of ‘looks’ with thumbnails below the photo. These are simple enhancements, including black and white) and you can click through to see if there is one that suits.
The ‘tools’ option gives you a whole selection of adjustments. To begin with, the ‘tune image’ section will give you some simple options that will enhance your photo eg contrast, brightness, saturation, shadow (brings out detail in dark areas), ambience etc
Experiment with these first. Simply swiping your finger left or right on the image will increase or decrease the effect. But if you want more dramatic enhancements instantly you should choose the ‘HDR scape’ or ‘Drama’ options.
Here are some before and after examples using either or both (I don’t want to go into too much detail here how they all work but again swiping left or right will increase or decrease the effects). It’s a matter of trying and deciding if the changes are what you are looking for (you can always undo a change by clicking the ‘X’ button at the bottom left).
Other useful options are the ‘cropping’, ‘rotate’ and ‘black and white’ tools. Their effects should be self-explanatory but you should again experiment with them.
Another useful tool is the ‘perspective’ which allows you to straighten buildings and objects by pulling the image in any direction. Be careful using it with people or animals, however, as you can make them look very weird!
Saving your image
Once you are happy with your masterpiece, press the ‘Export’ option at the bottom right. If you ‘Save’ the new image it will overwrite the original. But if you want to save the image as a copy, retaining the old one for reference, choose the ‘save a copy’ option. The new image will then be saved to your photo gallery.
This is a very simplified run-through of this powerful app and the more you use and experiment with it, the more rewarding you should find it. As you can see there are lots of options, some easy to use, others a bit more obscure but it’s still worth trying them – and you can always undo anything you’ve done
I hope you will find some of this information useful and inspire you to use your phone camera more. Have fun and get creative!
If you do have any questions you can always email me here >>>