Thanks to social media like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchats etc. sharing pictures has become a common trend. Now, have you ever wondered how people could get those stunning pictures? Well, it is not that difficult as long as you get some basic things right. Firstly, if you have an iPhone with you rest assured that you can take good quality pictures. Apple iPhone has always been proud of its camera features, and rightly so. Getting the knowhow to draw out the full potential of iPhone camera features can come in real handy, especially when you don’t have a professional camera with you, but want good quality pictures.
Quick Access to Your Camera App
How well do you know how to access your camera? First things first, you should know the different ways you can easily access your camera. One way to do this is when your iPhone is locked all you need to do is either push the home button or the power button to wake your phone. In the bottom right you will see a camera icon. You can press there and slide up to get access to your camera. In your iPhone X, you will be able to activate your camera by just swiping left across the lock screen (note that you’ll need to press the power button in your iPhone X). It eases the task of having to enter your passcode and logging into your phone saving you valuable time to get that image you want. You can also personalise your home screen by keeping your camera app where it is visible and easily accessible. One suggestion is that you can dock it at the bottom of the screen. To do this press and hold the camera icon until it starts to jiggle. You can now drag the camera app to your desired location.
The camera app comes with an inbuilt feature that displays grids and divides the screen into small proportions. The grid is made up of two horizontal lines and an equal number of vertical lines which divides the screen into nine parts. You can activate the grid lines by going to “settings”, Move to the camera and tap on the “grid”. Remember that the grid option should show a green button. Once you do this, you can switch on your camera app, but instead of just the view of the object you want to click, you will see grids. It is a handy tool to help you where you need to focus, how much you need to zoom in or zoom out and many more. Based on the rule of thirds, keeping the main subject of your photography off-centre would give you a more refined result. The gridline will also come in handy to keep your lens steady as you can use the lines to maintain your camera level. Your pictures would be more stable. This option is excellent for capturing food and still life photography.
Selecting a Suitable Shooting Mode
Your camera app has multiple shooting modes to give your different results. You can experiment with each of them. Once you open your camera app, you will see different options below like “Photo”, “Video”, “Time Lapse”, “Slo-Mo”, “Square” and “Pano”. Quickly swipe left or right to try out these functions. Here is a brief info on each of these functions:
- Photo Mode: This is the default camera mode. It will capture photos in rectangular sizes.
- Video Mode: This is the default video mode. It will help you capture video clips or footage.
- Pano: You don’t have to worry about a group photo with people not fitting into the frame. Once the pano mode is on you can tap the shutter and move your device across the screen keeping in mind to keep it steady and level. This is an elegant feature, to capture wide-open landscapes.
- Slo-Mo: You can have fun with this option. It captures motion and automatically slows them down.
- Time Lapse: This is the opposite of the Slo-Mo option. Time-lapse can give you some cool videos. It makes the video faster. Use your imagination to get those unique looking clips.
- Portrait Mode: You can capture great portraits in this mode. It blurs the background of the main subject creating a beautiful effect.
Getting Accurate Focus
One important thing you need to perfect in photography is getting a proper focus. How will you get your focus right while clicking pictures? The good and bad thing is that your device will automatically choose a focus if you don’t manually select one. It might not always favour you as it might get it wrong sometimes leaving you with a very sorry looking low-quality picture. You have nothing to worry as setting and figuring out a focus isn’t rocket science. All you need to do is tap on that part where you would want to give a sharp focus. When the device has set the focus, you’ll see a yellow square box. Doing this will automatically blur the area around the main subject. This effect is quite useful when you are doing close-up photos. Be careful to set the focus in the right area as getting it wrong will end up leaving you with a blurry subject and a contrastingly sharp background.
To get high-quality pictures you need to have a good sense of exposure or lighting. Too much exposure and the image will look too bright. Not enough light and you will end up with a dark picture. It is eminent that you get the exposure setting right, as it would determine whether your image could be called high quality or not. While tapping on the screen to set the focus, your device would automatically set the exposure (brightness) of the picture. It will set the exposure according to the area that you tap on. For instance, you could touch on an area of the scene which is bright, your phone would then expose for the highlights, meaning only the bright areas of the image will be correctly exposed or brought out displaying more colours and detailing just in that portion. On the other hand, if you tap on darker areas the camera would expose only for the shadows, this means, that the more shaded areas will have plenty of colours and detail. You could however not desire that the focus and the exposure area to be the same. iPhone has a way out of this too. As soon as you set the focus, a yellow box appears, just beside that, you will get a small icon of a sun. You can tap there and manage the brightness according to your will.
Getting an accurate focus can be difficult, you need steady hands. Besides, moving the camera could quickly shift the focus elsewhere. The AE/AF lock enables you to lock the focus and exposure while clicking pictures. As mentioned earlier tapping on the screen activates the focus. To set the lock, you need to press and hold on the screen for a few seconds. Like the previous occasion, a yellow box will appear on the assigned focus area. You need not worry about losing the focus from this point on. Remember that you can still change the setting for exposure.
The advantage of AE/AF lock focus is that you can click multiple pictures without having to adjust the focus again and again. You can try out different angles while keeping the same focus. Another advantage is this that you need not worry about moving objects. The camera tends to focus on moving objects automatically, but this would not happen if the lock is on. This could come in handy in street photography.
HDR for Better Quality and Exposure
HDR or High Dynamic Range is a significant feature to create photos with quality exposure. To use this function you can tap on the HDR settings from the camera app. Options will be given to you to set the HDR more either in ‘auto’ or turn it ‘on’ and ‘off’ manually. If you set the HDR in auto, the camera will decide when it would click in HDR mode. One thing to note is that HDR will turn off if you switch on the flash. The advantage that this feature offers is that you would have two copies of the same picture. One of the images would be normal, and the other would be in the HDR mode. Depending on your preference you can keep either of the photos.
Burst Mode for Shooting Moving Subjects
iPhone has a high number of hidden features under its arsenal. One such hidden feature of iPhone is the Burst mode. You might not have had any clue that this feature existed in your device. The burst mode allows you to take ten to twenty pictures in a matter of seconds. This feature is highly useful for taking pictures of moving objects. You can activate this feature by just holding down the shutter button. Doing this will enable Burst mode, and it would continue to click pictures as long as you are holding down the shutter button.
This is a feature available only in iPhone 6s and higher. With WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook status becoming a trend, these three seconds of live images is just what the doctor ordered. Unlike the conventional photos, this feature helps you create a moving image. It captures the moment you click the picture and after you have taken it creating a three seconds clip including not only movement but sound as well. To take live photos, you can tap on the circle icon of the camera app. The circle icon will become yellow when you press it indicating that it has started taking the live photo. To play the Live Photo press down on the screen firmly. You might need to push harder than usual, after capturing the live picture, you can easily apply different effects like “Loop”, “Bounce” or “Long Exposure”, by merely opening the Live Photo and swiping up. Here is what the effects do:
- Loop, would continuously play the Live Photo back and forth.
- Bounce, would play your Live Photo forwards and then play it again from the reverse.
- Long Exposure, would create a slow shutter effect, which blurs out any movements that are being captured.
Portrait Mode to Blur the Background
Portrait mode allows a photo to be taken with a shallow depth of field effect. Apply this mode when you want the subject to appear sharp, while the background remains blurry. You can get aan access to Portrait mode only in the higher versions of iPhone including iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus camera.
You would typically not be able to achieve this shallow depth of field with phone cameras as this feature is somewhat limited to DSLR cameras. But Portrait mode gives you the edge by allowing you this luxury even in a phone camera.
Under this mode, you can quickly click quality portrait photos of people. However, this does not mean that you can’t click anything else in this mode. Your pictures would look sharp, making it more prominent to the view and the blurry effect of the background gives it a nice touch. So go out there and start shooting.
Did you know?
- You can click photos with your volume button. To do this, open your camera app, focus on the subject you want to click, and then press the volume up. It works like the shutter button and would click the photo.
- You can achieve a similar feat with your earpiece too. Plug in your apple earpiece to your device. Open the camera app, find a subject you want to shoot. Once you are satisfied with everything that you see on the screen press the volume up in your earpiece, this would have the same effect and click a picture. You can thank me later!