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Shooting still photos with your iPhone

From: iPhone and iPod touch iOS 5 Essential Training

Video: Shooting still photos with your iPhone

In this chapter we're going to be looking at working with photos and videos on iPhone or iPod . And in this movie we're going to take a look how to shoot still photos with your iPhone or 4th generation iPod touch. Earlier iPod touch models don't have a built in camera. So if you have earlier iPod touch model, you can skip this movie and jump to the next one on viewing and managing your photos. But every iPhone since the first generation model does have a built in camera and the pretty decent one, which has gone better with each subsequent version of the iPhone. So if you carry your iPhone with you everywhere, you'll always have a camera to pull out when you need one. Now, I'm not saying you can throw away your regular camera, because the quality of the photos on the iPhone greatly depend on how well lit the scene you're shooting is, and whether not you or your subject are moving.

Shooting still photos with your iPhone

In this chapter we're going to be looking at working with photos and videos on iPhone or iPod . And in this movie we're going to take a look how to shoot still photos with your iPhone or 4th generation iPod touch. Earlier iPod touch models don't have a built in camera. So if you have earlier iPod touch model, you can skip this movie and jump to the next one on viewing and managing your photos. But every iPhone since the first generation model does have a built in camera and the pretty decent one, which has gone better with each subsequent version of the iPhone. So if you carry your iPhone with you everywhere, you'll always have a camera to pull out when you need one. Now, I'm not saying you can throw away your regular camera, because the quality of the photos on the iPhone greatly depend on how well lit the scene you're shooting is, and whether not you or your subject are moving.

Also, only the iPhone 4 and 4S have a built-in flash. So you'll generally need to be in a well lighten environment and hold as still as possible to get good looking pictures if you don't have iPhone 4 or 4S. The 4S can actually produce some great looking shots in low light, but I'll show you some tips that will help you improve your chances of getting a decent shot, regardless of which iPhone you have. So, start up the camera by tapping its icon. If this is the first time you've used the camera app, you'll see a message telling you that camera app would like to use your location. Basically, this message is telling you that your photos and videos will be geotagged, meaning the iPhone will use the same location data it uses to figure out where you are in the Maps app and tag your photo with this tiny little bit of data.

Unless you're trying to keep the location of where you took your photos as a secret, you can tap Okay, otherwise tap Don't Allow. But geotagging your photos is a great way to keep a record of almost exactly where a shot was taken and more and more photo management apps like, iPhoto and Picasa can use geotags as an additional way for you to sort and manage your photos. You may also be asked if you want to sink your photos with your iCloud Photo Stream, which will automatically upload the photos you shoot to your iCloud Account, if you've created one. So the photos will instantly available to any other iOS device you have. I'll choose not to sync with my photos stream right now.

So now we're seeing exactly what the camera is seeing. The default mode of the camera is to take still photos. You can toggle between shooting still photos and videos with the toggle switch in the lower right hand corner of the screen. But for now we'll keep it set to still photos. Just like with a regular camera you can shoot and portrait or landscape mode. Notice that the Camera icon and the Shutter button rotates to let you know that the iPhone knows that it has been rotated. This ensures that when you copy your photos to your computer, you don't end up with sideways pictures you have to rotate in your photo management software.

It's a good idea to glance at the Camera icon before you shoot your photo, to make sure your orientation has been registered. So to take a basic shot, all I have to do is frame up the subject on the screen and press the Shutter button. You'll see the picture you took for a very brief moment before you return to the live camera view. This is useful in case you want to take multiple shots in a quick succession. I'll show you how to review your photos in a moment. But, first let's look at some things you can do to improve your shots. First, notice that the camera doesn't actually take the photo, until you lift your finger off the Shutter button. So one way to stabilize your phone while you are shooting is to, hold your finger on the Shutter button while you're framing your shot.

Then lift your finger to take the shot. This can keep your phone a lot steadier than tapping the Shutter button to take your shot. Depending on how hard you tap, the force could shake the camera enough to blur your picture. Another way to prevent shaking your camera with a tap is to use the Volume Up button to snap your photo. This is a feature introduced in iOS 5. Instead of tapping the Camera button, you can use Volume Up button the one closer to the top of the device on the side of the camera to take the photo-making experienced a little more like using traditional point-and-shoot camera. Notice the box that appears in the center of the screen when I hold the phone still.

That's the iPhone telling me where its point of focus is. Meaning that area in the box is what the camera is using to determine the overall brightness and color cast of the photo. But your subject is not always going to be dead-center in the frame, and using this default value could make your pictures look too dark or too bright. You can manually let the camera know what the important part of the picture is, by simply tapping it on the screen. For example, maybe this area is the focus of the shot I'm taking. I'll just tap it with my finger and instantly the camera reevaluates the scene base on its measurements of that area and now I can take my picture.

Basically, what this boils down to is, just tap the important part of the picture before you take your shot. New to iOS5, the camera can now detect faces in your shots, so it can tell when you're taking a portrait of a single person or if you're taking a group shot. The camera automatically focuses on the most prominent face in the frame and adjust the focus and exposure settings accordingly. But you can still tap anyone on the screen to change the settings if you need to. To review the photos you've taken you can tap the tiny thumbnail image of the last picture you took.

This takes you into your Camera Roll, which we'll look at more closely in an upcoming movie. But here you can swipe side to side to review your shots, and pinch open and close to zoom in and out. When you're done reviewing your photos, you can tap the screen once to reveal the interface buttons and tap done to return to of the camera. To review your photos, you can also swipe your finger to the right, which takes me to the last photo instantly. This is a quick way to take a look at the photo you've just shot and then swipe back to the left to return of the camera, without having to do a couple of taps.

I also want to mention here that the iPhone is actually quiet good at macro or super close-up shots as well. If you get the camera within four to eight inches of your subject, it goes into macro mode. You can get surprisingly detailed close -ups with your iPhone, and you can tap the area of importance to improve your exposure and color cast. Now if you can't quite get the camera to focus on a certain area, move a little further away from your subject and try again. Now, if you're using an iPhone 4 or 4S, you have a couple of additional camera options. First of all, you have a built-in flash making the phone much more usable in previous models when you're shooting in dimly lit situations.

By default the flash is set to Auto, which lets the phone determine when the flash is needed. If it determines the scene is too dark, the flash will fire. You can also tap the flash button, and choose on or off. When you choose on, the flash will always fire with each shot. This might be useful if you're shooting someone who is backlit, maybe with a sunset behind them, and you need the flash so that your subject doesn't become a silhouette. If you choose to turn the flash off, it won't fire until you turn it back on. Turning the flash off is useful when you want to capture more of the natural lighting of the scene you are shooting or when your subject is too far away for the flash to matter.

So just because you have a flash doesn't mean you have to use it. Now the other feature unique in the iPhone 4, 4S and the 4th generation iPod touch, is the front-facing camera. You can toggle between the main and front cameras by press this button. This is great for taking self-portraits, since it takes all the guess work out of whether or not you are framing yourself in the picture. Just frame yourself up, and take the shot. Now obviously there's no button for the flash when you are using the front-facing camera, since the flash is on the other side of the phone. Also this camera has a slightly lower resolution than the main camera, but it's still great to have the second camera for still shots as well as for using with face time-which we looked at earlier, and if you are shooting videos of yourself, which we'll look at later on this chapter.

Now the last thing I'd like to show you here is a really useful feature introduced in iOS 5. Sometimes you need to get your camera quickly in order to catch a shot, but it's really time consuming to unlock your phone and locate, and tap the camera app. By the time you get through all of that, you might have missed your shot. So instead when your phone is locked, double click the Home button. That puts this little camera button right here, so you can tap that to open the camera app and then take your shot. Note however that you can only review the photos you've taken, since opening the camera. This prevents anyone from picking up your iPhone and checking out all the photos in your camera roll without your permission.

You have to unlock your phone before you have full access to your camera roll.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for iPhone and iPod touch iOS 5 Essential Training
iPhone and iPod touch iOS 5 Essential Training

123 video lessons · 19500 viewers

Garrick Chow
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 3s
    1. Welcome
      1m 13s
    2. Upgrading to iOS 5
      3m 50s
  2. 42m 59s
    1. A tour around the iPhone and iPod touch
      6m 39s
    2. The Home screen and Home button
      2m 43s
    3. Organizing apps on the Home screen with folders
      1m 11s
    4. Running apps and multitasking
      3m 47s
    5. Choosing and controlling sounds
      3m 24s
    6. Learning finger gestures
      3m 35s
    7. Connecting to a Wi-Fi network
      2m 47s
    8. Using the Notification Center
      4m 13s
    9. Using Twitter
      3m 21s
    10. Charging the battery
      2m 54s
    11. Setting up an iTunes account
      3m 15s
    12. Printing from an iPhone using AirPrint
      2m 6s
    13. Displaying the iPhone screen on a TV
      3m 4s
  3. 14m 16s
    1. Understanding the keyless keyboard
      1m 57s
    2. Fixing typos and trusting autocorrect
      6m 11s
    3. Select, copy, paste, and undo
      3m 13s
    4. Hidden shortcuts
      1m 12s
    5. Syncing a Bluetooth keyboard
      1m 43s
  4. 32m 33s
    1. Getting the latest version of iTunes
      1m 44s
    2. Connecting your iPhone to a Mac or PC
      5m 10s
    3. Syncing music, movies, and ringtones
      6m 40s
    4. Syncing photos from a Mac
      4m 37s
    5. Syncing photos from a PC
      3m 30s
    6. Syncing contacts and calendars from a Mac
      2m 57s
    7. Syncing contacts and calendars from a PC
      2m 49s
    8. Backup options
      3m 15s
    9. Wireless syncing
      1m 51s
  5. 59m 55s
    1. Basic phone activities
      2m 40s
    2. Adding and managing Favorites
      2m 22s
    3. Accessing voicemail
      3m 39s
    4. Receiving calls
      2m 43s
    5. Using the iPhone during a call
      5m 17s
    6. Using FaceTime
      4m 28s
    7. Making conference calls
      2m 30s
    8. Adding recent calls to your contacts
      2m 37s
    9. Sharing contacts
      2m 34s
    10. Assigning specific photos and ringtones to contacts
      4m 31s
    11. Using the included headset
      2m 35s
    12. Connecting a Bluetooth headset
      4m 0s
    13. Forwarding your calls
      1m 43s
    14. Turning Call Waiting on and off
      1m 3s
    15. Turning Caller ID on and off
      1m 9s
    16. Creating custom ringtones with iTunes
      6m 16s
    17. Texting, MMS, and iMessage
      9m 48s
  6. 31m 5s
    1. Importing email accounts from a computer
      1m 55s
    2. Setting up Exchange, MobileMe, Gmail, Yahoo, or AOL email accounts
      3m 37s
    3. Setting up other email accounts
      2m 8s
    4. Keeping email synced with your computer
      4m 36s
    5. Composing email
      4m 4s
    6. Receiving and reading email
      6m 47s
    7. Searching your mailboxes
      2m 21s
    8. Setting email options
      5m 37s
  7. 26m 35s
    1. Web browsing with Safari
      7m 5s
    2. Saving bookmarks and viewing the History list
      5m 22s
    3. Saving images
      2m 34s
    4. Filling out forms and using autofill
      3m 48s
    5. Creating Web Clips
      2m 29s
    6. Using Reader and the Reading List
      1m 47s
    7. Internet tethering
      3m 30s
  8. 27m 9s
    1. Browsing your library
      2m 40s
    2. Playing and controlling music
      6m 30s
    3. Playing and controlling videos
      3m 23s
    4. Using the included earbud controls
      2m 55s
    5. Adjusting your iPod settings
      5m 13s
    6. Browsing and buying with the iTunes app
      3m 15s
    7. Using AirPlay to stream content wirelessly from an iPhone to an Apple TV or AirPort Express
      3m 13s
  9. 39m 12s
    1. Shooting still photos with your iPhone
      7m 32s
    2. Shooting better photos using HDR and grid lines
      2m 56s
    3. Viewing and editing still images
      7m 16s
    4. Customizing your wallpaper
      3m 20s
    5. Shooting video
      2m 53s
    6. Viewing and editing video
      2m 28s
    7. Taking screenshots
      1m 14s
    8. Sharing photos and video
      5m 8s
    9. Geotagging photos
      4m 26s
    10. Creating photo albums
      1m 59s
  10. 19m 7s
    1. Getting your location with Maps
      2m 32s
    2. Finding addresses and nearby businesses
      2m 42s
    3. Bookmarking locations
      2m 26s
    4. Getting directions
      5m 19s
    5. Showing traffic and alternate maps
      1m 46s
    6. Using Street View
      2m 11s
    7. Using the Compass app
      2m 11s
  11. 18m 9s
    1. Adding events to your calendar
      5m 14s
    2. Subscribing to calendars
      1m 45s
    3. Setting Time Zone support
      2m 8s
    4. Using the Clock app
      5m 27s
    5. Setting reminders
      3m 35s
  12. 6m 39s
    1. Using the Notes app
      2m 55s
    2. Using the Voice Memos app
      3m 44s
  13. 7m 38s
    1. Using the Stocks app
      2m 29s
    2. Using the Calculator app
      50s
    3. Using the YouTube app
      2m 54s
    4. Using the Weather app
      1m 25s
  14. 17m 13s
    1. Understanding the App Store
      4m 36s
    2. Browsing the App Store on the iPhone or iPod touch
      5m 24s
    3. Purchasing apps
      6m 35s
    4. Finding app settings
      38s
  15. 16m 1s
    1. Airplane mode
      1m 40s
    2. Wi-Fi
      3m 25s
    3. Brightness
      55s
    4. About
      2m 24s
    5. Usage
      3m 46s
    6. Date and time settings
      1m 10s
    7. Restrictions
      2m 41s
  16. 12m 24s
    1. Auto-lock
      1m 22s
    2. Passcode lock
      4m 37s
    3. Find My iPhone
      6m 25s
  17. 17m 22s
    1. Introducing Siri
      6m 8s
    2. Listening and responding to messages
      1m 36s
    3. Setting reminders
      2m 18s
    4. Dictating in apps
      1m 50s
    5. Voice control for non-iPhone 4S devices
      5m 30s
  18. 16m 0s
    1. Begin by restarting
      1m 2s
    2. Force-quitting apps
      35s
    3. Rebooting
      42s
    4. Resetting
      2m 15s
    5. Erasing and restoring
      4m 33s
    6. Checking for updates
      1m 39s
    7. Extending battery life
      5m 14s
  19. 29s
    1. Next steps
      29s

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