Andy’s iPhone photography tips

Category: News, Date: 3 December 2018

Photography tips with Round and Round Coffee

We get a lot of comments about photos of our travels and often get asked what kind of camera we use. You might not believe it but the answer is an iPhone 7!

We didn’t have the budget for a fancy SLR camera as every cent we had went into getting our travelling coffee business on the road.

Andy is the main photographer on our trip and he has a great eye for detail. Here’s his top tips for taking amazing shots on an iPhone that will be sure to make all your friends jealous or wow your audience on social media. We’ve also given some detail about where these fabulous places are so you may want to check them out on your travels around Australia.

  1. The Bogey Hole, Newcastle NSW (feature pic)

This is one of our favourite action shots. Located beneath a headland and providing a spectacular vantage point to view the ocean, the Bogey Hole is a convict-built baths carved out of a rock and built way back in 1819 and is well worth checking out. It’s not every day that the swell is this big and is usually quite a safe swimming spot.

The moment: This shot is all about capturing the moment. Being in the right place at the right time. I guess that’s the key to any good action shot. This was a live photo. The good thing about taking live photos on your iPhone is that it will take 3 seconds of footage that you can then scroll through every frame to choose the perfect shot. As with all my photos, I then open them up in VSCO. This is my app of choice when it comes to editing on your phone. With shots like these, I like to bump up the contrast a little, up the clarity slightly, increase the temperature in the white balance settings and to really make those water colours pop, I give the saturation a nudge. It came up pretty shmick I reckon.

  1.  Flower in Billabong in Maryborough, QLD

Whilst camping in the bush on the Mary River, I snapped this awesome shot of a lotus flower floating in  a billabong. The key to getting this shot is a steady hand and holding your phone perfectly flat (the camera app on your iPhone with have crosshairs to help keep it level). You don’t want to get too close as your phone doesn’t have a macro lens you’ll end up with a blurry shot. In VSCO I really liked to push up the clarity in shots like these to bring out all the textures of those beautiful petals and any water drops on the surface. I give the saturation a little boost to bring out the colours and lower the temperature in the White Balance settings. What an amazing flower!

  1. Random house in Harrington, NSW

Quirky buildings are one of my favourite things to shoot. From outback sheds to strange architecture, there’s just something I love about capturing something that quite often goes unnoticed. And if a pelican wants to fly through my shot right at that moment, that’s just a bonus!

This shot was taken before I discovered VSCO and was edited using the stock Photos app which has some surprisingly powerful editing capabilities. I chose the Vivid Warm filter which really gives those summery bright colours. I then adjusted the brilliance to full which is in the light settings. Simple as that! These shots are all about simplicity.

  1. Jess and Wazza, Finch Hatton, QLD.

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

One of the best people we’ve met on our trip and now good friend, Wazza invited us to his treehouse abode, where we shared a meal and he told us many of his famous stories. It was a very special evening we will never forget.

While Wazza and Jess were looking through one of his old photo albums by torchlight, I noticed an amazing glow reflecting from the cellophane covered pages. I hate using the flash to take photos so this was a perfect opportunity with just the right amount of light to capture this beautiful moment.

The iPhone is notorious for taking very grainy photos in low light situations, but if you can create enough light and keep a steady hand you should be able to get some sharp results.

For this shot I used the C7 Chromatic filter in VSCO and upped the clarity to bring out the textures, I slightly increased the temperature in White balance and just a little extra saturation. The end result is a nice warm glow which is exactly what I was trying to capture.

  1. Poona Palms Caravan Park, QLD

This caravan park lies on the Great Sandy Straight, adjacent to Fraser Island and is a fisherperson’s paradise.

The first time we stayed at the Poona Palms Caravan Park we were lucky enough to spot this amazing hand crafted, one of a kind vessel. It is a sight to behold! The sunset colours over the water here are just stunning and with the added smoke from a distant pine forest burn off add to the mood of this shot. This is another photo edited only with the stock Photos app. Most of the work was already done but I added the Dramatic warm filter and brought up the Brilliance slightly and viola! How cool are those ripples and that reflection? I wonder where this boat is now.

Sunset shots don’t often require much editing, if any at all. Obviously it’s all about timing. For me the magic happens after the sun has gone down and the sky starts showing off an amazing pastel palette of beautiful pinks, oranges and blues. If you want to boost these colours, I suggest minor adjustments of warmth and saturation.

  1. A swimming pool in Eden, NSW

Did you know that all iPhones since and including the iPhone 7 are basically waterproof?! This means they are splash, water and dust resistant, it also means that your iPhone 7 will have no trouble being submerged under one metre of water for up to 30 minutes.

This photo was taken on Christmas Day while having fun with our family in the pool. A perfect sunny day combined with the bright pink reflections from Jess’s swimming outfit plus a few bubbles made for a cool, almost abstract underwater photo.

Using the stock Photos app I chose the Vivid Cool filter which brings out those bright colours especially that cool blue water. No more work was needed with this one, it was just a lucky shot, and would make a cool print I reckon!

When taking under water photos, be wary of water remaining in your charging port and speaker/mic holes. A good tip for clearing these is to play some music really loud through the speakers and this will blast out any water from the speaker grill. Make sure you blow out the charging port and do not charge until completely dry otherwise you risk damaging your phone.

Living on the road, travelling to many of Australia’s beautiful places gives opportunity to capture these and create amazing images. Get creative, keep a steady hand, think about framing your composition, find quirky things, take your time and you’ll get some great shots. But most of all, just have fun with it!

Jess and Andy

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