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Five hands-on tips for better iPhone photography

Technology is an amazing thing. With it, cameras that were previously cumbersome to use, evolved into these tiny spots located on the corner of your phone. iPhones are now used to capture moments without the weight of a big camera or fiddling around with what lens to use. Some might even say, using an iPhone is an easier, simpler, and more accessible way to snap shots.

Some amazing Instagram photos are, in fact, produced by iPhones not DSLR cameras. Remember the last time your friend showed you an amazing photo, and you thought ‘I can’t believe this is taken by a phone.’ Well, It’s not a hard thing to achieve. Here are some tips for those who are ready to go beyond simple snapshots and start to take exceptional photos.

1.Swipe left for a quick access to your camera

The timing is critical for these moments: kids bursting into laughter, sunlight shedding through leaves, ora kookaburra resting on your balcony…There’s no time to unlock the phone first, then open the camera app, and finally take a shot. Simply swipe left on your lock screen for a quick access. Remember this technique and act quickly when opportunity arises.

If you are using an older operating system, there’s another way for a quick access. Locate the camera icon at the bottom right-hand corner of the lock screen, hold the button and then swipe up.

2. Manually control the focus and exposure

Before-after-the-focus

Photo credit to IPS

The subject is not clear and sharp when it’s out of focus. There might be all types of hacks to fix the lighting, colours and other things, but a blurred photo is beyond saving. iPhone has the ability to automatically focus on what it thinks is more important in the scenes, However, if you want to be in greater control, we’d recommend you to set up manually.

Enabling manual focus is not very technical. Simply tap on the area you would like to focus on and you’ll see a yellow box appear denoting the area that is now in focus.

Exposure can be a bit tricky to manage at first. Your aim would be to find a balanced exposure, so there’s nothing over-exposed or under-exposed in the picture. After tapping to focus, swipe up or down to adjust the exposure. But the exposure slider is only available if you have iOS 8 or higher, so make sure to upgrade the system before trying out this feature.

How to balance the exposure? Certain parts of the images needs different exposure level. The ratio depends on personal preference. One way to experimenting it would be to tap on different parts of the screen till you find the perfect exposure level then use the slider to do more micro adjustments. You don’t always have to match the exposure for the subject and the background. But a general rule of thumb is to tap on the object you want to bring more light to.

How to activate AE/AF lock? It enables the camera to remember the previous settings. Press and hold your fingers on the yellow box for 3-5 seconds to lock the setting. If you want to reset the focus and exposure,tap on the other parts of the screen or move away from the scene.

3. Use HDR for greater details in the photo

HDR-on-off

When an image has both bright spots and dark shadows, enabling the camera feature HDR (High Dynamic Range) allows you to capture more details from both areas. Check the photos below, can you spot the difference? With HDR turned on, the picture shows more details: house, sky and shape of the snow. It is recommended to use HRD for improving outdoor and landscape photography. However, it tends to eliminate shadowy and washed out area. When it comes to creating certain mood, HDR needs to be turned off.

4. Burst Mode: capture the movement

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Photo credit to Macobserver

This smart hack is great for those wanting to capture moving objects. Take jumping photos for instances. It has been very trendy in photography. Have you ever wondered how fast the shutter speed needs to be to capture these jumping moments? Not to mention all the coordination that goes into the photo shooting. It’s a headache.

Burst mode allows you to take a sequence of photos in quick succession. One of them will have to be good and sharp! Simply Tap and hold on the shutter button and you’ll see the number of photos taken. Keep the good ones and discard everything else.

5. Use volume control buttons for a steady shot

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Operating the iPhone’s shutter button one-handed isn’t the easiest job in the world. You might be well aware that the volume buttons on your iPhone can be used for taking photos. The two volume buttons on your earphone can also be used the same way.

You’ll only need one hand to hold the phone and the other to press up or down button on the earbud cable. For those working on Tripod, it is also the perfect method to go hands-free and take steady shots from a distance.

These few tips  can take your photo quality to the next level without having to install any other apps. But if you ever want to go more advanced or feel adventurous, there are also many third party apps available for post processing in Apple App store. You can dramatically improve your images using the variety of apps available.

If you are interested in learning more about photography or want to hire someone experienced to document your beautiful memories, connect with our local professional photographers and ask them for more information.