As many of you know, photos are an integral part of any blog, especially a travel blog. We all love to see the places that our favorite bloggers visit: the emerald green hills of Ireland, the terra-cotta stained walls of Istanbul, the sparkling, cerulean waters of Santorini or even their favorite neighborhood coffee shop. Up-close, personal and colorful details can make the difference between a simple snapshot and a wow shot! And just about everyone could use a refresher on their basic camera skills! How about your smartphone skills?
I was scouting around looking at photography classes/groups in the New York City area and stumbled upon a local photographer, JP Pullos of JP Teaches Photo. Most of the classes take place in Central Park (!) and it’s also one of Yelp‘s highest-rated photography classes. Color me intrigued! As an old-school photography buff, I was reticent to jump into the smartphone world. However, the advent of the iPhone 5 hooked me right in! JP has some tips strictly dedicated to learning how to use your smartphone to create professional-looking, fantastic photos.
JP’s three main tips on how to take smartphone pictures that look professional are:
1- Take advantage of the available apps.
“Smartphones have an advantage over big cameras!” JP recommends starting with the Pro HDR app, “Create a great HDR image, which is an image where every element in the scene is properly exposed.” And most of the the available apps are free or low cost.
2- Be aware of your phone’s function, capacity and potential updates.
Smartphones are getting smarter with every update. “Smartphone manufacturers are giving their users more and more options for creative control.” Soon all of the manufacturers will offer aperture and shutter speed options! Many of the alternatives to the iPhone already offer this capability and it is rumored that the next iPhone will follow suit.
3- Use apps like Instagram to edit your photos privately.
“If you shy away from apps like Instagram because you don’t like sharing all of your images, be aware that you can use Instagram (and other similar apps) without necessarily sharing every image you take.” By simply turning your phone to airplane mode, you can utilize its editing ability and different filters and save your photos to your own private folder.
Some of my favorite apps include: Camera+ and Snapseed for taking and editing photos, Waterlogue that makes your favorite photos look like a watercolor painting, and apps like Studio, Over and Afterlight that allow you to add text, stickers and logos, and PicStitch where you can create collages.
I am now inspired by this advice to not only sharpen my smartphone skills but take a class! Aside from his popular “How to Use My Camera” beginner classes there are more specific ones like the nighttime exposure class in Central Park. Ooh, and a class all about lighting. Who wants to take a class with me?!
All photos are used with permission of JP Pullos.