It’s not as onerous as you would possibly suppose.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

If you’re feeling your creativity drop throughout lockdown because the coronavirus pandemic continues, do not suppose there is not any alternative to flex your images muscle tissue — there are many methods to flex these images muscle tissue at residence utilizing simply your phone, whether or not you’re taking pictures on an iPhone 12 Pro Max, Galaxy S21 Ultra, Pixel 5 or one other, older phone.

It may be tempting to sit round watching Netflix all day, however making an attempt new creative challenges can’t solely assist preserve your thoughts centered, it will possibly additionally educate you some new abilities you’ll be able to put to use in a while. If nothing else, it would simply stave off boredom a bit longer

I’ve put collectively a couple of of my favourite concepts for creative challenges that you are able to do with your phone without having to depart your own residence. 


Composite images would possibly take a while, but it surely’s price your time.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

1. Make a creative composite

Composite images means mixing completely different photographic parts from a number of pictures into one completed shot. At a fundamental degree, it may be used to merely change a sky on a panorama picture, however with some experimentation it will possibly provide countless alternatives for creativity. 

In my occasion, I wished to composite myself into the identical scene a number of instances — virtually as if it is exhibiting all of the various things I may very well be up to all through the day in one picture. 

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

1. Put the phone on a tripod.

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

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 photographs collectively in Photoshop by layering them on prime of one another and erasing the areas you don’t need.


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

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

2. Practice portraits

Being caught at residence generally is a nice time to hone your portrait images. Whether you’re taking a photo of a companion, a member of the family, a flatmate, and even your pet, there’s fascinating subject material throughout you. Live alone? No drawback, flip that digital camera and use the selfie mode, and even put your phone on a tripod in case you have one and begin mugging for the digital camera — or engaged on your nonetheless life setup (extra on that under).

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

Experiment with the lighting too. Natural mild coming in from home windows is your finest guess, so doing photographs close to them is an efficient place to begin. But perhaps there is a cool lamp you can use as a single, moody mild supply to lend some creative drama to the shot. You may additionally seize an LED mild panel from Amazon and try including your personal lighting.


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

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

3. Still life scenes

Still life may embrace numerous several types of photographs — from vivid and ethereal top-down photographs of a beautiful salad or freezer meal you have made, to product pictures of your laptop computer, video games controller, new footwear or certainly something you suppose may {photograph} effectively. You may even simply seize a pleasant number 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 with your portraits. Use home windows the place attainable as these seemingly present the largest, brightest mild sources in your home. Food photographers often use pure mild in their imagery to preserve that reasonable life-style look to their photographs. Play round with the place you’re positioning your topics and try taking pictures from completely different angles to get the sunshine in simply the proper place. 

4. Make a brief movie

Making a brief movie could be nice enjoyable as you might have to take into consideration a number of completely different parts of manufacturing. First, in fact, is what your movie must be about. Maybe you need to try and movie a gritty crime drama with your household because the forged. Perhaps it is about your pet cat and the issues they stand up to through the day. 

My brief movie was all concerning the course of of constructing a beautiful cup of tea. After deciding on what movie I wished to make, I then considered what steps can be concerned in filming the method. For your crime drama, this is able to be when you’re writing a script and figuring out what photographs you want to get to put all of it collectively. 

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

It was shot completely on my iPhone 11 Pro, utilizing an Edelkrone slider that allows you to create clean, sliding movement to your photographs and an anamorphic lens by Moment, to give that cinematic broad facet ratio look. I edited it in Adobe Premiere on my MacBook Pro ((*5*)$894 at Back Market), however you can simply edit your personal movie in iMovie straight on your iPhone or utilizing Adobe Premiere Rush on your Android phone.

I actually loved the method because it pressured me to suppose not solely about angles and lighting as I’d in my regular images, but additionally about how to visually inform a narrative that made sense to somebody watching. It was nice enjoyable making an attempt to be extra experimental with my taking pictures and enhancing fashion, too, so it was positively a good way to spend a couple of hours at residence 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 cellular to create the look you see right here.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

5. Work on your enhancing

You may not have the option to 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 creative enhancing choices for 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 out there (together with ones that give your scene a punchy “HDR” look in addition to extra classic tone choices) but it surely additionally supplies extra in-depth enhancing instruments akin to the power to selectively paint brightness into simply the areas you need. You also can get extra creative with apps like Photofox and Bazaart, each of which I used to create the self portrait on the prime of this text. 

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

Not solely would possibly you breathe some creative new life into pictures you’d lengthy since forgotten about, however you may additionally be taught some helpful new methods to put into motion when you’re lastly ready to get out taking pictures once more.

Read extra: 5 Masterclass courses to change into a filmmaker: Learn from Martin Scorsese, Jodie Foster and extra  

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