iPhoneography – Part II

So now you know what your camera can do straight out of the box, let’s start getting into the fun creative aspect of iPhoneography

** Watch out for the exercise at the bottom – and send us your pics on Twitter or Instagram!**

Welcome to the wild wild world of ‘Photographic Design Elements’  

“To achieve visual unity is a main goal of graphic design. When all elements are in agreement, a design is considered unified. No individual part is viewed as more important than the whole design. A good balance between unity and variety must be established to avoid a chaotic or a lifeless design” (wikipedia).

So what are design elements REALLY? It’s a simple and complex answer. The Simple is: they make your photo better: The Complex is: the multitudes of elements and HOW you use them to create compelling images. Subtle or Overt.  We’re gong to tackle in the simplest terms the main elements used in composing images. This is where your eye, your style, your taste comes into play with your iPhoneography

Learn the Rules. Then learn how why and when to break them. But most importantly –  KNOW the WHY.

Depth of Field

This is your field of focus. Your camera WANTS to decide for you what and where to focus. You are are going to give a stern talking to and go Manual (AE and AF LOCK). To lock either your focus or Exposure, you need to open your camera, touch the place in your image that you want to lock in the focus (so your camera doesn’t take over and control this) and then wait until the YELLOW AE/AF LOCK block comes on. Now your focus and exposure are locked. Oh – And don’t forget to turn it off later – that could seriously mess your images up when you’re not thinking about it the next time your using your camera.

When you have a choice of close or distant objects to focus on, and it picks close, then the rest of the image will be out of focus. When everything is distant (on a similar focal plane) then the camera will generall y be able to put it all into focus. But when you can CHOOSE what the focal point will be and learn how to use it, it can isolate items in your image, pull your attention to whatever it is you choose to ‘pop’ that element out with focus, then the creative powers are in your hands now! You can choose close, mid distance, far away, or far enough away that its all in focus.

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Longer depth of field
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Shallow Depth of field

Quality & Direction of Light

Light changes all the time. But there are 3 things to ‘focus’ on (pardon the pun) when it come to assessing and using.

Quality: Have you noticed that the light looks different from sunrise to mid day to end of day? The color cast (warm early and late – cool daytime and in the shade). Even the seasons from winter to summer vary. Color cast is very important when considering light. Shade is cold, blue, and end of day is a golden cast. Tuck that away in the back of your mind for a bit.

Quantity: Night, Day, Inside & Out.  Natural vs Strobe/Flash short vs long exposure


Front Lighting – this is the most typical use of light.  The light source is directly in front of the subject. You get context, detail, colour. Its the most natural and obvious way to use light and what we’ve all been taught. To place your subject so that the light falls onto the face, or object.

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front side back side front

Side lighting you get shadows and texture. Try looking at your skin lit from the side. Its not particularly flattering really. It brings out every little bump. Thats the texture. But it is dramatic!

Backlit is an extraordinary form when used correctly. Its all about shape. You can use backlighting in daytime and expose for the subject but everything else will be over exposed and blown out. You can have some gorgeous sunbeams and filters. Or you can have the dark Film Noire feel when used at night to focus only on the shape and form.

Ghoul Lighting. All I can say to this is unless you are doing a horror movie – dont bother. It’s so unflattering and unnatural. Our eyes are not used to seeing things lit from below and its very strange and awkward and unpleasing to the eye. Creates tension for sure.

Patterns & Broken pattern

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Pattern gives our eyes something to follow, direction, and purpose. Its identifiable, geometric and strong. Close attention to patterns can create a feeling of a bigger picture. What lays outside the frame. Our eyes recognize patterns very quickly and so its great to use in marketing design (think of the big rows of vegetables at your local veggies stand and how appealing and yummy they all look (if they are well organised as well).






On the opposite side of this you’re breaking the rule. Broken Pattern. Use it, but know WHY and HOW. Try and use this with color, placement, and focus. Give the  broken pattern even more impact. The one glass thats empty versus all full, the open window of the apartment building all the rest closed, or the post painted a different color than the rest, the red car in a sea of silver. The main point here being emphasise your broken pattern. Use it to your advantage. The eye will search and find. Let your image do the work for you.

Next Up…more design principles and how to incorporate them into your business!

Todays Exercise. Go out on your lunch break or around the office and LOOK for the direction of the light, where its coming from and then search for patterns and broken patterns and upload your images to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag: #headhuntersmelbourne.

I cant wait to see what you can find today!

iPhoneography for your Business – Part I

mobile ready web Head-Hunters Business & Corporate Images Photography

Using your smart phone for business is not only a necessity these days, but can be a great way to initiate business, connect, engage and market. This iPhoneography series is going help you ‘create’ conversations with the flick of a finger.


You have a very powerful phone under those fingertips of yours. Im going to give you some PRO tips to really maximise your images, create stunning imagery for your potential clients and help you engage them more often. Give them what they want and keep them on the hook. In this 3 Part Series I’m going to teach you how maximise your smartphone, image making, post production and marketing. 3…2…1…GO!

(quick disclaimer – this is geared towards iPhone users, but is applicable to ANY smartphone – so stay tunes Galaxy and Google users!

Here are technicals on your phone – all good things to know about using your iPhone 5

Your phone has a WHOPPING 8 megapixels, front facing camera. Thats about what most professionals used to use use 5-7 years ago with their fancy DSLRs. It takes amazing pictures to be sure.

credits: www.photigy.com
Credits: www.photigy.com

In fact I recently saw a comparison between a medium format camera and the iphone and I have to say that I could barely tell the difference. Check out this comparison of an iPhone vs a Hasselblad over here at Photigy.com

Now the other thing worthy noting here is that your Front Facing camera (for FaceTime and selfies) is only 1.2 Megapixels…so you know which one is going to be better now. And for the geeks out there – (you know who you are) the aperature is 2.4. Pretty amazing…but we’ll get onto that later.

Social Media Image Use Statistics

headHunters Social Media Ok its number time…INSANE Number time to be exact. Any question as to HOW many people are using images now and how the big brands are asserting their marketing dominance in images?

  • Twitter: 58 Million tweets per day / Now you can add up to 6 images per tweet  to reach out to those 650 Million users
  • Facebook: 350 Million photo/day (48% users share ‘selfies’)
  • Instagram: 60 million photos per day @1.6 Billion likes. Brands Nike, Starbucks, NBA. 50 Top brands have 1.5 Million viewers.


 So What Your Phone can do now?Headhunters_iPhone

Here are a few things that you may or may not know – Give them a try!

  • You can swipe to open from lock screen
  • Turn on Grid View (Settings/Photo&Camera/Grid Slider on). This will come in handy when you are trying to figure out what the heck the ‘Rule of Thirds’ is later on in this tutorial
  • Use hort burst mode by holding your finger DOWN on the camera button and listen for the glorious artifical clicking sound to rattle off. Watch out. These pictures will EAT up your memory fast so remember to delete them as you go.
  • Set Focus and Exposure (tapping) (moving to lower light and back up – foreground & background choice)
  • Lock the Focus and Exposure (AE/AF Lock yellow image will appear at top of screen)
  • Try the HDR Photo (High Dynamic Range – takes the lightest parts and merges them with the darkest so you get ALL the detail of the image) Be careful about the Auto On/Off feature of this. Otherwise you will be snapping 2 pictures EVERY time you use your camera.
  • Did you know that you can take photos with volume buttons – comes in handy for those selfies!
  • Take secret photos with using your headphones as a shutter release button! Give THAT a try!
  • Geotagging  – pretty cool feature where you add the GPS information into your images so that later you can give up your complete Privacy about where you’ve been (or let Big Brother follow you around).


Image Orientation

Headhunters_heashotsHeadHunters Photography - Nikki Ellis-5 HeadHunters_Headshots Melbourne panorama

  1. Portrait
  2. Landscape
  3. Square (Instagram)
  4. Panorma

So you have many options for orientation on your phone. Choose what works best for the image and composition. Zoom with your feet. Leave cropping as a last option!

So there you have it. Part I of iPhoneography…Now you know what your iPhone camera  is capable of…next down the line are Photography Design Elements. This is where we REALLY dig into creating great pictures…Then to top it all off is the final “Piece de Resistance”, APP an post production awesomeness! See you soon, and get that phone out at least ONCE today and post something to your Social Media Pages! Engagement is the KEY!