Photography for Learning: 7 Top Tips for Capturing The Perfect Photo with iPad

By Matt Watkins

If your school uses iPads. then I can guarantee that either yourself as the teacher or your pupils have captured lots of photos using the built-in Camera. Photography can be a vehicle to capture learning in action and enhance assessment. It can connect learning to everyday experiences and enable pupils to expand their thinking and communicate their learning through different mediums.

Taking a photo with iPad is easy; open the Camera App, point and shoot. However, taking a great photo which effectively communicates the desired message can be challenging. In this blog, I would like to share 7 simple tips and tricks that you can use in your classrooms to capture the best possible photos using the built-in features of the iPad. 

1) Hold it Steady

This first tip may sound simple but I have seen many young iPad photographers come unstuck when it comes to holding the iPad in their best way to capture a great photo. Older pupils may not struggle with this as much but I always teach younger ones to hold the iPad landscape with ‘fingers on the back, thumbs on the front’. By simply re-enforcing this method for holding the iPad will help pupils to steady themselves to take that one best photo.

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2) Is it in focus?

Making sure your focus is spot on is a must. It can really help when the background is pi- sharp and the subject in the foreground is fuzzy. This is where the Focus Lock feature comes in. If you tap and hold on the subject in the foreground you will enable Focus Lock on your image. Now you can reach for the shutter button knowing the slightest of movements will not change your focus. 

3) I can't bend my finger that way!

So, you have framed the perfect image and all you need to do now is press the button to take the photo. You move your hand slightly to let your thumb or finger reach the shutter button and then......the image is spoiled by either a wonky horizon or a shaky image. Fear not as there are 2 ways to overcome this. First of all, you can use the + button on the toggle switch for volume if it is easier to reach than the shutter button on the screen. Secondly, if you happen to have some Apple Headphones lying around (obviously this may not be the case in the classroom but you could consider this a tip for when using your own iPhone) you can use the + volume button on your headphones to effectively give you a 1m long shutter release. 

4) I can't see

One of the best things about using iPads is the mobility it gives you to take learning outside the classroom. This can however present challenges when taking photos. If you are lucky enough to be outside on a bright and sunny day, you will likely find you are faced with dark shadows, which could spoil your shot. If you switch on HDR (High Dynamic Range), you can solve this problem. When you use HDR and take one photo, your Camera automatically blends the best of three photos taken quickly at different exposures - one at normal exposure, then one each of the brightest and darkest parts of the scene. Merging these three images creates a fantastic final image with equal exposure throughout. No dark shadow areas and blown out skies! 

5) Give me light

Taking photos outside with pupils is great but more often than not photos will be taken inside the school. This can present the opposite problem to Tip 4, in that you may not have enough light. To solve this conundrum you can manually adjust the image's exposure. Simply tap on the screen once to reveal the focus point and then drag the exposure slider next to it to adjust the image exposure, which effectively means you can make your image lighter or darker.

It couldn't be simpler to brighten up your image by pressing on the screen. Up comes your focus box with a slider to the right giving you your exposure level. Drag this up to make it brighter, or down to make things darker. A very useful tool to use in tricky situations. 

6) Always on the wonk

A definite must for everyone taking photos with iPad. Jump into your Settings App, go to the Camera press and then switch on the grid. Now, when framing a shot with your camera, you will see a 3x3 grid overlaying the screen, enabling you to line up your shots perfectly. The grid is also perfect to use if you would like to experiment with photography principles, such as the 'Rule of Thirds'.

Odoo • Image and Text

7) Faster than a speeding bullet

Capturing and reviewing images can be a great tool for self-assessment inactive subjects such as PE. Getting that clear shot with a moving subject can prove a challenge but yet again the iPad has a feature that can save the day. If you hold your finger down on the shutter as opposed to just pressing it you will activate Burst mode. As long as you keep your finger held down on the shutter your camera will rapidly capture multiple images. You can then review all photos captured in the burst and choose the best ones to keep.

About the author...

Hi! I’m Matt and I work for JTRS as an Education Account Manager. I have also previously spent 3 years working for Apple, heading up the creative team in a retail store. 
I studied Art & Design in school and since leaving education I have always dedicated my personal and professional time to my passion for creating things. I have worked as a chef applying my creative skills to cooking and also spent time as a studio photographer, capturing and creating memories for couples on their wedding day. 
I believe that unleashing maximum creativity requires the right tools and that is why I am a long-time Apple user. My journey with Apple began with the purchase of a White iBook and today I am proud to use what is, in my opinion, the best tools for unleashing creativity, the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.
Photography is a real passion of mine and my iPad and iPhone have really helped me to hone my skills. Even though I have a very expensive camera and lighting equipment, the camera I carry around with me every day is built into my iPhone.
 

Odoo • Text and Image