Cap­tur­ing Sum­mer

4 Tips for Tak­ing Beau­ti­ful Pho­tos This Sea­son

iPhone Life Magazine - - Top Tips - by Jill Em­mer

What hap­pens when you think of sum­mer? Per­haps you vi­su­al­ize a lake at sun­set, road trips through wide-open prairies, soft blue skies with puffy clouds, or brightly col­ored car­ni­vals and drip­ping ice cream. You pic­ture the joy­ful faces of your friends and fam­ily. Of­ten, we re­mem­ber the past through images. I be­came a pho­tog­ra­pher be­cause I wanted to pre­serve these mem­o­ries. As a new mom, I felt an in­stant nos­tal­gia for every­thing I was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing. I wanted to hold on to ev­ery minute with my young sons. So one sum­mer a few years ago, I ac­quired an iPhone and be­gan to use it as a way to cap­ture those mo­ments. I found sum­mer to be a great sea­son for pho­tog­ra­phers: no school, out­door weather, more day­light hours, and an end­less list of ad­ven­tures ahead.

In this ar­ti­cle, I'll share four tips I've dis­cov­ered that will help you cap­ture the mo­ment this sum­mer. I will ex­plain how to use Burst Mode to catch high-ac­tion shots, point­ers for tak­ing full ad­van­tage of Por­trait Mode on the iPhone 7 Plus, tips for great light­ing, and fi­nally, ways to use an app called TouchRe­touch to clean up your photo. Let's get started!

1. Catch Sum­mer Ac­tion with Burst Mode

Sum­mer is a sea­son bustling with ac­tiv­ity—trips to theme parks, ad­ven­tures by the lake, and hours spent round­ing up ex­cited chil­dren. Per­haps you'd like to catch some of that ac-

tion with your cam­era, such as a shot of your friends as they cruise by on a roller coaster or of your nephew as he jumps off of a pier. For­tu­nately, the iPhone's Burst Mode fea­ture helps you achieve that per­fectly timed photo.

To ac­ti­vate Burst Mode, open the Cam­era app, frame your shot, and then hold down the shut­ter but­ton (as op­posed to tap­ping it once) and your cam­era will take mul­ti­ple pho­tos. If your vol­ume is on you will hear a series of rapid clicks for each photo you take. You'll also see a photo count flash on the screen as you hold the but­ton down. While the sub­ject was mov­ing in front of you, you'll have cap­tured the whole thing.

Once you've snapped all the pic­tures you want, go to the Pho­tos app to re­view your shots and pick out your fa­vorites. Your col­lec­tion of burst images will say Burst at the top right cor­ner, along with the num­ber of pho­tos con­tained within the burst. Tap Se­lect on the bot­tom. From here, you can se­lect your fa­vorites and delete the rest, so that you do not fill your phone's stor­age.

2. Use Por­trait Mode to Cap­ture Pro­fes­sional-Look­ing Shots

The abil­ity to ad­just your cam­era's aper­ture to cre­ate a shal­low depth of field is one of the main rea­sons pho­tog­ra­phers use ex­pen­sive DSLR cam­eras. With the re­lease of the iPhone 7 Plus, Ap­ple has now given the iPhone sim­i­lar ca­pa­bil­i­ties, com­bin­ing Ap­ple's soft­ware with the iPhone's dual-lens cam­era sys­tem to cre­ate a softly blurred back­ground be­hind sub­jects. Ap­ple has named this fea­ture Por­trait Mode be­cause, yes, it is great for por­traits—but don't stop there! This mode is also great for any photo that has a sin­gle sub­ject in the fore­ground that you want to draw at­ten­tion to.

To use Por­trait mode, open the Cam­era app and se­lect Por­trait from the slider menu along the bot­tom. Next, tap the screen to se­lect your area of fo­cus. You will see the words Depth Ef­fect in the bot­tom of your frame. That in­di­cates that you are in Por­trait Mode. Choose some­thing that is roughly 8 feet away (the cam­era will guide you to do this as well) and keep your sub­ject as still and well lit as pos­si­ble. There are a few things to avoid when us­ing Por­trait mode. The fea­ture is not meant for ac­tion shots or for tak­ing pho­tos in low light. Ad­di­tion­ally, since the 7 Plus uses a dig­i­tal process to blur the back­ground, com­pli­cated sub­jects can con­fuse the cam­era. For ex­am­ple, the soft­ware may have trou­ble with a per­son un­der a tree branch with a lot of leaves sur­round­ing them. The cam­era is read­ing every­thing that is on an equal plane (or dis­tance) from the pho­tog­ra­pher. So it may keep all of the leaves in fo­cus and only some of your sub­ject. Sin­gling out one sim­ple sub­ject is the key to tak­ing great sum­mer pho­tos with Por­trait mode.

3. Keep Light­ing on Your Side

One of the most im­por­tant fac­tors in a photo is light­ing. Just know­ing a few ba­sic rules can re­ally make a dif­fer­ence in your pho­tos. In the sum­mer, the days are longer, giv­ing you more time to play with nat­u­ral light. How­ever, mid-day light is stronger and harsher, which can work against you in cer­tain cir­cum­stances. The key to cap­tur­ing a good shot in sum­mer light­ing is po­si­tion­ing your­self and your sub­ject cor­rectly in re­la­tion to your light source.

Let's pre­tend we are out at the lake on a pretty sum­mer evening. We are stand­ing with our toes in the wa­ter and we can see the sun set­ting on the op­po­site side of the lake. If I ask my son (the sub­ject) to run out to the end of the pier, he will be lo­cated in be­tween my­self (the pho­tog­ra­pher) and the sun (the light source). When the sub­ject is lo­cated di­rectly in front of the

light, he is back­lit, so he will ap­pear as a sil­hou­ette in my photo.

Now, say I ask my son to run up on to the beach. I turn my back to the sun so it is di­rectly be­hind me. So now the pho­tog­ra­pher is po­si­tioned in be­tween the sub­ject (my son) and the light source (sun). In this po­si­tion, my son will have the soft light of the sun set di­rectly on his face. This would be an ideal spot for a por­trait. He is fully il­lu­mi­nated by the soft evening light.

Now that we have dis­cussed po­si­tion­ing, one more fac­tor to con­sider is the type of light you are deal­ing with. Soft light, for in­stance, is usu­ally found in the early morn­ing, evening, or on a cloudy day. This sort of light is ideal for cap­tur­ing pho­tos of a per­son's face.

The other type of light we gen­er­ally deal with is harsh light, which is that bright light in the mid­dle of a sunny day. This light usu­ally causes peo­ple to squint and have strong shad­ows on some ar­eas of their faces. Strong mid-day light can be great when pho­tograph­ing your sub­jects from a dis­tance, but it's not ideal for por­traits. If you want to take a por­trait, sim­ply place your sub­ject in the shade of a tree or build­ing. Keep the sun to your back and your sub­ject's face to­ward the sun.

4. Clean Up Your Sum­mer Pho­tos

Here's a se­cret: Nearly ev­ery photo I share has been edited with TouchRe­touch ($1.99). Like me, you have prob­a­bly won­dered how some peo­ple's pho­tos look bet­ter than oth­ers—de­spite be­ing taken in the ex­act same lo­ca­tion and with the same sub­ject. Over time, I've learned that most pho­tog­ra­phers im­prove their pho­tos by elim­i­nat­ing any ugly dis­trac­tions, such as dirt, garbage, tele­phone wires, etc. These items are easy to re­move us­ing TouchRe­touch. Although these de­tails may seem small, once they're re­moved your photo will look much cleaner.

To use TouchRe­touch, first down­load the app, open it, and then tap Al­bums to se­lect the photo you want to edit. Next, tap the Ob­ject Re­moval but­ton on the bot­tom left cor­ner. Care­fully glide your fin­ger along the ob­ject you want to re­move and, once it is high­lighted in green, tap GO. Your item will com­pletely dis­ap­pear! Be sure to save your edited photo by press­ing the Share but­ton in the up­per right cor­ner and tap­ping Gallery to ex­port the edited photo.

As you head out on your great sum­mer ad­ven­tures, be sure to re­mem­ber: Burst, Por­trait mode, light­ing, and pol­ish. These four tips are sure to help you cap­ture many price­less mo­ments this sum­mer.

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