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Taking Great Photos is a Snap with My iPhone

Updated on July 31, 2014

Making Use of Your iPhone Camera

It's amazing what you can do with your iPhone these days. One of my favorite things about my iPhone is that it's easy to take some pretty good pictures with it. I've never been good with the camera so it helps that it's so darn easy. There are no complicated buttons or special tricks you have to learn.

It's basically a push of a button! Obviously you're still going to have to hold your camera steady and a sense of composition helps, but it's way easier than anything I've ever used in my life. I've never been a great photographer but have always loved taking photos, trying to capture a specific moment in my life.

My iPhone lets me do this and so much more! Download some free photo applications and elevate your photos to make them look even better.

*All photos taken by myself unless otherwise noted.

Photography is a Great Hobby

My photo of fall leaves in Hakone
My photo of fall leaves in Hakone

The great thing about the iPhone (or any smartphone for that matter) is that you'll always have a camera with you wherever you take your phone. You never know when you'll stumble upon something you want to take a snapshot of.

Living in Tokyo, we are fortunate to have four distinct seasons, treating us to a constant change of scenery. Even on a simple walk around my neighborhood reveals things that are new. The beauty of the individual seasons are fleeting and I strive to capture the essence and the unique characteristic of each.

Create Works of Art with Your iPhone

The Art of iPhone Photography: Creating Great Photos and Art on Your iPhone
The Art of iPhone Photography: Creating Great Photos and Art on Your iPhone

The various photos are stunning and really show you what the iPhone can do. The tutorials teach how each image was produced from concept and inspiration to how the final photo was achieved.

 

Using Apps to Enhance Your Images

Did you know that there are tons of good apps that let you edit your photos. You can improve the look of your photos or make them more dynamic with just a few movements of your index finger.

Here are just a couple of my favorite apps that I use to make sure my photos are the best they can be.

Snapseed : This is probably the app that I use most and it sure is one powerful monster. The photo on the right was taken at the Inari Shrine in Kyoto. I changed the angle to make it more interesting as well as enhancing it using TUNE IMAGE and TILT-SHIFT in Snapseed.

moreBeaute2: This is a great app that lets anyone look flawless. Its brightens your face and eliminates flaws. If you have even a tinge of vanity in you, this app is a must! For someone like me who is almost past middle age, it's essential!

To get these apps, you can simply search for it in the app store on your iPhone in case you didn't already know that. Of course you knew that right?

Photos Taken With My IPhone - A collection of random pictures I took with my iPhone.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Walking through a park in spring, the tulips called to me.Instead of taking a picture of the entire temple structure, I sometimes find it shots like this more interesting.I'm obsessed with food so my iPhone is always with me at meals.This interesting angle of a bonsai plant.Closeups of plants fascinate me with their interesting patterns and textures.
Walking through a park in spring, the tulips called to me.
Walking through a park in spring, the tulips called to me.
Instead of taking a picture of the entire temple structure, I sometimes find it shots like this more interesting.
Instead of taking a picture of the entire temple structure, I sometimes find it shots like this more interesting.
I'm obsessed with food so my iPhone is always with me at meals.
I'm obsessed with food so my iPhone is always with me at meals.
This interesting angle of a bonsai plant.
This interesting angle of a bonsai plant.
Closeups of plants fascinate me with their interesting patterns and textures.
Closeups of plants fascinate me with their interesting patterns and textures.

Stroll the Streets with iPhone in Hand

Japanese vending machines
Japanese vending machines

I love taking walks and it really doesn't matter where because I never fail to find something that catches my attention. For instance, Tokyo is known for many things ranging from manga to sushi but visitors always comment on the plethora of vending machines littered throughout the city.

Since they are such a big part of a tourist's experience here in Tokyo, I decided to take photos of them on one of my random walks. I never really thought much about them, but focusing on them throughout the day made me realize just how many of these drink machines we have!

As I hardly ever leave home without my iPhone, it was easy to get lots of photos during my walk. The photo above was finally edited using Snapseed.

Creative iPhone Photography

Sixty Tips for Creative iPhone Photography
Sixty Tips for Creative iPhone Photography

This wonderful book really shows you how to take better and more creative pictures. Halfway through the book, I couldn't wait to go out and start using what I had learned. A very inspiring book that will have you taking super creative photos in no time.

 

Where Does One Find Inspiration?

Bicycle in Tokyo
Bicycle in Tokyo

So where exactly does one find inspiration? That's an easy question to answer because inspiration is all around you. It's really that simple! Just take a look around you. I'm sure you'll find something interesting to look at even in the confines of your home.

Every time I step out my front door, inspiration never fail to find me. Depending on the weather and even the time of day, the same old streets I see everyday can take on different moods, the sun casting shadows in various ways while the color of the sky acts as an ever-changing canvas against rooftops, treetops and concrete skyscrapers.

*Photo of a bicycle against a wall. Edited with Snapseed.

More iPhone Photography

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Grass taken up real close.A shuttered store in my neighborhood.A random breakfast on my patio.On a hike during summer.Me showing off my collection of Dance Central games.
Grass taken up real close.
Grass taken up real close.
A shuttered store in my neighborhood.
A shuttered store in my neighborhood.
A random breakfast on my patio.
A random breakfast on my patio.
On a hike during summer.
On a hike during summer.
Me showing off my collection of Dance Central games.
Me showing off my collection of Dance Central games.
old books
old books

I Never Leave Home Without My iPhone

I think it's obvious how much I love my iPhone camera. By the way, I currently use the iPhone 5S, which comes with an awesome camera.

I tried carrying around a separate digital camera on my outings, but it's simply so much easier to snap away with my iPhone.

I'll probably invest in a proper digital camera one of these days. It's even more crucial these days since I now manage a food and travel blog, which demands nothing less than great photos. But for most of my picture-taking needs, my iPhone more than meets my demands and needs.

Tokyo on Foot

Tokyo on Foot: Travels in the City's Most Colorful Neighborhoods
Tokyo on Foot: Travels in the City's Most Colorful Neighborhoods

This illustrated guide is entertaining and informative, taking you through Tokyo in a unique way. I find this book full of insights into the everyday life of Tokyo and I just love the very detailed illustrations that show aspects of Japanese life that's usually missed by outsiders. Browing through this book is like walking through side streets of Shibuya as well as a stroll through quaint old neighborhoods.

 

Do you use your iphone to take pictures? What are you drawn to when looking for photo subjects? Feel free to let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!

Are You A Photo Enthusiast?

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    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      I think you've inspired a lot of us with your iPhone photos, Smine27. It is so handy with our phones, since we always have them with us and there are so many opportunities for unique shots when we are out and about. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @ecogranny: Grace you're absolutely right about the iPhone. Night shots are terrible especially outside. Close-ups can be difficult but I find that if I use my finger to focus on the close-up ( by placing my finger and keeping it there on the screen until the object comes into focus ), it comes out pretty good.

      For lighting it sure is difficult especially during dinnertime, which is why I usually use my living room table for dinner dishes. ( Which is why you sometimes see the TV in the background if you look carefully. I use flowers sometimes to cover the TV screen or sofa in the back )

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      In fact, my iPhone is the only camera I use right now, although I have been thinking it would be nice to have the versatility and depth of a really good camera with lenses that give me both terrific closeups and long-shots. I've learned to be creative with my iPhone.

      I've also learned when the light is likely to be best for its shots, what angles work better, and such. But it takes terrible food pictures at night, which is when I am often cooking. I also feel it is difficult to get depth with the iPhone. Still, with some effort, we CAN get decent photographs, and it is so easy to whip it out of my pocket and snap a shot of a gorgeous flower or my granddaughters with their noses tipped in flour and their hands covered in dough.

      Thanks for the suggestions and for the app tips.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @ideadesigns: Thank you for your suggestions as well.

    • profile image

      ideadesigns 3 years ago

      Your photos are really inspiring. I've always loved taking photos. I use a canon rebel, but since my iphone3 I like using it too. When I upgrade I can take awesome pics like you! I like that you show what apps you use to edit. I've used instagram once, but I like Wood Camera, Camera! and DMD. I need to look into snapseed thanks!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @golfstrongly: Thanks so much for reading.

    • golfstrongly profile image

      golfstrongly 3 years ago

      Very interesting. I enjoyed reading your lens.

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @ncdvda: AWw thanks so much for that compliment!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @ncdvda: Aww thanks so much! I will try that hipstamatic.

    • ncdvda profile image

      ncdvda 3 years ago

      I can't live without my iPhone camera these days. I have two great DSLRs and a range of point and shoot cameras, but having your phone on you all the time means you can capture all those little things that jump out at you, any time. My favourite iPhone camera app is Hipstamatic. By the way, love the bicycle shot!

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @TransplantedSoul: Ever since starting squidoo, I've started to run low on memory because of taking too many pictures. ;)

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 4 years ago

      I use an Android phone - but same idea. It is great to always have your phone in your pocket.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Diana Wenzel: Aww thanks so much for those kind comments. You just made my day!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      My favorite photo is your vending machine image. Really love the vintage look and special effect. Wish I had an iPhone. Enjoyed seeing your world through your eyes and your iPhone.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @steadytracker lm: Thanks so much! I had fun!

    • steadytracker lm profile image

      steadytracker lm 4 years ago

      Thank you for entering this lens into the 2013 Squidoo County Fair

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @favored: Thanks so much for the nice comment! Hope you're having an awesome day.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      Your iphone takes better pictures then my camera. I really like the bike photo. It's my favorite. I could picture it on my wall!

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @zfarley44 lm: Thanks so much for the kind words. Tokyo can be beautiful. We just have to find them in the nooks and crannys. hehe

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @josietook: I wish I could use my digital camera. They always turn out blurry for me. lol

    • zfarley44 lm profile image

      zfarley44 lm 4 years ago

      You take some great pictures! Tokyo looks like a beautiful place to live.

    • josietook profile image

      josietook 4 years ago

      I tend to use my digital camera, but my husband loves his iPhone camera. It's really easy and quick to put photos onto social media sites with an iPhone.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Minoru10: thanks minori for visiting!

    • Minoru10 profile image

      Michael Yoshinaka 4 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

      Yes, it's so great !!!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @SusanDeppner: Thanks so much for your kind words Susan. Cheers!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I don't have an iPhone or a phone with a camera, I'm sad to say. Maybe someday. In the meantime, keep publishing yours - they're outstanding!

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @VinnWong: I totally agree with you Vinn. Have fun!

    • smine27 profile image
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      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Susan Zutautas: Thanks Susan for taking the time to comment. Snapseed is pretty awesome for a free app!

    • VinnWong profile image

      VinnWong 4 years ago

      Thanks for all the apps that you suggested. Will give them a go! I love taking photos with my iPod touch. It's so easy and makes food look great in an instant.

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I find taking pictures with my iPhone so easy to do. I can put it in my pocket and go. I do have a few digital cameras but I tend to use my iPhone more than them. I'm downloading Snapseed right now and can't wait to try it out.