Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Shooting still photos with your iPhone, part of iOS 5: iPhone and iPod touch Essential Training.
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.
- Exploring the touchscreen interface
- Setting up iPhone and iPod touch preferences
- Synching with a Mac or PC
- Typing with the intelligent keyboard
- Making phone calls and retrieving voicemail
- Finding a location with Maps
- Downloading and playing music and video
- Shooting and editing photos and video
- Using accessibility features
- Tweeting on the iPhone
- Locating a lost iPhone with Find My iPhone
- Sending free text messages with iMessage
- Finding and purchasing applications from the App Store