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The Complete Guide to iPhone Photography

The Complete Guide to iPhone Photography

Welcome to a brief introduction into the world of iPhone photography. This quick guide includes a collection of advice obtained from professionals, friends, and personal experience. Whether you’d like to shoot DSLR quality photos or just step up your Instagram game, this complete guide will cover all aspects to developing your iPhone photos.

Developing a Niche

The first step towards improving the quality of your photos is to develop a niche. Make an Instagram account, not only to share your photography but to follow photographers who emulate a style or part of a style you intend to incorporate. Most photographers have a signature style and there are literally hundreds of different ways to shape your work. There is food photography, fashion, lifestyle, landscapes, nature, urban, portraits, black & white, multiple exposure, just to name a few. Your niche does not have to be something new or original, it should however represent your personality. Start taking photos of anything you think would make a good photograph, it does not have to be perfect. Go through your photo album and search for any patterns. Some photos will catch your eye and leave a stronger impression than others. Developing a niche aids in focusing your creative energy and eases the transition into taking quality photos. Think of it as a starter template. Once you know what you like you can start to add and adjust to create the perfect photograph.

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    Environmental Adjustments

    Many photographers know the best time to shoot is during golden hour. Golden hour is the period shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which daylight is softer than when the sun is higher in the sky. But before you start scheduling all your shoots during golden hour, practice shooting under all types of lighting. Light enters through the iPhone camera lens and an image is recorded on a light-sensitive medium. Too much light or too little can over-illuminate or dull your photo and cause you to lose clarity, colors, and tones. Here are some ways to adjust your position for natural lighting:

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    • During golden hour you can basically shoot in any direction. You can shoot facing the sun, away from the sun, or with the sun to the side of you.
    • During the day try to shoot facing away from the sun. It is difficult to shoot in an angle that is facing the sun or with the sun to the side of you without ruining composition.
    • At night the lack of natural lighting will cause most of your photos to come out grainy and underexposed. Avoid using your phone’s flash and try to find an external light source.

    Technical Adjustments

    What makes the iPhone so popular is that the technical design is universal and user friendly. Here are some tips everyone can apply to instantly improve their iPhone photography.

    • Go to Settings, scroll down to your “Photos & Camera” tab, switch on grid mode so you can shoot your photos while accurately applying the golden ratio aka Fibonacci spiral or use the rule of thirds.
    • Turn off flash, always try to use an external or natural light source.
    • In low light situations, tapping on darker sections of your screen will increase exposure and focus.
    • Avoid using zoom, the iPhone camera does not actually zoom but rather enlarges the image.
    • Focus on alignment, for example the horizon and your subject.
    • When shooting horizontally or vertically, make sure the camera lens is on the edge that is pointing up.
    • Take a horizontal and a vertical shot so you’ll have options later.
    • The best way to hold your phone is to take your left hand and make a fist with your thumb sticking out like you’re giving a thumbs up. Now rest your phone on your left hand for stability while you shoot with your right.
    • Make sure it all feels comfortable to you. Whether your arms are at your sides or your arms are in front of you. Find stable, inanimate objects like a bench or a table to rest your elbows and forearms on.
    • Get comfortable with your breathing, take the shot in-between breaths.
    • Get low, get on one knee. Shooting from a lower angle can give you a different perspective than from eye level. A photo from a low angle can make the subject look dominant, a photo from a high angle can make the subject look dainty.
    • Purchase an iPhone lens. Here’s an inexpensive lens I purchased recently. Research your options before you go purchase one of each type of lens or an expensive lens. Its always a good idea to start with low budget equipment, have a grasp for using it, then move on to more expensive equipment.

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      Editing

      A finished product is 30% actually taking the photo and 70% editing. There are many apps that support editing photos directly on the iPhone. I have a ton of FREE photo editing apps on my phone, sometimes I use more than 5 apps to edit one photo! The 2 free apps I recommend are VSCO and Priime. I found these two apps to be highly effective and user friendly for complete beginners. Although both apps are great stand alone photo editing products, I suggest using multiple apps in tandem when editing your photos. Editing photos can be time consuming, but fun and rewarding. Here’s some information to ease you into basic editing.

      • Before conducting any edits, increase the brightness for your phone screen to 100%. If possible, try to edit in a dark room and then critique under different lights.
      • Increasing a few aspects like exposure, sharpness, and shadows can increase the quality of any photo.
      • Make small adjustments by working slowly and subtly. Remember that you want to bring out the best qualities of the photo by using the elements in the photo rather than creating artificial ones.
      • Don’t follow the same editing template for each photo, each photo requires its own unique touch and care.
      • Have a second or third opinion critique your edit.
      • Compare your work with your favorite photos and photographers. Identify the similarities, what your photo did best and how your photo can be improved.
        All photos were shot and edited on the iPhone 6 by Benjamin Kim.

        Final Thoughts on iPhone Photography

        If you’re not a big fan of the iPhone, here are some great alternatives.

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        • The Galaxy S7 edge has 12 megapixels with excellent low light performance.
        • The LG G5 has a whopping 16 megapixels and a built in 135mm wide angle lens!

        As smartphones continue to develop their camera technology, I predict in the near future that society will become more interested in DIY photography and film. Taking quality photos on the iPhone or any smartphone is not a difficult task and is an activity that everyone can participate, master, and enjoy.

        Featured photo credit: Benjamin Kim via instagram.com

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        Published on November 9, 2018

        How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

        How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

        Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

        Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

        So, are you ready? Here we begin.

        6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

        When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

        1. Spreadsheets and Databases

        Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

        To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

        In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

        • Microsoft Excel
        • Microsoft Access
        • Statistics
        • Data Analytics
        • Adobe Campaign
        • Quickbooks
        • XML Database management system
        • Filemaker Pro
        • MATLAB
        • Hive
        • FORTRAN
        • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
        • SAS

        2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

        Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

        Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

        • Content Management System (CMS)
        • Google Analytics
        • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
        • Email Marketing
        • Web Page Design
        • WordPress
        • Digital Media
        • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
        • Campaign Management Software

        3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

        A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

        • Adobe Photoshop
        • Adobe InDesign
        • Adobe Illustrator
        • AutoCAD
        • CorelDRAW
        • Microsoft Visual Studio
        • Maya
        • Microsoft Word
        • Microsoft Publisher
        • Operating Digital Cameras

        4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

        The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

        To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

        • HTML
        • C/C++
        • Java
        • Python
        • XML
        • UI/UX
        • LINUX
        • CISC and RISC architecture
        • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
        • Memory Management
        • PCB Layout
        • SQL

        5. IT Troubleshooting

        Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

        So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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        • Backup management
        • Diagnostics
        • End User support
        • Client-Server management
        • Installation and configuration
        • Issue tracking system (ITS)
        • System administration
        • Tech support

        6. Enterprise Systems

        Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

        Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

        The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

        Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

        Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

        Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

        1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

        a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

        Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

        Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

        b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

        This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

        c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

        Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

        Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

        2. Rule the Social Media World

        a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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        Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

        From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

        b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

        This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

        c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

        Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

        Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

        3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

        a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

        From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

        b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

        Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

        The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

        c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

        The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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        4. Live and Breathe Creativity

        a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

        It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

        From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

        b. Canva Design School

        From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

        c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

        62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

        d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

        The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

        Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

        5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

        a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

        IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

        It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

        b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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        The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

        Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

        The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

        • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
        • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
        • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
        • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
        • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
        • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
        • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

        Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

        Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

        1. Practice, Practice, Practice

        It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

        Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

        2. Work on Your Efficiency

        Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

        For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

        3. Look for Shortcuts

        Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

        4. Apply for an Internship

        Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

        By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

        How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

        The Bottom Line

        Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

        So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

        Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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