I’ve heard many people say that the best photography tip they ever got was to always carry an iPhone in their pocket. The latest iPhones undoubtedly have great photography features, from the quality iphone camera, to the settings that allow you to take professional-looking photos. However, even the best camera needs a photographer who knows what they are doing. The good news is that you can become a good photographer by learning a few easy tricks about how to take better pictures with your iPhone.
Take better pictures with an iPhone using these 3 techniques
There are a lot of little tips and tricks that make a difference between mediocre and stunning photos. But, my goal is to help you better utilize the features your iPhone has and take great photos of your precious moments.
1. Have the camera grid on
One of the best iPhone photography features are the grid lines. They divide your photo screen into 9 equal squares and help with setting up your photo composition. The camera grid feature is not available by default. You’ll need to go to Settings, choose the Photos and Camera options, and flip the Grid switch.
Oftentimes, we take a lot of casual photos, capturing interesting moments or wonderful landscapes. We are happy that we have unique photos to post on social networks. Suddenly, our happiness fades away as we discover that our photos have been ruined because there is a tilted horizon on them. I don’t know about you, but this is a real downer for me. I know that I will probably never have another chance to shoot those particular scenes, and my entire world crumbles for a moment.
As a result, I have learned to always have my grid option switched on. It helps me remember to keep an eye on the angles. Now, I can take better iPhone pictures. At first, the lines may appear somewhat annoying to you, but once you get used to them, you’ll be thankful for them. You will never have a ruined photo again because you didn’t pay attention to the angle in which you hold your phone while taking photos.
Grid lines can also help you compose photos in the same way that professional photographers do. The lines are a great guide to take your photos using the rule of thirds. This rule is based on the idea that the main subject shouldn’t be positioned in the center of the photo. If you compose your image using the rule of thirds, you are sure to have an interesting photo.
Your photos will get that extra artistic touch if you put your subject to either side of the photo, making a more meaningful story. The rule of thirds also applies to shooting landscapes. Instead of putting the horizon in the middle of the photo, you need to use the rule to divide your photo in one and two thirds. For example, if you photograph a sunset on the beach, have the sea on one third of the photo as a base. The sun rays and the sky will fill in the rest of the photo, since they are in your main focus.
2. Use HDR
iPhones come with a feature called High Dynamic Range, or HDR – a mode that you can switch on and off from the camera app. This feature enables taking better pictures with the iPhone, with high contrast light sources that don’t distort the light or the dark areas of the picture.
The dynamic range of a camera refers to how well it can open the extreme ends of a spectrum. In other words, HDR helps you bring out all the details you were missing out on when shooting in the default Auto mode.
If you experiment with HDR, you’ll see that it’s one of the easiest ways to improve photo quality. Thanks to a small sensor, your iPhone can render the darkest and lightest parts of an image before they become overexposed. HDR artificially enhances the dynamic range by merging together a bright exposure, a normal exposure and a dark exposure.
This happens thanks to the ability of your device to quickly take several camera pictures at different exposures. Then, it automatically merges them together to create a unified photo. It’s very important not to move when you shoot photos with HDR on. Otherwise, what you will get is a blurry image.
However, it’s not always good to use HDR. If the exposure doesn’t require HDR, it can result in creating strange, un-realistic-looking photos. You will also spend extra storage space on your phone. It’s best to use this feature when shooting landscapes, where you have a natural gradation of exposure.
If you run on iOS 7 or 8 (i.e. you have iPhone 5 or a newer model), you can use the HDR Auto option. This feature switches HDR on when the time is right. As soon as you point your phone at a subject, it determines if the image might need HDR correction. If needed, the phone itself turns on the HDR mode.
3. Exploit the benefits of the burst mode
The burst mode is always a great choice when it comes to taking photos of a moving subject. When your subject is moving, it can be very difficult to anticipate the shot you want to capture and press the shutter button at the right time. This is why the burst mode is most useful when shooting sports events.
This option is also very useful when taking photos of children. They move in a quick and unpredictable manner, and change their facial expressions very quickly, so it’s hard to capture all the moments you want. It’s smart to use the burst mode when taking photos of moving animals, too.
Burst mode can be used for still subjects as well. If you try to photograph people like me, who freeze their faces when looking at a camera, said mode is what you need. In fact, even the most experienced models feel small relief after they hear the sound of the shutter. With burst mode, you’ll be able to catch all those moments when a subject looks more natural.
Group photos are another challenge that you can overcome by using the burst mode. If you have given it a try, you know how hard it is to capture everyone with their eyes open and their smile in place. But, if you shoot twenty photos within a few seconds, you have better odds of capturing all of your subjects at their best.