5 fun, easy photo projects you can do at home with just your phone

It’s not as laborious as you may assume.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

If you are self-isolating at home as a result of coronavirus, do not assume there isn’t any alternative to flex your images muscular tissues — there are many methods you’ll be able to sharpen up your artistic images at house utilizing simply your phone, whether or not you are capturing on an iPhone 11 Pro, Galaxy S20 Ultra, Pixel 4 or one other, older phone.

It may be tempting to sit around watching Netflix all day, however attempting new artistic challenges cannot solely assist maintain your thoughts targeted, it could possibly additionally educate you some new abilities you’ll be able to put to make use of in a while. If nothing else, it’d simply stave off boredom a bit longer

I’ve put collectively a number of of my favourite concepts for artistic challenges that you are able to do along with your phone with no need to depart your individual house. 


Composite images may take some time, however it’s value your time.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

1. Make a artistic composite

Composite images means mixing totally different photographic components from a number of pictures into one completed shot. At a fundamental stage, it may be used to easily exchange a sky on a panorama picture, however with some experimentation it could possibly provide infinite alternatives for creativity. 

In my occasion, I needed to composite myself into the identical scene a number of instances — virtually as if it is exhibiting all of the various things I could possibly be as much as all through the day in a single picture. 

Putting it collectively was fairly easy. Here’s how:

1. Put the phone on a tripod.

2. Frame your shot as required utilizing the lens choices, if accessible.

3. Either set your phone on a 10-second timer, or use a Bluetooth distant.

4. Get into your scene and take a picture.

5. Move into a number of positions, taking a picture every time.

6. Blend the pictures collectively in Photoshop by layering them on high of one another and erasing the areas you don’t need.


I took this selfie with the iPhone 11 Pro’s front-facing digicam, in portrait mode, proper up in opposition to my front room window to create the mirrored impact. I edited in Lightroom mobile.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

2. Practice portraits

Being caught at house could be a nice time to hone your portrait images. Whether you are taking a photograph of a associate, a member of the family, a flatmate, and even your pet, there’s fascinating subject material throughout you. Live alone? No drawback, flip that digicam and use the selfie mode, and even put your phone on a tripod when you’ve got one and begin mugging for the digicam — or working in your nonetheless life setup (extra on that under).

Look round your home and see the place you assume may make for an fascinating scene. Perhaps you could have an outdated leather-based chair that somebody may pose in. Maybe you could have an uncommon rug that you would have your topic lie on so you’ll be able to shoot from above. You also can strive some pictures wanting wistfully out of the window.

Experiment with the lighting too. Natural mild coming in from home windows is your greatest guess, so doing pictures close to them is an effective place to begin. But possibly there is a cool lamp you would use as a single, moody mild supply to lend some inventive drama to the shot. You may additionally seize an LED mild panel from Amazon and check out including your individual lighting.


Okay, it is not the best picture of meals on the planet, however I’m fairly restricted in what I can prepare dinner proper now and this omelette was at the least extra engaging than the baked beans I had yesterday. I put the plate on a sexy tabletop close to a window and shot instantly down with my iPhone.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

3. Still life scenes

Still life may embody numerous several types of pictures — from vivid and ethereal top-down pictures of a stunning salad or freezer meal you’ve made, to product images of your laptop, video games controller, new sneakers or certainly something you assume may {photograph} nicely. You may even simply seize a pleasant choice of issues from round your home that, when artfully organized, may make for a pleasant picture.

The lighting ideas are a lot the identical as along with your portraits. Use home windows the place attainable as these probably present the largest, brightest mild sources in your home. Food photographers often use pure mild of their imagery to maintain that life like way of life look to their pictures. Play round with the place you are positioning your topics and check out capturing from totally different angles to get the sunshine in simply the suitable place. 

4. Make a brief movie

Making a brief movie could be nice enjoyable as you need to take into consideration a number of totally different components of manufacturing. First, in fact, is what your movie ought to be about. Maybe you wish to attempt to movie a gritty crime drama with your loved ones because the forged. Perhaps it is about your pet cat and the issues they rise up to in the course of the day. 

My brief movie was all concerning the course of of constructing a stunning cup of tea. After deciding on what movie I needed to make, I then considered what steps can be concerned in filming the method. For your crime drama, this may be if you’re writing a script and figuring out what pictures it’s essential to get to place all of it collectively. 

Making a cup of tea is a really formulaic course of, so realizing what to movie was simple: filling the kettle with water, ready for it to boil, pouring the water and so forth. I added some further scene-setting footage in the beginning and an ending shot of me having fun with the tea I’d made.

It was shot solely on my iPhone 11 Pro, utilizing an Edelkrone slider that allows you to create easy, sliding movement to your pictures and an anamorphic lens by Moment, to provide that cinematic huge facet ratio look. I edited it in Adobe Premiere on my MacBook Pro ($1,010 at Amazon), however you would simply edit your individual movie in iMovie instantly in your iPhone or utilizing Adobe Premiere Rush in your Android phone.

I actually loved the method because it pressured me to assume not solely about angles and lighting as I’d in my regular images, but in addition about methods to visually inform a narrative that made sense to somebody watching. It was nice enjoyable attempting to be extra experimental with my capturing and enhancing fashion, too, so it was positively an effective way to spend a number of hours at house on a quiet afternoon. 


The unedited shot (left), subsequent to the ultimate model (proper). I used the iPhone’s lengthy publicity mode to blur the water, then used varied shade instruments in Lightroom mobile to create the look you see right here.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

5. Work in your enhancing

You may not be capable of exit and shoot an entire sequence of latest pictures, however that does not imply you’ll be able to’t make nice use of pictures you have already taken. 

Both the Android and iOS app shops are stuffed with apps that supply a wealth of artistic enhancing choices on your pictures, with a seemingly infinite variety of filters, frames and funky aptitude you’ll be able to apply. 

Snapseed is a favourite of mine and it is free on each platforms. It has quite a lot of shade filters accessible (together with ones that give your scene a punchy “HDR” look in addition to extra classic tone choices) however it additionally gives extra in-depth enhancing instruments equivalent to the flexibility to selectively paint brightness into simply the areas you need. You also can get extra artistic with apps like Photofox and Bazaart, each of which I used to create the self portrait on the high of this text. 

My recommendation is to have a flick through your gallery in your phone, wanting again on the weeks, months or years of pictures you have taken. Mark those that actually stand out as your favorites, then calm down onto your couch along with your drink of selection, hearth up some enhancing apps and go to city in your pictures. 

Not solely may you breathe some artistic new life into images you’d lengthy since forgotten about, however you may additionally study some beneficial new methods to place into motion if you’re lastly in a position to get out capturing once more.


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