Please sign in to post.

How to take great iPhone photos?

Can anyone give any tips, apps, or technique suggestions for taking travel photos with my iPhone 5S? I always have it on me, and I find that it takes pretty great pictures... But I'm wondering if it can do even more.....!!
Steph

Posted by
267 posts

The iPhone 5S has a great camera for such a small device. Here are a few tips.

A lot of tips apply to any camera, not just the iPhone. To name just a few,

  • Follow the Light. The best light is usually early in the morning or late in the day. Not only is the color often beautiful, but the contrast is more manageable as well. Also, indirect light coming through windows and doors is often soft and lovely.

  • Get in Close. The closer you are to your subjects, the easier it is to eliminate background distractions. This rule is especially true for a cell phone camera, that shoots at a relatively wide angle and has a huge depth of field.

  • Pay Attention to the Background. (A corollary to the previous tip). I might even go so far as to say to figure out the background first and then place the subject in the background. Especially be on the lookout for anything in the background that distracts from your main subject.

  • Pay Attention to the Edges of the Frame. Look for distractions around the edges of the viewfinder.

  • Look for Relationships. I heard a quote once (I don't remember where) that said something like: "Snapshots are about objects; photographs are about relationships." There can be all sorts of relationships: relationships between colors, relationships between light and shadow, relationships between foreground and background, relationships between people or between people and objects. For example, don't just take a picture of a piece of sculpture. Instead, try to get a picture that shows how one of your traveling companions is reacting to a piece of sculpture. Of course, with travel shots you will take plenty of snapshots, and that's okay. At the same time, try to get pictures of relationships when you can.

  • Get the Basics Right. Hold the camera still. Gently press the shutter instead of stabbing it. Don't press the shutter until you have are comfortable that you have the picture framed the way you want it.

  • Avoid On-Camera Flash As Much As Possible. The on-camera flash flattens out everything. Avoid it if at all possible. The only exception is in bright sunlight, where the on-camera flash can help reduce the contrast for close subjects.

In addition to general techniques, you might want to get a few apps on your iPhone. Here are a few that come to mind.

  • A camera replacement app such as 645 Pro will give you some tools that one usually associates with a dSLR. For example, It has a shooting mode that shows you where you have blown highlights and shadows. It also has a histogram mode that can give you a better idea of the overall exposure.

  • An HDR (High Dynamic Range) app. VividHDR is my current pick, but there are several other good ones. Because HDR takes multiple images, these apps only works for things that are holding still, such as buildings and landscapes. The dedicated apps have a stronger effect than the HDR function in Apple's built in camera. You don't want to use HDR all the time, and sometimes it's easy to overdo it. When you are in a situation with really contrasty light, however, HDR can come in handy.

  • A couple of very basic editing apps may help. Snapseed (from Google) is a great basic editor. Perfectly Clear does pretty decent noise reduction, which can come in especially handy for low light situations.

I could keep going on this all night, but this ought to be enough to get you started.

Posted by
552 posts

"Avoid On-Camera Flash As Much As Possible. The on-camera flash flattens out everything. Avoid it if at all possible. The only exception is in bright sunlight, where the on-camera flash can help reduce the contrast for close subjects."

THAT'S the one that should be repeated...

Posted by
2525 posts

You can use volume controls on the side as well as volume controls on the earbuds as the shutter release rather than pressing the photo icon on the face of the phone.

Posted by
1 posts

Use the grid.
Keep the object to the side and not to center.
Don't always take flat images, try to use the depth nature has.
Don't take images from too far, be bold to come closer to object.
Flash is only useful for taking nearby object pics, so use it wisely.
More Iphone camera tips and tricks

Thanks