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Beat boredom with these fun photo ideas for iPhone and iPad

Jeff Carlson | March 24, 2015
Trapped inside due to weather? Itching to make photos but you've been too busy? Or do you just have a few hours to kill? It's easy to think we can't capture photos unless we wake up before dawn to welcome the sunrise or travel to picturesque locales, but fun photos can be made anywhere and at any time.

Trapped inside due to weather? Itching to make photos but you've been too busy? Or do you just have a few hours to kill? It's easy to think we can't capture photos unless we wake up before dawn to welcome the sunrise or travel to picturesque locales, but fun photos can be made anywhere and at any time.

They also don't require expensive, dedicated photo gear. Here are three photo ideas for boring days that you can create with an iPhone or iPad that you probably already have at hand.

Fun with long exposures

The iPhone and iPad cameras are designed to capture the best possible image in a fraction of a second, without you worrying about the individual capture settings. But it's within those particulars, namely the shutter speed, that you can have fun.

Using an app such as Manual, Long Expo Pro, or Slow Shutter Cam, you can play around with longer shutter speeds. Generally, a longer speed is used in dark situations to bring more light to the image sensor. There's a drawback, though: if anything moves in the frame, it ends up blurry.

But on a boring day, that's where things get creative. Keeping the shutter open results in interesting visuals when you move something in front of the camera lens (or move the device itself). Manual can keep the shutter open for up to half a second (shown as 0"5); Long Expo Pro can do 16 seconds; and Slow Shutter can wait a leisurely 60 seconds before it stops recording the image. Both of the latter apps also include a Bulb mode that keeps capturing until you press the shutter button again.

Long Expo Pro and Slow Shutter also include modes that are designed to enhance motion blur or star trails, even in daylight where normally a long exposure would wash out the image.

Clone yourself and others

It's not possible to actually clone ourselves (which would finally enable me to do all my laundry), but we can photograph whimsical scenarios where we appear multiple times. The trick is to take multiple photos and combine them into one.

To save yourself a lot of hassle when merging the photos later, put your iOS device on a tripod or other stable mount so it doesn't move between exposures. Then, capture two or more photos where the subject (you or someone else) appears in different locations within the frame. Make sure you don't place the person where he or she might overlap one of the other positions, and keep an eye out for shadows that would normally fall across them all.

To combine the images, open Photoshop Mix (free, but requires an Adobe ID, which you can get for free online or in the app). Create a new project by tapping the + button, and then choose two of the images you shot.

 

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