How to Take Better iPhone Photos
The camera in the newest versions of the iPhone is greatly improved (no more instant-red-eye syndrome!). So there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use it like it should be used. These tips will help take your photos from “cellphone” quality, to VSCO worthy.
These tips not only apply to the iPhone, but to any picture you take.
- The Rule of Thirds: This is pretty easy to implement this, because the iPhone has a tool built right in for this. Go into “Settings”, then “Camera”, and turn on “Grid”. Once you do this and go back to the camera app, you’ll note that there is now a grid on your screen that divides the screen into 9 squares, 3 row up and 3 rows across. The rule is simple – instead of placing the subject of your photo in the centre of the frame, try placing the subject more towards on one side or the other. Using the grid, place the subject in the area where the lines intercept, using a third of the screen. This makes the photo more visually interesting and appealing, and pulls the viewer into the picture.
- Don’t Use Zoom. Move Around Instead: The iPhone only has 1 lens, and the digital zoom is horrible, so you shouldn’t use it. Although it’s easier just to stand in one place and zoom into the subject of your photo, it doesn’t always (hardly ever) results in the photo you want. You should instead, physically move closer to your subject (if it’s far away, move closer. If it’s higher up, move higher). This is a much better way to get the results you want.
- Use Panorama Mode: If you’ve moved yourself closer and still can’t get everything in the frame, try using this mode. You don’t have to make a wide sweep, but by moving it just a little bit, you can ensure everything that you want in the picture is in there.
iPhone Camera Tips
Now that you’ve mastered some of the basic composition rules for any photo you take, there are tools built right into the iPhone to help you increase the quality of your iPhone photos.
- Use HDR: Turning the camera on auto will ensure that the camera uses HDR when it needs to. A camera usually ‘averages’ the brightness of the photo between the really bright spots and the really dark spots in the photo so that everything has the same exposure. What HDR does is it takes the really bright spots in the photo and the really dark spots in the photo, and allows them to have more detail. How it does this, is that it takes multiple pictures, and take the best of each, and combines them into one picture. This allows you to have much more detail throughout the whole picture.
- Tap to Focus: The little yellow box that pops up on screen when you’re taking a picture, is the best tool in the camera app. This allows you to tap anywhere on the screen, and have that part of the picture be both in focus and properly exposed. For example, if you have a subject that is really bright & close up, you can tap on it and it will place the yellow box around it and set the focus, and expose it based on where you tap. So that bright, close up image will be in focus and be properly exposed.
- Manually Change the Exposure: Sometimes you use the ‘Tap to Focus’ tool, and the object still appears too bright or too dark. If this happens, simply tap and slide your finger up and down on the screen (after you ‘Tap to Focus’), and you can change the exposure (up for brighter, down for darker).
- Lock in Your Photo: If you have your photo exactly how you want it, and don’t want anything to change, simply hold your finger on the yellow box, it will lock the exposure and focus settings to make sure nothing changes.
- Turn off Your Flash: For 99% of pictures, the flash is going to ruin the picture. Using the tips above will help you get the desired effect without using the flash. So unless it’s really dark & the flash is the only way you’re going to be able to get the picture, don’t use it.
With the tips above, your iPhone photos should no longer look like they were taken with your iPhone.