Shadowland: How to take great silhouette photography with your iPhone


Silhouettes are a beautiful way to capture the lines and form of a subject. Best of all, you can take silhouettes almost anywhere. All you need is a bright source of light. Hint: A large ball of flaming gas in the sky that rhymes with “fun”. 

Ready to get started? First, download the Keepsy app, and click the “+” to start your own Silhouette photo set.

Here are some tips for shooting great silhouettes with your iPhone:

No Flash: Turn off your flash. The whole point is to darken your subject, so don’t point light at it.

Framing: Silhouettes require a lot of contrast so remember to put your subject between you and your light source. If you imagine standing at the center of a clock dial, if your subject is at 12 0′clock, you want the light source somewhere between 11 and 1.

Exposure: Set your exposure to the brightest area on screen so your silhouette is as dark as possible. This will also properly expose the areas surrounding your silhouette.

Monochrome: Experiment with black and white filters, as well as sepia and cyan to get different effects. If you’re using the Keepsy app camera, try applying ‘Concorde’ filter for a stark contrast.

Split Focus If you are using Camera+ to shoot, use the split focus/exposure feature by spreading your fingers on the screen. Place the exposure indicator on the brightest area of the frame, while placing the focus indicator on the subject. This will ensure your subject has crisp lines while preserving the juicy contrast you’re after. 

While you’re at it, invite some friends to add their silhouettes to your photo set and make it a group project. 

Want to see some more silhouettes? Here are some samples.


Photo Project: Alphabet Soup



Letters, words, signage – everywhere you look. So much so that we usually take it for granted. In this photo project, stop and take a moment to capture some of these interesting, abstract, and often beautiful shapes.

Ready to get started? First, download the Keepsy iPhone app, and click the “+” to start your own Alphabet Soup photo set. Then invite some friends to join you in the treasure hunt for text.

Delight is in the details: Think about the design elements of the the letter you’re photographing. Is it block text or script? Heavy or light? Off-set or embossed? A strong mix will add a richness and balance to your collection.

If it feels good: To give your collection some depth and variety, look for different kinds of textures, like wood, stucco, paper, metal, plastic, concrete, etc.

Simplicity: This project is great for honing your composition techniques because unintended visual noise can be a great distraction. Be thinking about what is creeping into your frame.

The “I’s have it: Challenge yourself by shooting as many examples of a single letter that you can find. Good luck finding Q.

Head on: Taking photos of signage printed on shiny objects like glass or metal may result in an unintended self-portrait. See if you can use this to your advantage.

Imagineering: Instead of literal letters, do an abstract set of found objects. For example, things that start with “A”. Or create an A-Z photo book for a toddler.

Want to check out some more samples? Check out this photo set.


How to make a Calendar or Scrapbook with your iPhone photos

How to make a Calendar or Scrapbook with your iPhone photos

If you’ve already downloaded the Keepsy app, you already know how fast and easy it is to make photo sets and order Pocket Books right from your iPhone.

But what if you want to make a full-blown coffee table book or calendar with your iPhone pics? It’s also super easy… but kind of a hidden feature. Here’s how:

(1) Once you’ve created your photo set in the iPhone app, you can upload the photos to the Keepsy.com servers by tapping “Share”

(2) On the Share page, tap “Email”

(3) Tap Ok

(4) You’ll see your photos begin to upload.

If you don’t want to share with anyone, you can just cancel the email and your photos will continue to upload. Once the upload is complete, head over to your computer and log-in to keepsy.com.

(5) After logging into your account, click on “My Stuff”.

(6) You’ll see your Photo Set appear in your library. Click to open it.

(7) When your Photo Set loads, click either the “Book” or “Calendar” button. (In this case I’ve chosen “Book”)

(8) After selecting your style, you’ll see on the “Select Photos” see that the Keepsy tab is loaded, and all your iPhone photos from the set are there!

Just “Select All” and continue – You’re on your way to building a gorgeous album or calendar with your iPhone pics!


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