How to take beautiful pictures

I’m not a pro photographer or anything cool like that, but I do love taking pictures.  I average 100+ images on my iPhone per day.  I am fully aware that I have issues.  But this post is not about PA {photographer’s anonymous}, it’s a couple tips I’ve learned along the way.

99% of the pics you see on SCB & social media platforms were taken with my iPhone 5.  I don’t believe you have to have one or some fancy camera, in fact I think the best camera is the one you already own.  You just have to take some time & effort to learn how to use it.

This post was actually inspired by our trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium last week.  A lot of the exhibits have low light and I saw quite a few people snapping pictures with their flash on.  I mean, who wants the flash and/or window reflection ruining a cool shot of the sea turtle swimming by?

Apparently I uncovered an unknown pet peeve of mine.  Who knew?

2014-01-01 12.59.20

Here are a few of my {very amateur} tips:

Turn the dang flash off

I never use my flash.  Like ever.  Mike disagrees with me, but he also takes like 2 pics a day.  Pshhhh  Winking smile

Natural light is the key to awesome shots.  I know it’s not always available, so you just kind of have to work with what you have and remember a cool filter can save a darker or less than stellar image.  We’ll get to that in a bit.

To get the last 2 shots, I held my iPhone really still, pressed on the jellyfish as my focal point and snap the pic.  I usually take a couple so chances of getting a great one are higher.  Then I save it + delete the others that didn’t make the cut.

IMG_1083

Angle

It can totally make an image rock.  I snapped this one at sunset in Pebble Beach.  It’s completely unedited with no filter. 

IMG_0699

Photo filters & apps

Playing with an image is the fun part.  My favorite editing app is A Beautiful Mess.  I created the image below with it by adding a cool filter to soften it up & added text.  When I uploaded it to Instagram, I added another filter just because.  I don’t always layer filters, but sometimes I end up digging them, so I roll with it.

IMG_0795

I just used a single filter from Instagram for the cup of coffee.  BTW my absolute favorite filter on the IG is Mayfair.  It really makes the color pop.

IMG_3412

Pixlr is another favorite online app  I’m not sure if they have a mobile app though.  It’s a free, web based app-no need to download anything crazy to my PC that offers a ton of cool tools.  I completely enhanced the basic image below that I took last April in Santa Barbra.

IMG_8217

And made this.  The possibilities are endless.

Summer2

I also dig PicMonkey so much I just upgraded for the year.  It’s another web based app & it’s user friendly for this creative inept chick.  Now they really need to get into the mobile app business & I’d be set.

Not really photo editing advise, but regularly transfer photos from your device to PC or laptop.  Then create folders for each day/event etc and delete images that don’t make the cut, you have multiples of or you just don’t like to keep it clean + organized.

<//end of SCB PSA for today//>

Please share your photography tips!

What are your favorite photo editing apps?

logov4

20 thoughts on “How to take beautiful pictures

  1. Michelle

    I actually get paid to take photos! ( amatuer also) But I have been running a VERY small photography business for 2 years now…. Of course I do not use my iphone I do own a fancy camera HOWEVER for everyday use I LOVE my iphone camera! (truth be told sometimes it takes better photos than my fancy camera) but shhh do not tell canon that! Anyhoo, I also average a massive amount of photos on my phone so many that I have to clear space far too often! I don’t have a photo editing app other than IG. I kind of like the au natural photos or very basic filters! For my business I use a computer web based program but even then I prefer natural shots . sometimes i touch up or soften but once you edit a photo it is no longer a photograph it becomes an “image” ( techinical crap, don’t mind me) =) Happy running friends!

    Reply
  2. Casey @ stayingonpace

    I am a below average photographer, but I do love my iPhone 5 camera. I absolutely MUST use a filter in order to make my photos look better. Sometimes that doesn’t even work! haha. This is an area I would definitely like to improve – especially for my recipe/food photos. Thanks for the tips!

    Reply
    1. Jacqueline Post author

      You’re welcome. A great tip for non blurry photos with your iPhone is to press on your point of focus until it comes in clear & snap your pic.

      Reply
  3. Nick Rubalcaba

    Your pics rock!!

    I use my phone camera way more than my Canon DSLR, it’s just easier for day-to-day pics. And yes, natural light is way better! I also don’t use flash unless it’s dark or I’m back-lighting something. If I’m going to shoot action, portraits, low-light areas, or some other scenario where I need multiple lenses, then I break out the DSLR :)

    The Rule of Thirds is always a good tip. I rarely shoot a photo where the subject is perfectly centered.

    On my phone, I think I use IG’s filters most of the time. On my computer, Adobe’s Lightroom rocks my socks off!

    Reply
  4. Jennifer

    I love you pic of the jelly fish and philz coffee:-)
    As for photo tips;
    Place a sheet of kleenex or tissue paper over the flash to difuse the light. I usually just attach the tissue with a piece of tape. I use this with my iphone as well as for point and shoots.

    I like pic monkey too.
    As for organizing pics. Flickr is helpful to organize.

    Reply
  5. Jennifer

    I love your pictures! Great tips! I also use my iPhone. I feel like my pictures come out better with my phone than with my regular camera, plus it’s so much easier to use! :)

    Reply
  6. Jade

    I hardly use flash too, but my subject (my kid) moves so fast that a lot of time, I feel like I should use the flash as otherwise it is blurry. Then again, if I didn’t just use my camera phone, it’d probably be better too. In my defence, the kiddo did ruin my point and shoot camera earlier last year…

    Reply

Speak your mind