/>
X

How to take amazing photos with your iPhone

Want to take better photos with your iPhone? Here are a selection of tips and tricks to help you take stunning shots!
000.jpg
1 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Introduction

The iPhone is the single most popular camera out there, with people taking countless photos with it every day. And it's a stunningly powerful camera, capable of taking amazing photos with the press of a button.

But with a few simple tips and tricks, you can upgrade your photography to the next level, and transform good photos into amazing photos.

001.jpg
2 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

The single best tip for taking better photos

OK, are you ready for the single best tip for taking better photos? I promise you it is simple, and will make a massive difference to your photography.

OK, now I've hyped this up, here's the tip... use the volume up button to take the shot, not the on-screen button. 

Why does this help you take better photos? Because it allows you to have a better hold of the camera, so there's less camera shake and you get to better compose the shot. 

I know it's simple, but give it a go!

001b.jpg
3 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Quick access to the camera from the lock screen

How fast you get access to the camera can make the difference between getting the shot and missing the shot.

If you're iPhone is locked, there's a quick way to access the camera that doesn't entail unlocking the handset and finding the Camera app.

All you need to do is swipe left from the lock screen and that gives you instant access to the camera.

Nice!

002.jpg
4 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Use HDR is bright lighting

Taking a photo in bright light can result in areas that are blown out and others that are too dark. HDR (High Dynamic Range) overcomes this by taking three shots at different exposures and combining them to even out the extremes. 

You can turn this on, off (you might not always want it on, especially if you are trying to make a stylish shot), or set it to manual by tapping the HDR button in the Camera app.

003.jpg
5 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Burst mode

Don't just take one shot and hope that it was right. If you press and hold down the capture button you can activate burst mode, which takes a stream of photos.

This is great for situations where there's a lot going on or you're taking a group shot and want to make sure that everyone is smiling and have their eyes open!

004.jpg
6 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Experiment with Portrait Mode

Portrait Mode (assessibe by tapping on Portrait at the bottom of the Camera app screen) is a neat way to get an interesting depth of field effect that would otherwise require expensive cameras and lenses.

But it can take some getting used to, so I suggest that you experiment with this feature before you try to use it to take real shots, as the results can be a bit unpredictable!

005.jpg
7 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Optical zoom vs. Digital zoom

Cameras have two different kinds of zoom -- optical zoom, which is the zoom carried out by the lens, and digital zoom which is a computer trick that essentially crops the photo smaller.

The best zoom you can have is optical. Digital zoom, especially at higher zoom settings, can cause image deterioration.

Depending on how many rear cameras your iPhone has you many have 1x or 1x and 2x zoom available, but if you tap and raise the zoom button you can access digital zoom. But remember that this can make the image seem grainy at higher zoom levels.

010.jpg
8 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Lean to process your image

Photography doesn't end after you've pressed the shutter... you can then process the image you've captured to get the most out of it.

Find the image in the Photos app, tap Edit, and tap the little dial icon at the bottom of the scree to access a whole raft of settings you can edit.

There's a lot to these settings, but if the image is too bright you can take down the highlights, and if parts of it are too dark, you can open up the shadows. And fo images that are a little flat and colorless, you can experiment with the color settings.

006.jpg
9 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

How to take better overhead shots

When you take a photo of something from overhead you might notice that two Xs appear on the screen. 

What do these do?

Simple. When these overlap, you know that you're holding the camera directly overhead whatever you are photographing.

007.jpg
10 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Settings you might want to tweak

Here are three settings I suggest you activate in iOS.

Go to Settings > Camera and activate the Grid, Auto HDR, and Keep Normal Photo (this means that when an HDR photo is taken, a normal photo is also saved). 

008.jpg
11 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Experiment with third-party apps

The built-in Camera app is a great app packed with features, but there are also some really great third-party apps out there, especially for speciality photography such as low-light or long exposure.

A couple of great apps to check out are NightCap Camera and Manual - RAW Camera.

009.jpg
12 of 12 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Add an extra lens

Another great way to make the iPhone's camera better is to add an extra external lens. There are a countless offerings out there, from budget to expensive. 

One of the best available are made by Olloclip, which make a number of different lenses, from wide angle to zoom.

Related Galleries

Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6: Electric vehicle extravaganza
img-8825

Related Galleries

Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6: Electric vehicle extravaganza

26 Photos
A weekend with Google's Chrome OS Flex
img-9792-2

Related Galleries

A weekend with Google's Chrome OS Flex

22 Photos
Cybersecurity flaws, customer experiences, smartphone losses, and more: ZDNet's research roundup
shutterstock-1024665187.jpg

Related Galleries

Cybersecurity flaws, customer experiences, smartphone losses, and more: ZDNet's research roundup

8 Photos
Inside a fake $20 '16TB external M.2 SSD'
Full of promises!

Related Galleries

Inside a fake $20 '16TB external M.2 SSD'

8 Photos
Hybrid working, touchscreen MacBook hopes, cybersecurity concerns, and more: ZDNet's tech research roundup
Asian woman working at a desk in front of a computer and calculator

Related Galleries

Hybrid working, touchscreen MacBook hopes, cybersecurity concerns, and more: ZDNet's tech research roundup

8 Photos
Developer trends, zero-day risks, 5G speeds, and more: Tech research roundup
Person seated at a booth in a cafe looks at their phone and laptop.

Related Galleries

Developer trends, zero-day risks, 5G speeds, and more: Tech research roundup

10 Photos
Drive Electric Day: A dizzying array of EVs in sunny Florida
ca3b4019-26c5-4ce0-a844-5aac39e2c34b.jpg

Related Galleries

Drive Electric Day: A dizzying array of EVs in sunny Florida

16 Photos