January 2018

Bring Your Device to Class and Learn How to Use it

 Google Forums Help

This month we will be using Google Photos on-line product. There are many forms of APPS made by Google. You can find specific help with many of their products from the forum site. Often, you can find answers to your problem that are not on Google’s posted help panels

 Photography Advice

Composition Tips For Taking Better iPhone Photos

Posted by Kate Wesson |  comments5

Composition is the key to getting your iPhone photos noticed. Anyone can point a camera and take a photo, but it takes a more skilled photographer to compose a shot that’s visually appealing and holds the viewer’s attention. In this tutorial you’ll discover 10 of the most important composition guidelines to help make your iPhone photos stand out.
Composition is simply the way you arrange the key elements or subjects in a scene. With each photo that you take, you should ask yourself the following questions:
·        How can I draw attention to the main subject?
·        How can I lead the viewer’s eye into and around the image?
·        How can I eliminate distracting parts of the scene?
·        With these questions in mind, let’s take a look at some important composition techniques to help improve your iPhone photos.

1. Include A Focal Point

A photo should include a main subject or point of interest. This focal point gives your photo meaning and offers the viewer a place for their eye to rest. Without a focal point your image is unlikely to hold the viewer’s attention for long.

When taking photos, always ask yourself “What is the main point of interest in this scene?” or “What is my main subject?” Including a focal point is often easy, but sometimes you need to search out an interesting subject to include in your scene.·     
The sheep in this image provide a focal point. Without them the photo would be a pretty boring landscape and wouldn’t hold your attention for long. The sheep provide a place for your eye to rest once you’ve looked around the image.

Once you’ve identified a main subject or point of interest, you can then build your composition around that focal point to draw attention to it. The following composition techniques will help you with this.

2. Follow The Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is all about where you position the main elements in a scene. The rule (which is really just a guideline) suggests that an image will look more balanced and aesthetically pleasing if you position important parts of the scene off-center.
Switch the gridlines on in your iPhone’s camera app to display two horizontal and two vertical lines. The rule of thirds suggests that the most powerful areas of the image are the four points where the lines intersect, and that our eyes are naturally drawn to these areas first. Position your main subject on one of these intersections to give the most emphasis to your subject.
The most important part of the above photo is the child’s face. Following the rule of thirds, the face was positioned on the top right intersection. While it’s best to apply the rule of thirds when you’re taking photos, you can also do it by cropping the image afterwards.





 What is HDR and When Should I Use It In My Photos?

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range imaging, and it's an old photography practice recently introduced to cameraphones like the iPhone and some Android devices (or with the use of special apps). You're on the right track: it's supposed to make your pictures look better, but it depends on when you use it. Here's a quick primer on how HDR works, and when you should—and shouldn't—turn it on.
HDR, as its name implies, is a method that aims to add more "dynamic range" to photographs, where dynamic range is the ratio of light to dark in a photograph. Instead of just taking one photo, HDR uses three photos, taken at different exposures. You can then use image editing software to put those three images together and highlight the best parts of each photo. In the case of HDR on smartphones, your phone does all the work for you—just snap your picture and it'll spit out one regular photo and one HDR photo. The result is something that should look more like what your eyes see, rather than what your camera sees.
This is why, when you turn HDR mode on, your phone takes a little longer to take the photo. It's actually taking three pictures, rather than just one. Check out the image above for an example. It wasn't taken with a cameraphone, but it's a good demonstration of what HDR can do. If you want more detailed information on how HDR works, our friends at the How-To Geek have a great explainer. Photo by Mszklanny.
When You Should Use HDR
As we said, HDR is designed to help you take better-looking photos, especially in certain situations. Here's where you should try using HDR:
  • Landscapes: Big landscape photos usually have a lot of contrast between the sky and land, which is difficult for your camera to deal with in just one photo. With HDR, you can capture the sky's detail without making the land look too dark, and vice versa.
  • Portraits in Sunlight: We all know that lighting is one of the most important aspects of a good photo, but too much lighting on someone's face—like harsh sunlight—can cause dark shadows, bright glare, and other unflattering characteristics. HDR can even that all out and make your subject look better.
  • Low-Light and Backlit Scenes (see above): If your photo is looking a little too dark—which often happens if your scene has too much backlight—HDR can brighten up the foreground without washing out the well-lit portions of your photo. Photos by Jacob Reiff.
When You Shouldn't Use HDR
  • Photos with Movement (see above): If any of your subjects are moving (or might move), HDR increases the chance of a blurry photo. Remember, HDR takes three pictures, so if your subject moves between the first and second shot, your final picture won't look very good. Photo by William Hook.
  • High-Contrast Scenes: Some photos look better with stark contrast between the dark and light parts of the photo, like if you have a dark shadow or silhouette you want to highlight. HDR will make this less intense, resulting in a less interesting photo.
  • Vivid Colors: If your scene is too dark or too light, HDR can bring some of the color back. However, if you're dealing with colors that are already very vivid, HDR can wash them out.
Luckily, most HDR cameraphones will give you two images: one with HDR turned off, and one with it turned on. That means that you can always give HDR a shot and see what the comparison looks like before turning it off altogether (as long as you have time to sit through the extra few seconds of photo-taking). As with all things photography, you can't go wrong experimenting! These guidelines should help you out, but don't be afraid to snap a few photos and look at them later. Once you get the hang of it, HDR can be a great tool for getting better pictures. While you're at it, check out our general tips for taking better pictures on your phone, too.
Don't Forget Basic Photography Rules
After doing lots of research and asking around, some of the best tips I got were the most obvious (yet rarely heeded) rules of photography. When you use your phone's camera, make sure you aren't forgetting about the basics.
It's important with all cameras to make sure your subject is facing the light source and you're not, but it's even more important with phone cameras (Unless, of course, you wantto take a silhouette—like all rules, this can be bent). As I mentioned above, your phone's biggest weakness is its inability to take good pictures in low light, which means you generally will want to get as much light as you possibly can on your subject. This may require a bit more thought and a bit more moving around than it might with a point-and-shoot camera, but you'll thank yourself in the end.
Clean Your Lens
It may seem silly, but give your lens a wipe down before you start snapping photos with your phone. While most people are pretty good about keeping their grubby fingers away from camera lenses, it's not as easily done with 
You've probably heard this one a million times, but we can't overstate how useless this feature is. If you need to get closer to a subject, you're much better off stepping closer to them. If you can't, you can always crop the picture later on, which is all digital zoom really does. Remember, you can always crop down, but you can't crop up.


sample of camera screen and filter choices.
following are photos created using Adjustments when camera is off Auto focus.