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Easy photography tips for iPhone 12: How to capture the best shots in own country according to Scott Woodward

Easy photography tips for iPhone 12: How to capture the best shots in own country according to Scott Woodward

Wanderlust in a frame

Text: Jean Chua


Image: Unsplash

#Travelgram might seem like a thing of the past, what with travel restrictions still firmly in place. But don't forget about domestic tourism as you mourn the lull of your wanderlust — there is but still visually aesthetic photos of Singapore's gorgeous sights. But first, you'll need to master some tips and tricks on how to perfect the art of travel photography. And there's no better man to give a photography guide than leading local photographer Scott Woodward himself who believes that you don't necessarily have to travel to document "travel photography". To be a tourist in your own city, all you need is a keen eye and a fresh perspective. The best part? You don't even need to invest in a DSLR to do so, just grab your handy iPhone 12 and abide by these tips from the man himself.

Rule of Thirds

Even if you're new to photography jargon, you've got to have somehow heard of The Rule of Thirds, the most well-known 'rule' of photographic composition — also known as 'The Rule of Thumb' when it comes to taking photos. Split your image into nine equal rectangles by two vertical lines and two horizontal lines. The Rule of Thirds dictates that you should position the most important elements in your scene (such as the subjects of the photo) along these lines, or at the points where they intersect, for more well balanced and interesting photos. This asymmetry makes photos more appealing to a viewer because it causes visual tension, you know as opposed to being boring and just standing in the middle of the photo. Pro tip: Turn on your grid in your iPhone settings to assist with guiding your composition if you can't visualise the nine spaces.

Add life to landscapes

Landscape shots are a clear winner, after all, nature is a natural beauty. But if you've ever been subjected to a friend of family member's holiday snaps, you know how dull it can get to look at dozens of scenic shots without a single human in sight. Try adding people to your landscape photographs — living elements tend to evoke stronger emotions in viewers and help to make your photos way more engaging. It doesn't mean people have to occupy a large part of the photo (not unless you're taking an OOTD) but they can just make up a little bit of space within your frame, to provide that human touch that gives scale to an image, offers perspective, and adds drama.

Golden hour

We all know that good lighting can make or break photographs. Regardless of how pretty the background is, if your pictures are hit with bad lighting, it's bound to dampen the allure of your photos. Conversely, the best images always make interesting, powerful use of light. And while artificial lighting (think ring lights) can do the trick if you're shooting indoors, for outdoor shoots, it's best to shoot during golden hour, when the sun is tilted at an angle that offers the best lighting possible. Practise to understand how light works, reflects, and warms. If possible, shoot in the warm "golden hours" of early morning and late afternoon (one hour after sunrise or one to two hours before sunset; this is when the sun is low and the light is soft and yellow/orange) so your photos will turn out best.

Blue hour (night mode)

We all know what golden hour is, but blue hour we might not be so familiar with. Blue Hour is that fleeting time when the sun has already set, but there's still some light left in the sky. This twilight period — typically about 20 minutes after sunset — is extra special and makes for prime photo lighting. During Blue Hour, the sky takes on a predominantly blue shade that is 100% natural and #NoFilter, imparting a magical sheen to your pictures for a fantasy effect. Plus, Night Mode on iPhone 12 makes it even more dramatic, as it helps bring out the detail in the dark areas of your image while preserving the romantic night time aura.

Take risks

An iPhone is much easier to handle than a DSLR, given how compact and lightweight it is, hence it's way easier to twist it left, right, and center to create interesting photographs from creative and dynamic angles. Dare to experiment and push yourself outside your comfort zone instead of just taking all your photos from the same angle, in the same style. Shoot without looking at the screen. Track a moving subject with your camera. Get on the ground and shoot up or get on a balcony and shoot down. And when it comes to your subjects, get them to diversify their poses — direct them to do jumpshots or squat, whatever you do don't just stand there and give the classic Asian cheese pose. The more creative you get, the more you'll learn about what works and what doesn't and the more interesting your photographs will be...or maybe you'll just get lucky and stumble across a beautiful accident.

For the full lowdown on the iPhone 12 fleet, click here.

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