We Simplify The Technical!

Selective focus, exposure adjustment, HDR and other sophisticated options are all available on your iPhone. Our executive producer, Heather Musingo, interviews Peggy Farren for her cell phone photography expertise.

*Please scroll to the bottom of the post for more images from our guest.*

Episode 159

Basic Cell Phone Photography
with Heather Musingo


  • Make sure your operating system is up to date.
  • Hold the camera correctly.
    -2 hands! Keep elbows in against your sides to steady the camera. (Especially necessary in low lighting situations.)
  • Make use of Grid Lines
    -Reminds you of the Rule of Thirds.
    -Place subject of interest where lines intersect.
    -Helps keep horizon straight.
    -Controlled in Settings menu.
  • Focus
    -Touch screen to focus on subject.
  • Exposure Compensation
    -Hold finger on screen for ½ second to show slider.
    -Slide up to brighten, down to darken.
    -Use in backlighting situations or any time automatic mode isn’t giving you what you want.
  • HDR Settings
    -High Dynamic Range – used in high contrast situations.
    Controlled in Settings menu.
  • Flash
    -Flash on the camera is very weak, but better than nothing if used as a fill flash in close-up situations.
  • Portrait Mode
    -In newer iPhones, there is an extra lens which gets you a little closer to your subject, and software for different lighting effects.
    -The software is able to blur the background.
    *Tip* – keep it set to “Natural Light” and play with editing options later.
    -This software requires a sharp contrast between the subject and the background.
  • Panoramic Mode
    -Hold the phone vertically for a horizontal pano and horizontally for a vertical pano.
    -You do NOT need to sweep across the entire length of the screen.
    -Pano Dash – able to capture a subject in the frame several times in multiple locations.
    – The phone will only record while you are MOVING it.  If you stay still, your subject can move from one location to another, then you can resume moving the camera along the axis.
    * Only tap the button when you are FINISHED, not when you stop moving.
  • Timer
    -Use the timer to avoid camera shake, especially in darker situations with a slower shutter speed.
    -Also can be used for group shots so everyone can be in the frame.
  • Focus Lock
    -Tapping the screen once over your subject allows you to focus in that spot. If you HOLD that spot for another second, you can LOCK your focus and exposure settings.
    -This is especially useful when using the timer.
  • Live Mode
    -Creates a 1.5 second video.
    -Tap and swipe up from CENTER of screen for effects options.
    – Long Exposure options blurs the frames together.
    -Bounce/Loop creates a boomerang effect.
  • Burst Mode
    -Hold shutter button for multiple shots to capture action.
  • Video
    -The image stabilization on the iPhone is amazing!
    -Some things just can’t be captured in a still image.
    -Slo-Mo enables you to edit the speed of the video.
  • Final Tips
    -The volume control on your earbuds can also control the camera shutter.
    -Siri can help you locate specific photos faster than scrolling through your entire collection.
    -Back up your images!!! If you have them stored in the “cloud”, older images may be deleted to make room for new ones.

Mentioned on the Show

Transcend JetDrive – has both phone and computer interfaces for easy image transfer.
Muvi X-Lapse – phone stand and timer for time lapse images.
Snapseed – editing software



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Gear Recommendation of the Week

Smartphone Gimbal

The DJI Osmo Mobile 2 was built to film on the go. Just select your subject and ActiveTrack will follow, using built-in sensors and a brushless motor to ensure stability. Whether it’s small vibrations from a skateboard or more intense instability from jumping, this smartphone stabilizer stays steady.





















Dancing House Hotel Cell Phone pic by Peggy Farren
Rainbow Naples Beach cell phone pic Peggy Farren
Riomaggiore Italy Cell Phone pic Peggy Farren
Lake Como pano cell phone pic Peggy Farren
Prague sunrise pano cell phone peggy farren

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