Tutorial 542 from Geeks on Tour. An explanation and demonstration of two special editing tools. Depth editor allows you to increase or decrease the blur in the background of Portrait style photos. Color Pop allows you to keep the main subject in color while turning the background to black and white. Continue reading →
Tutorial video number 541 by Geeks On Tour. This is a quick demo on how to take a Portrait style photo using an iPhone. Note, your phone must be a “Plus” model or an iPhone X Portrait style means that the subject is in focus and the background is out of focus. The same effect that is produced by a DSLR camera using depth of field settings.
Do you like the photo on the right? If so, do you know how to do that with your phone?
I took both photos with my iPhone 7 Plus. The one on the right used the camera setting called “Portrait” to keep the flowers in focus and blur the background. Not all phones have this feature, but many do. On your phone it may be called Lens Blur, or Live Focus. It may be something that you see as you take the photo, or it may be something you adjust after the photo is taken.
If you have an iPhone 7 Plus, 8 Plus, or X (ten) then you have this feature. You can easily tell if you have one of those phones by looking at the camera lens. You should see two of them!
To get the Portrait effect, simply select Portrait on the camera screen. You must have a person’s face, or some other object that is clearly in the foreground of your picture, then you will see a message on the screen to move farther away, or get closer, or get more light. When the message “Depth Effect” turns gold, it’s ready to take the shot. Try it, I know you’ll like it!
PIxel XL instructions
Jim’s phone is a Pixel XL and it can take “portrait” photos as well, but it’s a completely different process. The Pixel XL only has one lens, so the depth effect is all computer generated. You still need a subject in the foreground that is distinct from the background. I chose a carved wooden candle holder from Borneo as my subject.
From the camera app:
tap the 3-line menu and choose lens blur
focus on the main subject and tap the shutter button
you’ll see a message to move the phone but keep the main subject centered. It’s a very small movement, just enough to let the phone determine the boundaries of the main subject.
As soon as you’ve moved it sufficiently, you’re done taking the photo
When you view the photo, you should see a flower icon that is the lens blur button
I moved the slider all the way to the right to get the effect above
Note – when you take your next photo, you may need to tap an X to get out of lens blur mode and back to normal.
Smartphone Photography class, May 25-26, Sedalia Missouri
If you don’t have an iPhone with dual lenses, or a Pixel XL, you need to explore your camera’s settings, maybe even read the manual, to discover if and how it can be done with your phone. Wouldn’t it be great to be in a class where a teacher can help you? That’s exactly what you can do if you’re coming to the 2018 Escapade RV rally in Sedalia, MO. Geeks on Tour is offering a pre-rally hands-on class for smartphone photography. It’s 6 hours long and Portrait mode is just one of the many things you’ll learn. See this page for more details.
Of course, Portrait mode is really intended for, you know … Portraits!
I love my Canon, it takes great photos, but, so does my iPhone 7+ and the iPhone is a lot smaller! Besides, I’ve always believed that what makes the most difference in the quality of a photo is a few seconds spent with good editing tools after the photo is taken. I believed that back with Picasa, and I believe it now with Google Photos and Snapseed. I have no ambition to be a professional photographer, that’s a completely different story. I just want to capture my memories and make them nice to look at.
We had 4 cameras with us even without the Canon! My phone, an iPhone 7+, Jim’s phone, a Pixel XL, Jim’s Samsung Camera 2, and Jim’s GoPro video camera. I enjoyed having only one camera, no decisions to make about which one to use, just learn all I could about using the iPhone. The only time I even thought about my Canon was when we were on a train or a boat. It is so much faster to grab the Canon, put it to your eye, twist the lens to zoom in and snap. That can all be accomplished in one smooth motion, 3 seconds top. With the phone, there is always a lot of fumbling to get to the right screen, squinting to see the image on the screen before snapping, and changing your grip to be able to snap the picture. I’m sure I missed a few good shots because I was too slow, but I still got plenty of nice photos. Here are a few, with notes. Many of these would not be possible with the SLR – e.g. in-camera Panoramas, selfies, animated gifs. See lots more (445 to be exact!) in our Album.
1. Duomo in Florence, Italy
iPhone 7+, Google Photos crop, auto, pop
2. Water lily in gardens at Florence, Italy
iPhone 7+, Snapseed HDR-Scape filter
3. Castiglion Fiorentino, Tuscany Italy
Pixel XL – panorama with a run-around-behind subject
4. Begonias on our terrace at El Santucce
iPhone 7+ using Portrait mode
iPhone 7+ Snapseed HDR-scape, text added with Snapseed
6. St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy at night
iPhone 7+ – selfie (front lens) so good at night exposure. no editing other than crop
Samsung Camera 2 – panorama with Google Photos Pop
8. Kayaking on the Grand Canal in Venice
iPhone 7+ on a selfie stick
9. Jim at Miramare castle, Trieste Italy
iPhone 7+ using Portrait mode
10. Boat ride in Ljubljana, Slovenia
iPhone 7+ Edited in Snapseed, HDR-scape filter, Text added
11. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
iPhone 7+ Live Photo, converted to animated gif with Motion Stills app
12. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
Samsung Camera 2 on Waterfall setting!
Smartphone Photography Workshops
We will be teaching 2 sessions of our Smartphone Photography workshops at
the FMCA Convention in Indianapolis next week. If you’ll be there, come find
us in the Info center and sign up!
On an iPhone you may notice that the pictures you take don’t fill the screen. This video shows you how to use Google Photos to crop the picture and properly fill the screen. See accompanying article at LearnGooglePhotos.com.