iPhone Photography: a Fresh Perspective

Welcome back to iDownloadBlog’s lessons in iPhone photography. In the past three lessons we explored all the various aspects of creative exposure. We’ve learned how to control the overall brightness of your image in Creative Exposure, how to take your exposure/focus to the next level in Advanced Exposure, and how to get beautifully balanced exposures using HDR.

What I’d like to touch on next is a discussion surrounding composition. In future lessons, we will get into more academic approaches to composition. However, for this lesson I want it to be a fun and less stuffy. With this in mind, I thought it would be fun to explore a few easy ways to make more compelling images by simply changing your perspective…

I’d bet 98% of the world’s photographs are taken from about 5 feet above the around. That’s not to say a photo from a common perspective is a bad thing, but if you want to make more compelling images with your iPhone, you’re going to need to change your perspective. So, in today’s lesson I thought we would look at a few easy ways to do just that! The plan is to show you the context of the image, then show you the same image with a new perspective.

Get closer

I have forgotten the photographer’s name, but she was a brilliant portrait photographer for National Geographic. Her rule was very simple: get within a comfortable distance of your subject and then cut that distance in half. When you are making a portrait, whether it’s a person or Mr. Leans, they are your subject not their surroundings.

Here in this image, not only did I get closer (Mr. Leans is a very friendly and tolerant cat), but I also moved down to his level turning a rather dull image of a cat on a couch into a much more compelling portrait.

Give It Some Depth

Instead of photographing your subject straight on, move off to one side of the other and give your photograph some depth. It is an easy way to create interest and draw your viewer in.

By simply moving closer to the wall, I was able to create a sense of depth in the photograph. The emphasis on the bricks on the foreground easily created space between them and the sign in the background.

Look For Details

Something that I have to remind myself to do is look for details. It’s not natural for me. I’m always walking around singing a little ditty….”when in doubt, be on the lookout…for details”.

The image of the Bookcliffs of Colorado wasn’t really doing it for me. So, instead of giving up or settling for a bland landscape, I decided to focus on the details that make this area unique.

Look Up!

If the background is distracting, and taking away from your subject, look up! The sky makes a great simple backdrop for your subject.

The character of this old neon sign was lost in the chaos of its surrounding. To rectify that, all I did was get directly under it and look up!


I hope you have a few new tools in your creative toolbox. The assignment this week is simple, change your perspective. Apply one, or all the tricks we have learned in today’s lesson and tag your photos on Instagram with #iDBFreshPerspective so we can all follow along. I’ll be choosing a few of my favorites to share with you in our next lesson. Speaking of our next lesson, we will be taking a look at one of our first apps, Snapseed.

There are few quick housekeeping items to take care of. I will be posting new perspectives this week for you to try out over on my Facebook page so give it a ‘Like’ to follow along. Also, it seems several folks are interested in iPad Wallpapers, I share a free iPad Wallpaper in my monthly ‘Good Newsletter’.

Justin Balog is an award winning photographer and filmmaker. You can follow is daily creative adventures at HOSSedia.com or learn more about iPhone Photography in his iBook ‘Big World Little Lens‘.