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Lesson 2 from: How To Take Amazing Photos With Your iPhone

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

2. Composition

Next Lesson: Finding Light

Lesson Info


Let's first talk a little bit about composition because that's really critical to your actual photograph. So let's look at the camera itself because there's a specific help inside of your camera to help you with composition. And that's the grids. And we talked about those settings in our settings discussion. You can see that they're grid marks across your photograph. That's to help you see if things air straight. If their level. It also helps you to decide where to place things rather than always putting things in the center of photograph. We can actually choose to put things off to the right or the left of the bottom of the top in order to have a little bit more visual interest to our photograph. Now I'm starting here in this garage because there's a lot of great vertical and horizontal lines going on in here. And if you want to learn composition, you want to work at your composition. This is a great way to do it. Go someplace that there's a lot of really drastic vertical and horizont...

al lines so that you can then start paying attention to the way your frame edge actually deals with those photographs. So let's just start. I come into a garage like this and I'm going to hold up my phone and you can see that I've got these great horizontal and vertical lines of beautiful light going on in here. But as I tilt down, you can see that those beautiful vertical lines are now starting to converge with the top of the frame. And so that leaves kind of a triangle here instead of straightening up. And now you can see that the curtains and that vertical line is now mawr parallel with the left hand side of the frame. And then on the right hand side of the frame, you can see that that's a little bit more parallel. So as I tilt, I can see that it changes the entire composition. I want things to be nice and square on this shot because of all these great vertical lines. And so I'm gonna use not only my frame edge, but also those grid lines to make sure that my composition is right now. Once I have a great composition, I also need to get a good exposure. So let me introduce you to the way we expose inside of our IPhone, so I simply click on with my finger on the screen and hold. Once I do that, that's gonna lock that exposure in. So it's not gonna change. It's always gonna be exposing right there the same way that it's exposing currently. And no matter what way I turn, if I turned towards light or if I turn away from light, if I turned down or up, the exposure is going to stay exactly the same because I locked it in by holding it. So if I wanted it to be darker, I simply click on the window and hold, and you can see how everything changed so that now it's exposing for the window instead of for the inside of the garage. And that makes everything more dark and more mysterious. A zoo oven exposure. Now, if I want to adjust that exposure a little bit once I've locked it in, then I can simply swipe up and down on the screen, and that will increase or decrease the exposure based on the original exposure that I had. So I don't need it to be that dark and brooding, but I don't want it to be super bright either. So I'm just going to kind of adjust it until I have the right feel for the photograph. And now I've got my exposure the way I want it to go, and I can take this picture. So let's just snap a photo real quick and another trick. When you're when you're holding up like this, you can see that my hand is up here and I'm probably shaking it a little bit. So once I've got two hands on the camera rather than taking a picture like this, a lot of people do this. It's not a good idea. Use two hands to take the picture, and that will steady your camera a little bit better. And then the other option is when you click on the photo instead of just clicking once. Hold and let it take three or four photos, because the major shake that happens on your camera is when you actually tap the trigger for the first time. So I'm just gonna hold it down and take five photos, six photos, 10 photos. I just held it down for a little while. One of those photos is gonna be sharper than the other one. Usually the first photo is a little shaky, and then after that it gets nice and steady because you're not moving things. Another way that you can change your composition rapidly is simply by zooming in and zooming out. But you don't want to zoom in with a pinch, so I know you can do this. You can zoom in like this and zoom out like that, But that's a really bad way to go, because now you're digitally zooming. Instead, what you want to do is keep with the basic lends that your camera has. Now. I'm shooting on an IPhone seven plus, which means I actually have two lenses, so you can see that we have two lenses here on the camera. One is a wide lens, and one is a telephoto ones. If you're shooting on something that's not a two lens camera, but instead it's just one lens. Then I highly suggest that you Onley use the lens that you have, and don't zoom in because you're not getting any extra resolution out of the photograph. As you zoom in your actually just doubling pixels and making it look bad, just take the photo the way it is. Your computer does a much better job zooming in and zooming out working on the photo than your IPhone will. So just stick with the lenses you have in our case because we're on the IPhone seven plus, we actually have a little button here, right over the trigger. It says one ex, and if I click on it, it goes to two X. Now I'm with the telephoto lens. That telephoto lens is also a really beautiful lens, and it's taking a photograph optically zoomed in rather than digitally zooming in so I can re crop this photo. Now you can see that I'm working mawr over on the right hand side, looking at that window, and I want to kind of put that up in the right hand corner, and I'm again making sure that all my vertical lines look nice, and I'm comparing them to the edge of the frame and also to the lines within the grid. And I'm gonna take a couple photos here with my telephoto lens. They're so we've captured our photos, and that's how I think about things when I come in and I initially see a scene. I initially think about the composition. Now we may want to add something to this scene, like maybe a person. Aubrey, if you would just go over here, just kind of walk away from me there. That's good right there. Now you can see that I've got a person that I want a light inside of this photograph. So we're going to compose based on having a really cool background. We want to keep in mind those things that we were talking about earlier, which is the composition of the background itself. But then we want a place Aubrey in the right place inside of the scene. So we're going to start with a full scene like this. So, Aubrey, if you'll scoot this way just a little bit right there. Uh, there. That's perfect. Now notice that I'm looking at the full scene again, and I'm making sure that I first pay attention to the composition of the scene because I wanted to look really nice with all these great lines. So I get the scene corrected. Now I need to worry about where Aubrey is, and if I go down a little bit, then she raises up if I go to the right, See, I can put her. I don't want her this way. You can see that her head is now in the middle of that, um, window back there and it's kind of cutting into the window itself, so I don't want to be there. Instead, I would rather have her just right there between those two windows. But I want you to notice something about where I've placed Aubrey in comparison to the grids that are on the actual camera. I've placed her on that grid line over on the right hand side. That's basically called the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds states that you're important things should be on those lines and the super important things, if you can manage it, would be perfectly placed in the intersections of those lines. Now that's a rule. It's called the rule of thirds. Rules were made to be broken so you can break that rule all you like. But I want you to pay attention to the rule before you break the rules. So we're gonna put Aubrey right there on that line, and I'm in a kind of maneuver so that she fits nicely between that beautiful light coming out and striking the wall from that right hand window and the other window on the left hand side. Once I've got her placed, then it's a question of how do I expose for this photograph? I'm in a touch on her face and get the exposure based on her face. I'm also auto focusing on her face. So now that I've done that, I'm gonna brighten it up because I want her toe look nice when we're taking a photo of a person, we want to make sure we expose for the person. If I go too high, then I'm gonna lose those windows and that's not going to be great. So I'm gonna go right down to about there. You can see that her face looks nice. She got a great pose going on already. She's the pro with this, and now we're gonna take the picture. Now again, this is really important this time because I'm photographing a person. I want to make sure its super sharp, and I want to make sure that I have as many options as possible. So I'm gonna hold down the photo button the trigger when I take this picture so that I can get the best possible moment. And we'll talk more about that when we look at the photos and here we go. Ready, Aubrey? All right. After all that delay. Here we go. Very nice. Good. Okay, shift a little bit. Giving something. There you go. Good. And great. Okay, Now I'm gonna zoom in. We're gonna use Arzu mode. Now we're on the second lens, which is a telephoto lens. We're gonna do the same thing. Remember, we've got the same exposure going on, so everything looks great. And now I'm just gonna compose her again. You ready? I'm gonna I'm gonna walk in. This is how we zoom. We walk. So this is how I zoom like this. I don't zoom with pinches and polls. I zoom in by walking. That's the best way to zoom. I'm gonna re exposed for face and bring it down just a little bit. Aubrey, can you turn your body that way towards their right there? Perfect. Very nice. And give me some smile. There you go. Good. There you go. Nice. Good. Excellent. Good. Okay, so now you can see how I not only am composing for a scene thinking about composition, but I'm also thinking about composition when I put someone in that scene and putting them in relationship to the things around, and I'm using that grid on my camera to help me do that. Also remember that you want to zoom in and out with the lenses that you have or the feet that you have, rather than pinching and pulling on the photograph itself. And finally, when you're taking these photos, make sure that you are using that burst mode so that you're not shaking the cameras much when you're actually touching the frame. Plus, we're going to get the perfect shot of Aubrey because we get a whole bunch of different options when we take the photograph.

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

This is a fast and very effective course. The teacher is excellent with his great teaching skills. Really recommended!


This course was quick and full of very specific ways to use the iPhone 7 Plus and its abilities. I only own an iPhone 6 and still found this class useful. Even though I've taken thousands of images with my phone I STILL learned a couple things I didn't know. If you have questions about your iPhone camera I would absolutely recommend this course. Well worth the money.

Vincent SMINK

Great class, with all the basics you need to take good photo's. Some interesting extra's that I wasn't aware off! Just start here and then move on!

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