Tag Archives: iphone

3 Easy Tips from the Pros for Taking Better Photos with Your Phone

If everyone’s a writer in the Internet age, then it’s doubly true that everyone’s a photographer.

We all take a lot of pictures, mostly on our phones. It’s fun, it’s easy and — unlike in the prehistoric days when we had to develop film — it’s a source of cheap and instant gratification.

But are you doing it right?

If you’re like me, you might not even notice that sometimes you’re taking pictures that will show telephone poles growing out of someone’s head … or you might look at the photo later and say, It really wasn’t that dark in there.

I’m no expert. But I’ve had the privilege of working with great professional photographers and designers over the years. And they’ve been kind enough to share pointers that are so basic and simple, even I have benefitted from using them.

So try these out next time you’re taking selfies or shots of the family, the dogs or even landscapes.

And shoot a LOT. It’s digital!

1. The Rule of Thirds. You know how Instagram puts a tic-tac-toe board over your screen? It’s to help you compose the image so that the subject is where it should be. And most of the time, it’s at one of the four intersection points. Use this with any camera, any time. Just divide the screen into thirds horizontally and thirds vertically, and put the main subject at one of the points where the lines cross.

2. Look at the entire screen. What is behind the subject and what’s filling the rest of the image area? If you’re taking a photo of mom in the living room, is there a giant floral arrangement behind her that will make her look like an alien peacock? Is the wallpaper so loud it competes with her Christmas sweater?

3. It’s all about the lighting. Be sure to touch the screen on the main subject — mom’s face, for instance — so your phone or camera adjusts to light her. Be careful of putting people in front of windows or other bright light — it can make them appear so dark that you can’t see them in the photo.

THE BAD (mine)

photography tips, iPhone, how to take better photos, Georgia Tech, GA Tech, undergraduates, North Avenue, Atlanta

What’s wrong with this picture? A lot! (I can say that because I took it.) My friend Pete Cross, who is a sensational photographer, pointed out that I have a telephone pole growing out of one of the guy’s heads AND a ‘Do Not Enter’ sign on his ear. Also, the shadows are unfortunate. I could’ve just moved around them a bit to get a better shot.

THE GOOD (a pro’s)

Ben Gray, photos, photography, iphone photos, how to take better pictures, Atlanta, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Ben Gray liked the image of nature overcoming the sign, and he added to it by following the Rule of Thirds down the right side. He also waited for a little action in the background. Ben says adding a little activity, or something different in another plane, adds to the shot.

MORE BEN GRAY:  His #runography project

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New iPhone Obtained; Lost One Still Lost

apple store, lenox square, iPhone, lost iPhone, smartphone, smart phone, atlanta, good sales staff, great store, helpful apple employee

Nick was great. I love the Apple store and everything Mac, even if I don’t love having to replace my lost iPhone.

Apple makes it so easy. It’s one of the reasons I love the company and the products.

I just replaced my iPhone, which I lost a couple of days ago and tore through my small condo and car looking for. I didn’t want to spend the money on a replacement, and I’m still not happy about that. But all props to Apple and the store in Lenox Square. Every time I buy something here, the staff members make it easy. They’re helpful and informed, and I walk out with what I need, already up and running.

So thanks, Nick. I appreciate it. Especially since you told me I have 14 days to bring back the new one — when that old one finally turns up again.

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Ever lost an iPhone? How did you survive without it?

iPhone, iPhone 5, apple, lenox, i lost my iPhone, where is my iPhone, how can i live without my iPhone, atlanta, jay croft, writer, blog

Where, oh where, are you tonight? Why did you leave me here all alone…?

UPDATE: How my saga concluded

Ending Day 2 without my iPhone. Kinda tense. An hour ago I started driving to Lenox Square Apple Store to replace it, but I turned around: I don’t want to spend $300 tonight and find the dang thing tomorrow morning. I’m giving it one more day.

But the first two haven’t been easy.

No calls, pictures, social media updates. No emailing, no Googling random facts, no texting Tony about the kids on “Idol.”

My dependence on my smartphone has surprised me because I think I’m a pretty average iPhone user. I love it and use it all day, largely to take photos for Instagram and this blog, to write or voice-record lyric ideas for songs, and to keep a running tally of my daily to-do list and communications. I listen to music on it while I’m at the gym. And I use it as my alarm clock (so, yeah, I rushed to work after oversleeping a bit this morning). Without it now for two days, I have felt disoriented and a little twitchy.

Yikes! Maybe this dependence shouldn’t surprise me so much. At least I don’t text at dinner instead of talking with my date, right?

What about you? Have you ever lost a smartphone? How long till you found it — or gave up and bought a new one? And what did you miss the most about it?

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