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Cheat Sheet

iPhone Photography & Video For Dummies

From iPhone Photography & Video For Dummies by Angelo Micheletti

If you own an iPhone, then you're never without a camera to snap a photo that catches your eye. And if you have an iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4, you can record digital video to document a spontaneous event. This cheat sheet provides a host of shortcuts, tips, and tricks that you might find helpful.

Tips for Steadying Your iPhone to Get Good Photos

Holding your iPhone securely while taking a photo without getting in the way of the lens takes some getting used to. Remember to keep your elbows tucked into your body.

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Composing a Photograph on Your iPhone with the Rule of Thirds

Your iPhone can capture a detailed photograph, but how well the photo is composed is up to you. One common photo-composition trick is called the Rule of Thirds. With the Rule of Thirds, you imagine lines that divide your photo into thirds both horizontally and vertically. The four "power points" are at the intersections of the lines. Put the subject in your scene at or near a power point of the photo.

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Handy iPhone Photography Apps

With over 3,000 iPhone photography apps to choose from, you might ask which ones are vital. The following two iPhone apps are both useful and easy to use and can help you get just the photo you want.

Camera Pro: Live Histogram

Understanding a histogram can help you capture the shot you want. This iPhone app gives you a live histogram while you're composing your photo! This can be a tremendous assist in obtaining good exposure of your photo.

Notice the histogram in the upper-left corner. The Select Grid Type button lets you choose from three types of guide or choose no guide. It also lets you select Single mode (one photo each time you tap the Shutter button) or Continuous mode (the app takes three photos one after the other).

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AutoStitch

Ever been out hiking or driving and suddenly you see a wondrous view that you want to capture — but the scene won't fit into one photograph! The AutoStitch iPhone app lets you take overlapping individual photos of the scene and present them to the app in any order; AutoStitch then puts the panorama together correctly. With this app, as long as you take overlapping photos, you can make the panorama at a later time.

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Using Depth of Field Techniques with the iPhone's Camera

The depth of field in your photography can have a dramatic effect on your subjects. A focus distance of four feet or more with the iPhone 3GS/4 means everything to the horizon will be in focus. But a focus distance of 4 to 18 inches can bring some compositional magic to your photos.

Depth of Field Distance Values
Focus Distance to Subject (inches) Near Focus Point (inches) Far Focus Point (inches)
4 3.5 4.5
8 6.5 10
12 9 18
18 12 34
48 and greater 19
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