Chasing Light Artistic Tools for Creatives


Learning to use your smart phone to take better pics of your family

Nikki HarrisonComment

This is a series we will be discussing over the upcoming months, for new or hobby photographers that just want to learn how to take better pictures of your kids, pets and family.

I find myself using my iPhone more and more too.  The convenience can’t be beat, that’s for sure.  Sometimes when I go on vacation, I only bring my iPhone because it really can take great pictures. Unless you are planning on going pro, it will suffice - but if you want lots more possibilities, then look at a DSLR or mirrorless for sure.

However, like the people that buy the DSLR's, what stays the same is that parents aren’t getting the most out of their mobile phone cameras (just like they didn’t get the most out of their fancy cameras).

This upcoming technique is especially good with pets who are always on the move.

This upcoming technique is especially good with pets who are always on the move.


Today's Tip

Let’s start off by helping you with a common frustration (especially when you come from a real camera, which is significantly faster): “missing the moment because the camera was too slow.”  There’s all kinds of moments that we miss by just a second or two:

  • The perfect expression or moment - like a kiss or a surprise…
  • A missed cherished moment when your child performed or excelled at a long awaited moment
  • The landmark anniversary or birthday moment
  1. Long press (tap and hold) where you want to set your focus.  A yellow “AE/AF Lock” rectangular icon will appear at the top of your screen.  You’re now locked on to your subject.
  2. Next to your yellow focus square, slide your finger up to increase the brightness or down to decrease the brightness.
  3. Take the pic. Or a few.  Or 100.  It won’t go back to normal or reset until you tap somewhere else on the screen.

Remember: if you have your focus and exposure pre-set and locked, your camera will have virtually no dreaded shutter lag. And as a result, all it takes is a little bit of preparedness and forethought and you’ll experience far fewer misses!

Save Images You Think are Not Good

Tutorials-WorkshopsNikki Harrison

Because as you grow as a photographer and maybe a digital artist, these files that you may think are lousy this year, may be something you can actually work with later as your photoshop skills improve. Unfortunately, I had a bad accident 3 yrs into my photography journey, and I lost every single image I took prior to that day.  It saddens me greatly, when I think of all the stock images I had and all the images I would be able to work with now.  The external backing up system for our treasured images is SO important, I cannot stress that enough.

Here is a prime example of an image that had lousy lighting and colour balance when I took it a few years ago.  Now it is fun to see it transform in Photoshop.  I used Retouch + "Striped Wallpaper" from the Vintage Texture Set to assist in the edit of this image.

CL Save old Photos