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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 October 9, 2018

        Evernote vs OneNote: Which Improves Your Productivity Better?

        Evernote vs OneNote: Which Improves Your Productivity Better?

        Note-taking is useful in helping improve your memory and increase your productivity at work. By writing down notes, you have something tangible you can refer back to, remember what needs to be done, and regain control of your work throughout the day.

        There are thousands of different note-taking apps you can use on your desktop or mobile device. The two most popular are Evernote and Microsoft OneNote because they are incredibly efficient and effective that each has a following of extremely loyal users and advocates.

        So if it comes to Evernote vs OneNote, how do they improve productivity?

        An overview of Evernote and OneNote

        First, an introduction to the two platforms. Evernote is an app that lets you store content, take down notes, write lists, and organize all of them. While these are stored in Notebooks, the whole concept behind this productivity app is more like a Universal Inbox where you can save everything you’ve collected so you can quickly find it when you need them through the use of tags.

        Microsoft’s OneNote, on the other hand, works very much like a digital version of the notebooks you used to carry around in school. Aside from storing all your notes and different types of content you’ve collected, you can also organize them into sections, pages, and containers.

        Each of these apps offers their users a host of features to help them improve their productivity and memory. Also, because no app is perfect, each also has their strengths and limitations.

        To get a better idea of which app will be your best choice, we’ll be comparing the two based on three key features most used by their users: collecting information, note-taking, and mobility.

        Collecting information

        Both the OneNote and Evernote come with their own web clipper extension that allows you to quickly collect and store information from different websites as you find them.

        Both give you the option to choose whether you’d like to save the entire web page as is, a simplified version without the ads, or just a section of the page. You can also add some notes before saving them to make it easier for you to remember why you “clipped” that particular resource.

        Since OneNote gives you more structure to organize your content, its web clipper allows you to choose not just which notebook to save the details, but also what section within the notebook.

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          Source: OneNote.com

          Evernote gives you the option to add tags to your web clippings before you save it, so it’s easier for you to search for it later.

          Premium users get access to Evernote’s Related Results feature located in its Options section. When you search on Google, Evernote will launch a secondary search that will show all the notes related to the keyword you used in searching for information.

            Source: Zapier.com

            This feature, according to Jeremy Skillings, President of Youcanbefound.com, is beneficial because it lets you know what information you already have stored in your notes.

            “In some cases whenever I do my research, I find out through this feature that I already have the exact information I need stored in my Evernote account. That alone cuts back a significant amount of the time I spend on projects.”

            Note-taking

            Both of these productivity apps allow you to create and format your notes to create rich documents. Among these features include changing the font size and color, adding tables, and inserting media files.

            Evernote’s note-taking features are very similar to a Word document in that it’s very structured concerning how you input your notes.

              Professionals who need to be able to build and access well-structured docs in the field make up much of Evernote’s loyal fanbase. One such 2-year user in the real estate field, Anthony Gilbert of RealFX.com, liked the formatting options, but admitted that there were still some downsides to the rigidly formatted approach.

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              While he enjoyed the features, his personal experience with using it in the field revealed that the formatting features,“mean that if you need to change parts of your notes around, it can get tedious”. He continued, “the formatting features are quite finicky, so you may need a bit of patience to get the end results you are looking for.”

              Professionals who need to be able to build and access well-structured docs in the field make up much of Evernote’s loyal fanbase. One such 2-year user in the real estate field, Anthony Gilbertof RealFX.com, liked the formatting options, but admitted that there were still some downsides to the rigidly formatted approach.

              Structuring your notes properly from the get-go can have an effect on your productivity. A blank slate can sometimes be puzzling. Evernote allows the ability to use battle-tested templates and workflows that save you time. They can provide inspiration and structure on what’s possible.

              On the other hand, OneNote gives its users more versatility and flexibility in the way notes are created. You can click at any area of the page and begin typing. If you need to move things around, you can drag and drop sections of your notes to the right place.

              On the other hand, OneNote gives its users more versatility and flexibility in the way you create your notes. You can click at any area of the page and begin typing. If you need to move things around, you can drag and drop sections of your notes to the right place.

                Source: Lifehacker

                Also, it gives you the option to create Templates that you can use to layout your page properly, so all you’ll need to do is to fill in the information.

                  Source: MakeUseOf

                  This is a particularly handy feature that stood out to many of the people who shared their love of OneNote with me. Steve Lionais, longtime user and Co-Founder & CEO of Dr-Bill.ca, claims that this feature helped him build his business by affecting his memory in a powerful and helpful way.

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                  “This [feature] is what makes OneNote great memory retention app,” he said of the templates. “I find that I remember things more when they are arranged in a certain way. OneNote allowed me to do that for my meeting and presentation notes, so I don’t have to spend a lot of time trying to find the next point!”

                  However, what really makes OneNote the winner of this round is its ability to allow you to embed media files from other sources like Youtube. In addition to including the link, OneNote launches a media player, allowing you to watch the video or listen to the audio file directly from the page where you saved it.

                    Source: Windows Central

                    Mobility

                    Evernote and OneNote can be used both on desktops and mobile devices. At the same time, they provide their users with the ability to sync the content from one device to the other.

                    Judging which of the two productivity apps is best here is quite tricky because it greatly depends on several factors. One of these is the operating software you use.

                    Many of the power users we asked were using iOS, and that put some points toward Evernote. Greg Reese of AmeriEstate.com found himself frequently using the built-in camera option (and other iOS integrations) to manage his daily duties as President.

                      Evernote’s camera also integrates with Post-It, Moleskin notebook pages, and business cards. When you take a photo of any of these, the camera will capture the information and format this for Evernote so that it’s quick to find it when you search.

                      OneNote, on the other hand, dominates the Android environment. In addition to the app, Android users will also find a OneNote floating badge on the side of the home screen. So you can take notes on the go very quickly.

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                        Source: MS Power User

                        Another factor to consider is the cloud storage you use. For you to sync OneNote across different devices, you’ll need to first set up an account with OneDrive, which is Microsoft’s cloud storage service.

                        “This is something that Evernote users like me don’t have to worry about,” according to Matt Willens, Head Attorney for Willens Law Offices. “Whether you use a free account or one of their paid plans, you can immediately sync your devices without having to get a separate cloud storage account.”

                        The drawback here is the amount of storage and number of devices that you can sync. Free users are only given 60MB of storage space and can sync up to two devices. If you need more storage space, you’ll have to get the paid plans.

                        Which app is better for improving memory and productivity?

                        The honest—and most straightforward—answer is:

                        It depends on you.

                        While Evernote and OneNote have their strengths and weaknesses, how well it will help improve productivity and memory greatly depends on what works best for you.

                        If you find that you’re able to work best and remember things more using visual cues, OneNote will be the best productivity app to use. However, if you consider the speed and ease of finding the information you need as your top priority, Evernote will be your best option.

                        Since both productivity apps have free versions, you can give both a try and see where you’re most comfortable. In the end, the right productivity app to use is one that complements the way you work and do things rather than dictating to you how you should get them done.

                        Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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