Get on the Grid

Setting up your iPhone camera with the grid.

We see straight lines and composition as two very important elements of a great photo. One of the greatest, and simplest, tools to help you with this is the inbuilt grid you have on your iPhone. (if you don't have an iPhone, you may or may not have this function, have a play around on your phone or do a google to find out, it is super helpful.)

It is a great way to check if those horizon lines are straight!

Here is a step-by-step guide to getting on the grid and some music to find your grid to. If you, like me, were a teen in the 90s, this song should bring back some kind of memories (not promising they will be over favourable). 

Metering Light with Your iPhone

Your iPhone camera comes with a cool little tool. A light meter!

Some of you may know this already. Some of you, on the other hand, my be saying "woah, woah, woah … what is this light meter business?"

Light metering is all about choosing which part of your photo you want your camera to expose for, basically how light or dark to make your photo. Choosing different parts of the scene makes a huge difference in the end result of your image. 

If you choose to meter for something dark in the scene, then the camera will make the photo lighter, to capture the detail in the dark area. If you choose to meter for something light in the scene the camera will make the photo darker, so you can see all the details in the lighter area. If you choose to meter for the mid tones, then the camera will make the exposure of the photo somewhere right in the middle of light and dark. In each of the light situations we will give you some tips and tricks about what part of the scene we would meter for.  

"So how do I do this metering thing on my iPhone then?"

Metering on the iPhone is super easy to do, and once you know how, a bit addictive. You hold your camera up to compose the photo you want, and then you touch the screen on the part of the scene that you want the camera to meter for. You will straight away see the camera adjusting the light for what you have clicked on. If you don't get it quite right on the first go, then just try somewhere else, there are no limits on how many points in the photo you can try! We have been known to spend far too long finding the perfect point to meter off when we are taking pictures with our phone.

Learning how to meter on an iPhone is a great way to learn how to meter for photography in general, because you can see the cause and effect right as it is happening. Once you practice it heaps, it will become second nature, and moving on to big scary fancy cameras becomes a little bit less big and scary.

Below is a little slideshow to show you how the iPhone light meter reacts. You will see how it responds to pointing to different tones in your image.