Smartphone Tips

Tips to Take Better Photos with Your iPhone

Take Better Photos with Your iPhoneThere are people out there who deplore how reliant many of us have become on our phones, but there is at least one thing about the smartphone revolution that just about everyone can agree on: having a camera with you everywhere you go is pretty great. With an iPhone or Android device in your pocket, you’re always ready to play the role of family photographer or event archivist. Or better yet, to document the funniest moments of life as they happen, from selfies to pictures of pets.

If there’s one problem with all of this, it’s that most smartphone cameras are good, but just shy of great. For instance, it’s easy to get a good picture with your iPhone if you have a good amount of natural light and have close proximity with your subject. But if you’re taking photos in lower light conditions, or if you are taking a picture of something a bit further away, then your picture quality is going to decline quickly. With that in mind, we put together a list of basic tips to take better photos with your iPhone.

1. Take Time to Focus

Arguably the most important thing you can do to improve your iPhone pictures is to take the time to focus on the subject. When you open your Camera app, get the core subject of your photo in the middle of the frame, and then tap the point on the screen where the subject is located. You should see a yellow box pop up over or around the subject, telling you that your camera lens is focusing. This action is especially good for focusing on faces when taking portraits.

2. Don’t Use the Zoom Function

Want an easy way to kill the quality on your iPhone photos? Try zooming the lens before taking the picture. The further you zoom in, the grainier your photos will become. You can actually see it happening on your display as you prepare to take a picture, and you can bet it will look even worse on a computer or TV screen. If you want a closer perspective on a subject, your best bet is to just get closer yourself. If that’s not an option, you might have to settle for lower-quality images or wider-angle shots.

3. Use High Dynamic Range, or HDR

As you are preparing to take a photo with your iPhone, you will notice a message on top of the screen that says “HDR off” or “HDR on.” HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, and it’s essentially a way for your camera to play around with the light spectrum to create higher quality pictures. When you have HDR enabled, your iPhone is actually taking three separate versions of the same photograph—each with a different level of light exposure. The device then processes these photos and combines them into one detailed composite.

In most cases, HDR will give you better photos—especially if you are shooting in low light conditions. Sunsets, concerts, indoor photos take in the late afternoon or evening: these are just a few of the situations in which HDR will improve your iPhone photography. Just know that the iPhone camera saves two versions of the photo when you are using HDR, so you’ll have to make sure to go back and delete the extras so they don’t clog up your phone storage space.

4. Clean the Lens

Your iPhone probably spends most of its time in a lint and dust-filled pocket, or in a bag with a dozen other things. Needless to say, the lens is going to get dirty. You might even smudge it with your fingers as you take your phone out of your pocket! So, if you have time, clean the lens before you start shooting photos. A cleaner lens will give you photos with better focus and greater clarity. And in the future, consider an iPhone case or wallet from eHolster to give the lens a bit of extra protection!

5. Try out Other Camera Apps

The iPhone camera app usually does a perfectly adequate job of taking photos. However, if you want to expand your horizons as a photographer, you might try out an alternative camera program or two from the Apple App Store. Apps like Pro Camera 8, Camera 360, and others will give you new features and capabilities that your pre-installed camera app doesn’t have. Pro Camera 8 even allows you to control the exposure of a photo, which can be great for getting decent nighttime photos on your device.

6. Hold Still

If you’ve ever worked with a professional photographer, then you know that the tripod is an important tool for getting high quality images. The iPhone camera is like any other camera in that it will take the best photos when it is completely stationary. The problem, of course, is that human hands are naturally shaky, which often results in blurry iPhone photos. This is especially true if you try to take a slow exposure photograph with Pro Camera 8. Longer exposure periods can really help with quality and lighting on your photos, but they also make the action of actually taking pictures more difficult. When the shutter stays open for longer, there’s a higher chance of you ruining a photo with a slight shake or movement.

With that in mind, if you want to get truly great photos with your iPhone, then you might have to invest in a tripod to hold your device still. You’ll find plenty of these available at Amazon, and you should be able to get your hands on a decent one for under $20 or so.

The pictures you take with an iPhone camera—regardless of which version of the phone you are using—are never going to be nearly as good as what you would get from a $1,000 camera. But Apple’s popular device is still capable of snapping some pretty great pictures, and by remembering the tips to take better photos with your iPhone will help you get the most out of your phone and its camera.