Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Five Tips to Take Better Photos With Your iPhone

Five Tips to Take Better Photos With Your iPhone - A Simpler Grace - My five tips for how you can take the best pictures using your iphone.

We've all seen the Instagram photography accounts that have "all photos taken with my iPhone" in the profile.  Surely, those pictures can't be taken with a smart phone... Can they?  The images are crisp and so vibrant that they look like they could have only come from a thousand dollar DSLR, but in truth, the built-in iPhone camera is capable of quality photographs - if you know how to use it. 
Today, I'm going to share five easy tips for taking better photos with your iPhone.  These are things you can put into action right now and they will change the way you take pictures.

Any professional photographer will tell you that composition is the foundation of photography. Learning how to place your subject in the viewfinder will take your pictures from boring and ordinary to visually-appealing in seconds.  Your iPhone already has the tool you need to master the rule of thirds.  You just need to turn it on!

Go to your iPhone settings > Photos & Camera > scroll down to the Camera section.  You'll see a line that says "Grid".  Toggle the button to ON.  When you open the camera app, you'll notice a grid has been placed on your screen.

When taking photographs from now on, you'll want to line your subject up with the points on the grid.  This will set your subject off-center and make your composition so much better than if your subject had been placed smack-dab in the middle of the image.

Another trick to nailing composition - skip the zoom function on your phone.  This pretty much guarantees grainy and blurry photos.  Try moving closer or around your subject until you get the image you desire.

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and it basically perfects the exposure of your image.  It works by taking three images (overexposed, underexposed and balanced) with one shutter click and combines the best parts of those images to give you a photo with beautiful highlights and shadows.

I've tested this feature and swear that my images also look sharper when using HDR than when not. The best part is there is no work involved.  Just click the little HDR button on your camera app (it's right next to the flash button) and you're good to go!

One thing to keep in mind is that your flash feature will not work with HDR turned on.  If I can offer you one bit of advice - skip the flash.  It's likely going to make your photos look like crap anyway.

This is probably one of the more well-known features to the iPhone camera app.  You tap the screen and will see a little yellow box appear.  This ensures that your subject is properly focused and exposed in your image.  I recommend composing your photo first by placing your subject in your viewfinder then tapping the screen where you want to pinpoint your focus on.  

If you tried the previous tip, you'll notice that the focus feature automatically adjusts the brightness of your photograph.  You can tweak this even more, if you want.  When that yellow box appears on your screen, there will be a little sun icon next to it.  Simply touch the sun and drag your finger up or down the screen to adjust the brightness.  Easy peasy!

Nothing is worse than getting your shot perfectly set up, focusing just where you want and setting the brightness to your liking then moving a bit and your phone's auto settings kick in and you lose everything.  You can easy lock your settings for the image by holding down on the yellow focus box until you see AE/AF LOCK appear on your screen.  This essentially locks off the auto-exposure and auto-focus until you click the screen again to unlock.  Using this feature will allow you to move to a different subject and keep the exact focus and brightness you originally set.  

What are your go-to camera phone photography tricks?

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  1. Yes! Thanks for this! I'm always looking to up my phone photo game. :-)

  2. You're so welcome! It's been nice to be able to take good Instagram photos on my phone without having to edit them in Photoshop before posting. Such a time saver!

  3. Such great tips! I definitely do the tap to focus but need to work on implementing some of these others asap!

  4. Such great tips! I had no idea about the HDR/sun feature/lock feature... so pretty much everything haha! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Karin, the HDR feature really steps your photos up and takes them from "cell phone photos" and makes them look like they came from an expensive camera. Have fun taking pictures! :)

  6. I just bought the Camera+ app for a few bucks and it's the best iPhone photo investment I've made.

  7. I just love these tips. As a blogger who needs to take pictures on the fly, these tips will prove invaluable. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Evelyn

  8. Great tips! I will have to check that HDR out. I've seen it, but never knew what it did till now. Thanks!!

  9. So glad you found them useful, Rebecca. Thanks for coming by today!

  10. I had no idea! thanks for telling me all this info that was already on my phone the entire time!

  11. Penny @ pennyspassion.blogspotApril 26, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    Great tips! I want to go out and take some pictures right now to see how much better they will be! :)

  12. Casey Oakley BennevaultApril 26, 2016 at 11:20 AM

    Such great tips! I definitely didn't know you could adjust the brightness directly, nor did I know about locking-in your settings! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

    Casey |

  13. Ashley, I've never heard of that app before, but I'll have to check it out. If an app that only costs a couple bucks can save you from always needing to lug around a DSLR camera, I'd say that's work it!

  14. Evelyn, you're so right. I don't always carry my professional camera around but always have my phone so these tips have been a lifesaver! Thanks for stopping by to read!

  15. Yay! Can't wait to see how they come out. Thanks for coming by and commenting Penny!

  16. Casey those are two functions that are AWESOME if you are moving around but don't have the time to reset everything again. Glad you found some you can try! :)

  17. These are such great tips! Thanks for sharing!

  18. I'm glad you found them helpful. Thanks for stopping by today, Lauren!

  19. Diamond Designs UniformSeptember 7, 2016 at 3:33 PM

    This has been so helpful! Thank you for sharing.
    Diamond Designs Uniforms |