Wrote a tip about it. Want to hear it? Here it goes.

May 22, 2017

I had an inspiring (and motivating) conversation about this blog last Thursday, with Margie Rosenstein, one of our amazing graphic designers at the office. She told me that she had encouraged her daughter to come to my blog to find ways (and confidence) to shoot some examples of her work for a client. Wow, I felt so honored and then immediately I felt a little pang in my stomach because I realized that there just isn’t much here to help someone struggling or needing tips or guidance. My heart sank a little. Then on that Friday, Dianne Brisson, our rockin’ member services manager thanked me for sharing “the video tip” (how to shoot still images in video mode) with her because she had gone up in a hot air balloon and loved the results she had gotten with her iPhone. (By the way, her pics were awesome!) Well, the universe doesn’t have to hit me over the head (three times). Hahaha! So, I’ve decided to start posting some tips or background info every so often to be helpful. I’ll put them under a “Tips” category (as soon as I remember how to make a category in WordPress again). Lol! And, really, why not? I’m already going to be diving into the pool by recording a KelbyOne class at the end of this month. What?! Hahaha!

For now, here’s the tip! Well, two tips. Maybe three. Possibly four.

How to shoot with your iPhone, so you get a full screen, wider, with a little zoom shot. Don’t worry; it’s super easy. 😉

Above: When you take a regular photo using your iPhone camera app, the image doesn’t fill the width of the screen. It only takes up about 75% of the screen leaving black bars on either side.

Above: When you want a shot that fills the full screen where the image goes all the way to the edge (leaving no black bars), switch to video mode. When the video is engaged (turned on), a white button will appear right below the red record button, and that’s what you’ll use for taking stills. Because the still image is taken in video mode, the shot zooms to fill the screen and eliminates any bars.

Above: Now you’re shooting at the full width of the screen, but it’s a little zoomed in. If you want the photo to look like it originally did (or wider), you’ll need to step back a few (or more) feet to achieve the best of both worlds — a wider angle shot that also fills the screen, (like you see here). Compare that with the first shot, where the tips of Maggie’s front paws were cut off (that doesn’t sound right), the patterned throw pillow on the left was missing completely, and the red one on the right was mostly cut off.

One last thing, make sure you have your video recording set at the best quality possible. In the iPhone7plus (what I’m currently using) that would be at 4k recording. You choose that by going into your Settings, under Photos & Camera, under Record Video. *(Android note: I understand this technique works with Galaxy phones as well, so give it a try, and please let me know if that’s an accurate statement — it would be great if true). Shooting in video mode is particularly useful for landscapes like this sunset (pictured below), but btw, I shoot 90% of the time in video mode — landscapes or otherwise.

Ninja tip! Don’t forget to delete the space hogging videos you’ll create getting these stills. Ack! Anyway, I hope these types of posts will be helpful.

Have a great week everybody! 🙂

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Sharon Andrews May 22, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Wow! This is a perfect start to my Monday! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • Reply kalebrakelby May 22, 2017 at 9:23 am

      Yay!! Thank you for stopping by and have a great rest of the day, Sharon!

    • Reply Kathy Porupski May 22, 2017 at 9:37 am

      As always LOVE your cell photography tips and tricks! You were my inspiration on my recent hiking trip were my cell phone was my main camera… Made possible because of your mentoring. ❤️😄📷

      • Reply kalebrakelby May 22, 2017 at 9:44 am

        Kathy, you know how much I love you and your encouragement — I’m so happy I could return some of that love and encouragement to you (somehow). Can’t wait to see the pics — I’m sure they’ll be amazing! 🙂

  • Reply Marylou Hershberger May 22, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Thanks for the tip! I have a Galaxy 7 and it worked for me!

    • Reply kalebrakelby May 22, 2017 at 9:25 am

      Marylou that is awesome!! I’m so happy to hear that — thank you for letting me know — have fun!

  • Reply Ann May 22, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Great tip. Thank you!

    • Reply kalebrakelby May 22, 2017 at 9:28 am

      My pleasure, Ann. 🙂

  • Reply Clinton Ferrara May 22, 2017 at 10:13 am

    I knew about the stills in video but not about the upping the quality. Excellent.
    Also if the video is any good just submit it to Adobe Stock like Terry White teaches.
    Also also. I download my photos to my hard drive and then delete them from my phone. Any that I want on my phone I link with Lightroom mobile leaving lots of room on the phone for all those videos.

    • Reply kalebrakelby May 22, 2017 at 10:21 am

      “Also also.” Hahaha! I like that about you, Clinton. 🙂

  • Reply Amy Poche May 22, 2017 at 10:27 am

    What a wonderful thing to know! Thanks for the tip! I shall use this on my own “Maggie”…..she’s a horse!

    • Reply kalebrakelby May 22, 2017 at 10:59 am

      My pleasure, Amy! And, a Maggie horse? How awesome is that?! 🙂

  • Reply Lynnie May 22, 2017 at 11:35 am

    A good tip Kalebra . One I use all the time. It sure does work.

    • Reply kalebrakelby May 22, 2017 at 11:37 am

      Thank you, Lynnie and because you’re awesome like that! 🙂

  • Reply Lynn Wiezycki May 22, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Awesome stuff Kalebra! I did not know that!

    • Reply kalebrakelby May 23, 2017 at 9:56 am

      Thank you, Lynn! Hope it helps. 🙂

  • Reply Nita May 22, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    That was absolutely helpful! I learned two new things about my own iphone, wait, make that three new things! Plus, I enjoyed pretty little Maggie pics! Thank you for your “tips”!

    • Reply kalebrakelby May 23, 2017 at 9:57 am

      Yay!!! So glad you learned something new, Nita and, aren’t “pretty little Maggie pics” the best?! Hahaha! 🙂

  • Reply Carolyn Fahm May 22, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    I will try it one my OnePlus One tomorrow and see if it works there as well. My camera phone photography has never really taken off so perhaps this will kickstart me to better images.

    • Reply kalebrakelby May 23, 2017 at 9:58 am

      Oh, Carolyn, please let me know if it works on your phone as well — I’d love to know if it’s all Android phones. Thank you, my friend!

  • Reply Chris May 23, 2017 at 5:44 am

    Just tested this- the picture shot in the photo mode resulted in a 12mp photo. The picture taken from video mode essentially is a 6.5 mp picture. You are pretty much cutting the resolution in half. It wouldn’t matter for most people but it does matter for this guy. Good trick learned if I ever need a wider angle over better resolution!

    • Reply kalebrakelby May 23, 2017 at 9:50 am

      Hi Chris, Thank you for adding to the information. I’m new at giving tips, and it’s helpful to see what’s important for everyone (from all sides). Since I mostly post online, this hasn’t been an issue for me but (now that I’m thinking about it) even when I’ve printed out an image I’ve always been happy with it. Having said that, I’ve just been hanging them in my office or home and don’t know where, why and at what size you, or anyone else, might be printing at and your eye might catch the difference, so it is a good point to point out. (That’s a lot of points 😉 ). Now anyone using this technique can make a more informed decision, and that’s always good. Thanks again and have a wonderful day! 🙂

  • Reply Julie May 24, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Am I the only one without a little white button? Help! Iphone 7+

    • Reply kalebrakelby May 24, 2017 at 10:38 am

      Hahaha! Hi Julie, Turn on video first and then the white button shows up. This is also a great tip if you want video and stills from a party, a game, etc. Good luck and have fun! 👍

  • Reply Deb Uscilka May 25, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    I love this technique! And I’m happy to say that, I learned it from you! 😘❤️📷 Can’t wait for more of your tips and tricks!

    • Reply kalebrakelby June 6, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      Yay! And thank you, Deb. 🙂

  • Reply Mike Nelson Pedde June 8, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Kalebra: May be the only Galaxy S6 user here!! In video mode there is a little camera icon when using the default camera app in video mode. However, as mentioned above, the resolution is much lower. In the Camera Settings I can choose the resolution I want and certain resolutions have different aspect ratios. My phone’s camera’s highest resolution is 16 MP, and at that resolution it shoots 16:9 (no black bars). You may wish to check the resolution on your camera settings to see what the options are.


    P. S. More on aspect ratoo and image size here, if anyone’s interested: It’s old but the information is still valid.

    • Reply kalebrakelby June 8, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      So good to hear from you, Mike! Thank you for commenting and the information. You’ll be happy to know you are not the only Galaxy user here. Haha! I understand that resolution can become an issue in certain printing situations (though I have printed out my images using this technique and been happy with the results) so there are a couple of other ways an iPhone user can get the 16:9 wide shot. One is to crop it (as you have suggested) to 16:9 afterward or they can also use the camera in an app like Camera+ and set the camera to 16:9 before taking the photo. The way I offered is just the way I like to do it but certainly not the only way. 😉 I do hope to hear from you again — I always enjoyed our exchanges on G+.

    Leave a Reply