One of our favourite things is bringing in talented photographers for a chat. We end up getting some brilliant tips that we can bring to you. Our recent chat was with the very talented photographer, Chris Feichtner.
—- Chris Feichtner is an iPhone photographer from Vienna, Austria. After photographing events and concerts for almost a decade, he turned to travel photography and ditched his DSLR in favor of an iPhone. He now solely uses that to shoot, manage, edit, and share his travel photos on the go. He writes about iPhone Photography in his blog nocamerabag.com and you can following him on Twitter, Instagramor Flickr. We have asked him for his best iPhone photography tips.
Over to You Chris…
I got my first camera from my dad when I was 12 years old. I’ll spare you the rest of the story as you’ve probably heard it many times before. Fast forward 25 years…
After I photographed events and concerts for almost ten years, one day, I traveled to Las Vegas. During this trip, I deliberately left my DSLR, a Nikon D300, in the hotel room and used my iPhone to photograph.
Positively surprised by the quality of the photos, I decided to go all-in. I ditched my DSLR in favour of an iPhone so I could shoot, manage, and edit my travel photos on the go. That was back in 2012. So much has changed and improved since then when it comes to iPhone photography.
Nowadays you can use so many features and techniques to taking sticking photos with an iPhone. Techniques that you will be able to compare to some high end DSLR cameras.
In this guest post I’ll share five iPhone photography tips that you probably didn’t even know existed!
Taking A Long Exposure With Your iPhone
As a reader of photography Talking, I can safely assume you already know a lot about taking long exposures to capture floating water, light trails, and to get stunning photos at night.
When I turned to iPhone only photography in 2012, being able to take long exposures was one of the few things I missed.
But that changed once I discovered the Slow Shutter Cam App.
This app simply enables you to take a long exposure with and iPhone. When I say long exposures I’m talking about the ability to shoot really long exposures. Not just the 1-second exposures you get from some third-party camera apps or the 3 second long exposures that you can create from a Live Photo. I mean you can dive into shots that have that shutter open for minutes at a time.
By using Slow Shutter Cam App, you can take long exposures like with a DSLR – except you don’t need to bring all those ND filters.
You can set the shutter speed automatically up to 30 seconds. If you need to take an even longer exposure that’s possible too. Set Slow Shutter Cam App to bulb mode to expose the scene as long as you need. Here’s an example of a 40-second long exposure of the London Eye.
Three Shooting Modes
The Slow Shutter Cam Apps comes with three different shooting modes for taking long exposures:
- Motion Blur – Should be used to capture scenes like floating water
- Light Trails – to capture all the fantastic photos of cars driving along a road that you see
- Night Photography – to help you to get great pictures with an iPhone at night
Wait, there’s more! You can even set ISO manually as well as fine-tune the motion or light trail sensitivity. Best of all, you can also adjust and edit the long exposure after you took it by tapping edit in the preview screen. Try that with a DSLR.
During my travels, I’ve used the Slow Shutter Cam App to take long exposures of Ferris Wheels, buildings at night, waterfalls, fireworks, and even to remove people from crowded places by taking a 77-second long exposure.
I’ve been using Slow Shutter Cam App ever since it was released, and, in my view, it’s one of the best third-party camera apps out there. It only does one thing, but it does it exceptionally well! This is probably one of the best iPhone photography tips I can give you.
Take Low noise Photos at Night
Similar to taking long exposures, getting well exposed and low noise photos at night was difficult with the iPhone until the ProCamera App was introduced. They updated the app with LowLight+ Modes a few years ago and it was an absolute game changer.
By shooting in Low Light Mode in the ProCamera App, the app essentially takes several differently exposed photos and combines them into a low noise and well-exposed night photo.
To my understanding, ProCamera uses multiple frames to reduce noise mathematically. As noise is random when shooting multiple exposures of the same scene, combining these multiple exposures can help to reduce noise in the final photo drastically.
ProCamera even offers a LowLight+ with Lux mode, which adds an exposure boost for low light scenes!
Not sure what noise actually is? Check out this blog here.
Fixing Perspective Distortions While Shooting
Your editing workflow may vary, but personally, for me, iPhone only photography means to shoot, edit, and manage my photos on an iPhone or iPad only.
While the ability to fix perspective distortions on a computer is quite common, it took a few years until the first iPhone apps for correcting perspective distortions were released.
Today, you can fix perspective distortions with Lightroom Mobile on iPhone just as you would on a computer. However the ProCamera App took it one step further. It offers a feature to fix perspective distortion whilst shooting.
By enabling the automatic perspective correction in the ProCamera App you can keep your lines straight no matter what. The best thing is you’ll even see a preview of how your photo will look like on the screen whilst taking a photo.
Take a 32-megapixel Photo With Your iPhone
Many photographers complain about the rather low 12-megapixel resolution of the iPhone compared to DSLRs. Personally, most of the time, that never was an issue for me. However this brings me to the fourth of my 5 iPhone photography tips.
Twelve-megapixel photos look beautiful on a 20″ print. However now and then, I’d also like to have a few more megapixels, especially for hanging canvas prints in my apartment. Extra sharpness and colour pops are always a good thing.
That became possible in 2016 when the Hydra Camera App was released.
Hydra Camera App enables you to shoot photos in super-resolution, using mathemagic to take photos up to 32 megapixels with iPhone. The app does this by taking multiple exposures. If you have a steady hand, you don’t even need a tripod. Here’s an example of such a 32-megapixel photo shot at a lost place in Germany.
Manually setting ISO and Shutter Speed
Many third-party camera apps allow you to set ISO and shutter speed manually. When I’m out photographing in lost places, I prefer to use the priority modes of ProCamera App.
By using priority mode, I can manually set ISO or shutter speed, and the app will choose the other setting for a well-exposed photo. This is especially useful in medium light scenes like inside buildings where you can’t use a tripod.
There is also another option in the ProCamera that can help you with priority modes. When shooting in priority mode, I usually set ISO manually, which, in turn, results in longer shutter speed. This can often create some blur in the image. However to avoid camera shake and get sharp photos, you can use the Anti-Shake Shutter Release in ProCamera. Once pressed, the app will start the exposure only if you hold the camera steady enough. Show me a DSLR that can do that!
Iphone Photography Tips Conclusion
I switched to iPhone only photography in 2012 an never looked back. Though I missed a few possibilities at the beginning, third party developers were quick to market. Today it is possible to use an iPhone like you would a DSLR.
Using an iPhone only to shoot, manage, and edit my travel photos finally enabled me to travel light, no camera bag needed! I hope you have enjoyed my iPhone photography tips.
Thanks for reading.