Hello! Today we are going to talk about using our Smartphones to get the best images we can. 

I love my iPhone and I use it every day. I get really excited by the quality of the camera that is always in my back pocket. It blows me away that at a moment's notice I can capture a beautiful moment to treasure forever. 

As Makers having a smartphone camera in your pocket is such a powerful tool for enabling you to capture your maker story to share with your audience. But only if you know how to use it well. 

I use my iPhone 6 for nearly all the images on my @emilyquinton Instagram account and about 70% of my @thequinskis account. I also use my iPhone for a lot of my blog photography. 

I use the camera app for taking all my photographs on my phone. Camera + and VSCO Cam are also great but try to avoid using the Instagram camera as the quality isn't as good.

I shoot Square for all my Instagram images. You can share Portrait and Landscape images on Instagram but I really prefer to keep them all square. I do love Square images and I think it's great to choose one format and stick to it. It really helps to keep your gallery looking consistent. 

Portrait, landscape, square

I you really, really want to mix and match then I would recommend having a Square image with plenty of white, negative space next to a Landscape or Portrait.

Unless you use the new option Instagram gives you, which allows you to upload Portrait and Landscape images straight into Instagram (without having to use another app) and it then gives you a Square crop in the gallery view, which makes it all look consistent.

Only when you click on the image does it appear as the Landscape or Portrait image. But be careful with this. The centre of your image needs to look good. Otherwise the Square crop won't work well. 

For example if I uploaded this image of my little girl, the Square crop would just be tree trunk. I'm not sure that would get many likes or clicks! 

 
 
 
 
 
 

When I take each photograph I tap the screen to focus on the subject. On an iPhone a sunshine then appears. This adjusts the exposure, which means you can swipe up to make the image brighter or down to make it darker.

If you don't know about this I can guarantee you'll be playing with that for the rest of the day and showing anyone who will watch! Such a good feature.

For Android users you can usually adjust your exposure too. Look for +/- and if you can add that to your camera screen then do. It's good to use it as often as you need to. If you are stuck please ask in the Facebook Group and I'll help you.

Apps for editing

I edit all my images whether I take them on my iPhone or my dSLR. My editing is usually quite light and subtle but 99% of my images are edited and every single image I take that I want to share (online, with family and friends or on our fridge door) goes into editing software. Occasionally (about 1% of the time) the image won't need any editing. This is usually an outdoors image when the light is just absolutely perfect. It does happen but not often. 

When I have taken my images on my iPhone I edit my favourite ones in PicTapGo. This isn't available for Android but Afterlight and VSCO are great alternatives. Those two are also available for iPhones too. 

 

 
 
 

The thing that I love about PicTapGo is that you can control the level of each filter that you use and you can layer several filters together. Just keep going until you are happy! Your phone will keep the original, so you don't have to worry about experimenting. 

Recipes

It keeps track of your favourite filters too (My Style) and you can also save the recipe when you have finished editing an image (see above), so you can use it again to create the same look and feel again. This is so good for editing a series of images for a blog post or set of images.

When you add the recipe to another image you can adjust how much of the recipe you apply and if you need to you can also add other filters on top of it, for example you might need to make it a little light (Lights On) or darker (Lights Off). 

I then save my images to my Camera Roll to use when I am ready. 

 
 
 
 

Today's task

Find some great natural light indoors or outdoors and practise using your smartphone. 

Remember to tap the screen to focus and to adjust the exposure. 

And have a go at editing it too. Feel free to share the results in our Facebook Group and please don't forget to ask any questions you might have. Have fun! xo