How to Take Better iPhone Photos
Quality cameras are expensive, and it’s not always convenient to take your camera with you. But these days, everyone has their smartphone on them. That means you always have a camera. So you can take great photos anytime, anywhere.
Not only is your iPhone easy to use. It can also take some amazing photos. But your smartphone has limits like any camera. Here are some tips to make the most of your device and take better iPhone photos.
Buy Smartphone Gear
A newer iPhone will get you a better shot. But there are tons of tools and accessories you can purchase to take better photos. Don’t just buy any gear, though. To be honest, a lot of them are useless. Here are my recommendations:
Tripod: I usually travel alone, which makes taking photos of myself a nightmare. But with a tripod, you can set your phone somewhere, start a timer, and get that perfect photo of yourself.
Even better than a traditional tripod is a flexible tripod. They are small and compact. They can wrap around anything. It’s perfect for someone that wants to travel light. Try a Gorilla Pod if you’re willing to invest a few bucks. It works with traditional cameras too.
Waterproof case: Whether you’re out at sea or caught in a downpour, a waterproof case will keep your iPhone safe. I also recommend getting a lanyard to keep your phone around your neck. This will come in handy if you’re going kayaking or don’t have any pockets.
Portable charger: iPhones are great. But their battery life isn’t. If you’re using your smartphone constantly, then you’ll run out of juice quick. And if you’re somewhere really hot or cold, the battery life is basically cut in half. A portable charger can be a lifesaver if you’re taking a lot of photos with your iPhone.
External lenses: Phones are limited by their lenses, so why not got another lens? You can purchase external lenses from places like Pixter. An external lens can give you a wider or more detailed shot. But they can be a bit pricy, so use your best judgement. You decide what is best for you.
Adjust Focus and Exposure
Your iPhone adjusts its focus automatically. But you can adjust it yourself just by tapping on the point where you want to focus. Also, check your iPhone settings for a face recognition option. You don’t want to take photos with fuzzy faces.
Exposure dictates how much light is allowed into the frame. To adjust the exposure, first tap to focus. Then hold and drag your finger across the screen. A slider will appear, so you can get the perfect amount of light for your photo.
Turn HDR Mode On
By now, most smartphone camera apps come with HDR, or High Dynamic Range. HDR gives better to detail to shadows and highlights in your photo. This can give you a better balance of colors.
The only problem with HDR mode is that it takes longer to process. So give up on action shots or fast moving objects. HDR is perfect for landscapes and portraits. So check your camera settings. Your phone may have HDR set automatically.
Don’t Zoom In
I know it’s tempting. But you can’t take better iPhone photos if you zoom in. Zooming in reduces the quality of the photo and makes everything pixelated. Physically get closer or edit the photo later. If you take the photo from far away, you can crop it later to get the right shot.
Put Grid Lines On
One of the most fundamental rules of photography is the rule of thirds. You want to break your photo into thirds, vertically and horizontally. The goal is to keep the subject of your photo at the intersections or along the grid lines.
The rule of thirds can be broken for a variety of scenarios, so feel free to experiment. But it is a reliable way to create dynamic photos again and again.
To turn grid lines on, go to Settings, click Camera, and set Grid to On.
Edit Photos with Lightroom Mobile
Snapping a picture is only the first step to taking a better iPhone photo. Chances are that all the photos you’ve seen online are edited. If you want to bring your photo to the next level, you should learn to do it too. Lightroom Mobile is the perfect way to edit your photos on your phone.
You don’t need to go crazy with a dramatic, unrealistic edit. Oftentimes, less is more. You just want to improve the natural beauty of your shot. This usually means boosting the rich shades and tones that you saw in person.
I often edit my iPhone photos with my Lightroom Mobile Presets. They are a quick way to boost a photo without much thought. Investing in a preset can also help you deliver consistent style in your photos. Or you can develop your own style after a quick look at my in-depth guide to editing photos with Lightroom Mobile.
Shoot in Manual Mode
With the help of an app called Halide, you can shoot iPhone photos in manual mode. This means that your image will be taken in RAW file format. This means your photos will have higher detail and less noise. A sharper and more vibrant photo means that you can have much more control when you edit in Lightroom. Also, Halide lets you create that cool background blur you see in some photos.