Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I-Phone Photography

I am a professional portrait photographer, but never took many photos
with my phone!   For an upcoming European vacation,
I decided to challenge myself to learn how to take great phone photos.

I have the I-Phone 5 and first I practiced in my own backyard using
the default camera on the phone.  

It is SO different from my DSLR, but quite liberating to simply click
the shutter.

I really loved how it captured this flower against the sunrise!

This is how my Canon 5D Mark 3 captured it with my 50mm f1.4 lens.

I really love the wider angle lens on the camera.

Then I downloaded the camera app called Camera+.
You take the photos right from this app and it allows you 
to set shutter speed, ISO, and more.  It was very easy to learn and 
costs $2.99 for the app...Worth it!

After lots of practice with Camera+, I downloaded some
editing apps.   I really love Snapseed for basic editing and
some nice filters.  That's where I begin editing.

I edited this drab photo:

Into this with just a few easy clicks!   Pretty swell!!!

 I LOVE a photo editing app called Pixelmator!
You can actually CLONE with this app.

I tried it with this photo on the beach.  I wanted to remove
that boat trailer.

I used my finger as a mouse to clone and in an instant...
the boat trailer was gone!   It's not perfect, but pretty dang
great on my phone with my finger!

This app is pricey at $4.99, but worth it!

With an app called After Focus I was able to swipe over the background
in this next photo with my finger to blur it.

I do miss playing with depth-of-field, so this app helps me achieve
similar results for 99-cents in the app store.

I added the sun flare with an app called Lens Distortion .
It has lots of lens flares, fog overlays, and more and is free in the app store!

I also enjoy a free app called PhotoWonder that includes
lots of  facial beautifying features including skin smoothing and
thinifying!   It works like the liquify tool in photoshop.
   I did love all the special effects and decorations
that come with this app.

I am astonished at the macro capability of my I-Phone camera!
I simply used the sharpening feature in Snapseed for the center
of these flowers.  Snapseed also has a healing brush!

Can't wait to share the phone photos I take in Europe!
Meanwhile, download some of these fun editing apps and
create some great photos with your phone!

Spring Portraits with Vintage Val

After a long winter, I am always eager for spring flowers!

Here in Michigan, they don't arrive until mid-May and it's SOOO hard
to wait that long!

This year,  I am going to Europe in mid-May, so I was
especially anxious for the flowers to bloom in time for
my spring Vintage Val shoot!

I wanted to showcase Val's painting abilities in an 
apple orchard brimming with blossoms!

I'm so lucky we were able to accomplish this just two days
before we leave on vacation!

I found the most gorgeous location with blooming
apple trees, tall grass, yellow dandelions and purply ground flowers.

For spring portraits, I like to shoot with a large aperture (f1.4-f2.8)
to really blur those blossoms.

I always shoot using focus points so my subject's face is
in sharp focus, but the surroundings blur.

Read your camera manual to learn how to use focus points
with your own camera.

While scouting this location before the shoot, I saw this
thatch of tall purple/blue flowers.

I brought the pink blanket and pillow with this shot in mind.

Pay close attention to your location and use pretty
elements like this stray patch of ground cover.

Because of Val's schedule, we were forced to shoot at 3pm on
a bright sunshiny day...UGH!
Nothing worse than the sun right overhead, but if you know
how to shoot in this light...no problem.

I think the light is what makes these photos enchanting!

I always back light in this situation.  Look for shadows on the
face.  If you're seeing big patches of harsh sunlight on their face, turn 
them until the sun is behind...poof!  Shadows disappear!

Then I use a reflector to light the face.
I actually hold my own reflector!

Look for natural "frames" for your portraits
like the interesting branch of this tree.. 

The sun was right over head, so I got down and shot
from ground level to put the sun behind Val...
plus I used a reflector to light the face.

Learn how to use a reflector in this blog post.

I always try to give portraits a feeling of movement.

Learn how to do that in this blog post.

I hope you are enjoying spring wherever you are in this beautiful world!