5 fun, creative photo projects to try with at home using just your phone


It is not as laborious as you may assume.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Whether or not you are making an attempt to get your creativity flowing after months of lockdown otherwise you’re after a enjoyable mission to attempt at dwelling with the household over the weekends, there are a great deal of methods to get these pictures mind cells firing on all cylinders. And the good factor is you do not even want to depart the home. Whether or not you are taking pictures on the model new iPhone 13 ProGalaxy S21 Ultra, Pixel 5 or one other, older cellphone, these artistic challenges may help kickstart your creativity.

Making an attempt new artistic challenges cannot solely assist maintain your thoughts targeted, it could possibly additionally educate you some new expertise you possibly can put to make use of afterward. If nothing else, it would simply stave off boredom a bit longer and should even provide some enjoyable weekend actions to attempt with the youngsters this summer season.

I’ve put collectively just a few of my favourite concepts for artistic challenges that you are able to do together with your cellphone while not having to depart your personal dwelling. Remember to take a look at our phone photography 101 section for extra pictures ideas and tips, in addition to my roundup of the best photo editing apps for each iPhone and Android. 


Composite pictures may take some time, nevertheless it’s price your time.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

1. Make a artistic composite

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

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

Placing it collectively was fairly easy. This is how:

1. Put the cellphone on a tripod.

2. Body your shot as required utilizing the lens choices, if obtainable.

3. Both set your cellphone on a 10-second timer, or use a Bluetooth distant.

4. Get into your scene and take a picture.

5. Transfer into a number of positions, taking a picture every time. Make certain the digicam would not transfer in any respect between photographs.

6. Mix the pictures collectively in Photoshop by layering them on prime of one another and erasing the areas you do not need.


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

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

2. Apply portraits

Whether or not you are taking a photograph of a associate, a member of the family, a flatmate, and even your pet, taking portraits generally is a nice artistic outlet. Dwell alone? No drawback, flip that digicam and use the selfie mode, and even put your cellphone on a tripod when you have one and begin mugging for the digicam.

Go searching your own home and see the place you assume might make for an fascinating scene. Maybe you’ve an outdated leather-based chair that somebody might pose in. Perhaps you’ve an uncommon rug that you may have your topic lie on so you possibly can shoot from above. You can too attempt some photographs trying wistfully out of the window.

Experiment with the lighting too. Pure gentle coming in from home windows is your finest guess, so doing photographs close to them is an efficient place to start out. However possibly there is a cool lamp you may use as a single, moody gentle supply to lend some inventive drama to the shot. You could possibly additionally seize an LED gentle panel from Amazon and take a look at including your personal lighting.


Okay, it is not the best picture of meals on this planet, however I am 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 lovely tabletop close to a window and shot straight down with my iPhone.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

3. Nonetheless life scenes

Nonetheless life might embrace a lot of several types of photographs — from vibrant and ethereal top-down photographs of a stunning salad or freezer meal you’ve made, to product pictures of your laptop computer, video games controller, new footwear or certainly something you assume might {photograph} effectively. You could possibly even simply seize a pleasant number of issues from round your own home that, when artfully organized, might make for a pleasant picture.

The lighting rules are a lot the identical as together with your portraits. Use home windows the place attainable as these probably present the most important, brightest gentle sources in your own home. Meals photographers repeatedly use pure gentle of their imagery to maintain that real looking way of life look to their photographs. Mess around with the place you are positioning your topics and take a look at taking pictures from completely different angles to get the sunshine in simply the correct place. 

4. Make a brief movie

Making a brief movie might be nice enjoyable as you must take into consideration a number of completely different components of manufacturing. First, in fact, is what your movie needs to be about. Perhaps you wish to try to movie a gritty crime drama with your loved ones because the solid. Maybe it is about your pet cat and the issues they stand up to in the course of the day. 

My quick movie was all in regards to the course of of creating a stunning cup of tea. After deciding on what movie I wished to make, I then thought of what steps could be concerned in filming the method. On your crime drama, this could be while you’re writing a script and figuring out what photographs you’ll want to get to place all of it collectively. 

Making a cup of tea is a really formulaic course of, so figuring out 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 initially and an ending shot of me having fun with the tea I would made.

It was shot totally on my iPhone 11 Professional, utilizing an Edelkrone slider that permits you to create clean, sliding movement to your photographs and an anamorphic lens by Second, to provide that cinematic vast facet ratio look. I edited it in Adobe Premiere on my MacBook Pro ($708 at Amazon), however you may simply edit your personal movie in iMovie straight in your iPhone or utilizing Adobe Premiere Rush in your Android cellphone.

I actually loved the method because it pressured me to assume not solely about angles and lighting as I might in my regular pictures, but in addition about how you can 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 type, too, so it was undoubtedly a good way to spend just a few hours at dwelling 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 numerous shade instruments in Lightroom cellular to create the look you see right here.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

5. Work in your enhancing

You may not be capable to exit and shoot a complete sequence of latest pictures, however that does not imply you possibly can’t make nice use of pictures you’ve got already taken. 

Each the Android and iOS app shops are filled with apps that supply a wealth of artistic enhancing choices in your pictures, with a seemingly infinite variety of filters, frames and funky aptitude you possibly can apply. 

Snapseed is a favourite of mine and it is free on each platforms. It has quite a lot of shade filters obtainable (together with ones that give your scene a punchy “HDR” look in addition to extra classic tone choices) nevertheless it additionally offers extra in-depth enhancing instruments akin to the power to selectively paint brightness into simply the areas you need. You can too get extra artistic 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 in your cellphone, trying again on the weeks, months or years of photographs you’ve got taken. Mark those that actually stand out as your favorites, then cool down onto your couch together with your drink of alternative, fireplace up some enhancing apps and go to city in your photographs. 

Not solely may you breathe some artistic new life into pictures you’d lengthy since forgotten about, however you may additionally study some worthwhile new strategies to place into motion while you’re lastly in a position to get out taking pictures once more.

Learn extra: 5 Masterclass classes to become a filmmaker: Learn from Martin Scorsese, Jodie Foster and more  

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