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On producing great iPhone photos

The late, great photographer Ansel Adams once said "You don't take a photograph, you make it." Making photographs that are more than just snapshots requires capturing the nuances of light, dark and color. A number of professional photographers now enjoy using the iPhone as a secondary camera, and in some cases, they're doing a lot of their pro work with the iPhone's camera.

Graphics.com has an excellent post today adapted from photographer J. Dennis Thomas's new book Capturing Better Photos and Video with your iPhone. The post focuses on the impact of light on the quality of your photos, and how you can use the differing types of lighting to your advantage.

The post describes how to make the best of difficult lighting conditions. For example, hard lighting (like the mid-day sun on a bright, clear day) tends to highlight texture and can add mystery to a photo. Another good suggestion is to make sure that you take photos in hard light with the sun to your back. It may make a human subject squint, but you'll be able to avoid underexposing the photo.

Thomas suggests trying to take portraits in soft light conditions; on partly cloudy days, in shadows or with light reflected and diffused by something like an umbrella. Using side lighting to add depth to photos is another trick Thomas demonstrates, as well as using the iPhone 4's HDR capabilities to resolve problems with high contrast photo conditions.

The Graphics.com post is a fast overview, but it was enough to get me to order the book from Amazon. Regretfully, it's not available for the Kindle, Nook or iBook readers on iPad or iPhone. If you're passionate about photography and want to use your iPhone as your "go to" camera wherever you may be, be sure to check out the Graphics.com post for some helpful hints.

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