Use your phone camera’s selfie mode to capture towering trees (click to view)

Ever see photos that show towering trees reaching towards the sky? If you’re not psyched to lay on the ground to capture such photos, no worries. The selfie mode on phone cameras makes taking such photos easy. Just switch over to the selfie mode and hold your phone camera in the palm of your hand with the display facing up. You may have to tilt your phone to get just the shot you want.

Working It

There were some trees with beautiful orange leaves on our street. Two days ago I decided to try to capture them using this technique.

Here’s the first photo I took:


In reviewing this photo, I saw that it was way too busy – too many trees. I decided to focus on the tree shown shooting out from the middle right of the above photo.

Here’s a subsequent photo I took. I accidentally switched my phone camera to the SQUARE mode before taking it.


In reviewing this photo, I decided that I liked it as a SQUARE photo. I also thought the leaves were more striking and the tree I chose to focus on was more noticeable in this photo. However, I felt the other trees were distracting.

As a next step, I decided to align the tree of interest according to the rule of thirds (see the Sample Lesson that’s available from the Publications->Book page of this website).

Here’s the resulting photo:

I was happy with this photo. Having only two trees in the photo was a great improvement. More of the photo is filled with the colorful orange leaves. The bark of the two trees differ in color and texture, which provides contrast too. My eyes follow along the tree on the top left up to where it makes contact with the other tree shooting up from the bottom right.

Photo from our Yard

Below is my favorite shot from our yard that I captured yesterday. The overcast sky makes this look like a watercolor on canvas.


Something to Consider

I used my iPhone 5c phone camera to capture all the photos in this blog post. The photos in the “Working It” section I took by pressing my phone camera’s shutter button. The last photo I took using the timer capability on my phone camera (to reduce camera movement).  Consider checking to see if your phone camera supports additional ways to snap a photo. A friend of mine has an app that allows her to snap a photo by voice – saying, “Cheese” or “Smile.”