What is the best way to explore and discover London? Randomly. There are unexpected finds around every curved road in London. There is no doubt about that. This is London. Take her each day. Take her at night. Take her your way and don’t let a guidebook guide you.
If you love travel photography, London is the perfect place for you. There are no shortages of photo opportunities. In fact, I write a series on this blog called “The Best Places to Photograph London” where I list all the top London photo spots. But in this post, let’s talk about capturing the best London photos with your iPhone.
The iPhone camera is convenient for spontaneous moments. It is also a power little tool that fits in your pocket. The cool thing is you only have to follow one rule. Don’t Think. Just Shoot.
Forget the postcard travel photos. Try one full day where you candidly snap shots without thinking. The idea isn’t to capture the perfect photo. Don’t review the photo just after you’ve taken it. Keep shooting. Look up. Look down. Turn sideways. Get down on the ground. Go up some steps. Try any and every angle you can imagine.
The theme is London. What will you see that is the epitome of London? What will you photograph? When you review your photos at the end of the day, the ones you see that scream LONDON are the right ones.
Soho is brilliant for this sort of candid photography. There are ample opportunities all throughout the once sordid area of the WestEnd. Try a walk along the Thames River. The Southbank is one of my all time favourite London walks. It is also full of photo opportunities.
The idea for this exercise is to strengthen how you see and your photo composition. Exploring aimlessly with your camera phone is also a fantastic way to learn more about the city. If you don’t find yourself in London, try the same photo challenge wherever you are.
I’ve listed a few tips about taking nice travel photos with your iPhone ::
10 Handy Tips for taking better travel photos with your iPhone
1. Clean your lens
This may be the silliest thing you’ve ever read as a tip for better photography, but there are so many times phones are picked up, the lens gets accidentally swiped by a finger and one forget to wipe the smudges off before snapping a photo. These photos tend to come out cloudy or blurry and the shooter doesn’t realize it until looking back at the images later when she wants to post. Carry a lens safe wipe and before any photo taking commences, wipe that lens clean.
2. Get to know your camera settings
There are a number of options in the iPhone camera settings that will allow you to have a better understanding and guide when taking any kind of photos. It takes just a few minutes to explore what the settings include and having the better understanding will help you feel just that much more comfortable with what you are looking at when you shoot. The following are some adjustments to make in your setting:
3. Keep HDR in auto mode (turn it on)
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and it blends the best aspects of three different exposures into a single photo. You are also able to keep the normal photo you take if you’re making adjustments to the screen when you snap the pic, but if you want to edit the photo after it’s been taken, the HDR photo is going to be your best version to modify.
4. Turn on the Grid
Do you ever wonder why the grid shows 2 vertical lines and 2 horizontal lines in the camera view? This is because it’s helping you set up for the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is a photography technique that has the photographer align the subject to intersect with the lines or specifically fall in one of the three divided planes of the photo. All photos don’t need to be taken with this rule in mind, as you may want to simply center a subject for a different effect. But placing the subject at the intersection of the lines can add more interesting tones to an image.
5. Avoid using the flash
Turning the flash on and off isn’t in settings, but actually in the camera app. Your best bet is to take the photo with the best natural light or add more lighting to the subject. There are a number of variables that could turn for the worse when using a flash, so best to avoid altogether.
6. Don’t shoot with a filter
There might be some default filters in the iPhone (or camera) that you love and gravitate toward, but your style or preference may change down the road and you can’t take it back. It’s best to take your photo filter free and add it later. You can always duplicate the image and add the filter to it after.
7. Turn Live Photos on or off
Live photos are essentially mini videos and now the iPhone models allow you to edit the Live Photo in a variety of ways. If you want to have the opportunity to turn it into a gif more easily, turn on Live Photos, consider the subject and it’s movement when you take the photo.
8. Never zoom
This may seem counter-intuitive, but because the iPhone camera isn’t optimized for a zoom it destroys the quality of the image the closer the zoom gets to the subject. Instead, consider two choices. 1 – get much closer to the subject. It has the potential to create a more interesting image. or 2 – take the photo as is and then zoom in later and crop. Photographing this way retains the integrity of the image and makes for both a cooler and more impressive shot.
9. Avoid using the selfie camera
Unless you’re obsessed with taking selfies, shooting any further than a short arm’s length away doesn’t make for quality images with the front lens. You may want to turn the selfie camera on to shoot yourself and see yourself in the photo while it snaps, but it won’t come out the way you hope. You’re better off setting the camera on a tripod and photographing yourself with the timer. The lens on the front of the camera isn’t as good as the one on the back.
10. Take action shots in burst mode
Burst mode is often overlooked! There’s no need for you to guess when it’s the right timing to take the shot and there’s often a delay. Hold down the shutter button and shoot away. You can go back and pick the photo with the best quality and edit from there.