Now, photographers of all levels can enjoy high quality photography straight from their smartphone. Here are a few tips and tricks for getting the most out of your iPhone camera on your next Hawaiian vacation.
Focus Tap — The first tip for setting up any photo is to focus on your subject. The iPhone has an autofocus feature, but many people don’t know that you can lock this feature into place, giving you more control of your photo. To lock in the focal point, tap and hold on the portion of the screen that contains your subject until you see “AE/AF LOCK” in yellow blocking at the top of the screen. This feature allows your subject to move and for objects to appear in the background (I’m talking to you, photo bombers) without compromising the shot. To unlock the focus, simply tap anywhere on the screen.
Controlling Light — Once you’ve set your focal point, the next step is to control the light you allow into the photo by adjusting your exposure. The exposure feature is especially useful when photographing sunrises and sunsets, as too much light can blow out the photo and too little light can make the scene appear lackluster. To adjust your exposure, simply scroll the sun icon to the right of your focal square up or down the screen. This feature should be used in moderation to avoid creating too much “noise” in your photo.
HDR — Another useful tip for taking perfectly exposed photos is to activate the HDR (High Dynamic Range) feature. HDR allows the camera to capture three photos at different exposures (high, low, and balanced) and blends them together. The outcome is a color-rich photo that resembles what you’re seeing with your eyes instead of through a camera lens. Use this feature in landscape, backlit, and sunrise settings to see the full effects!
Post Production Apps – Even after focusing on your subject, controlling your light, and activating HDR you may find some touch up necessary. Luckily, the iPhone is an incredible resource for post production with hundreds of free apps available to use. The Snapseed app allowed me to refine the photo below by drawing out the brightness and structure in certain areas. A Color Story, VSCO, and Lightroom Mobile are also free apps with great editing and filter selections.
Black & White – Black and white photography is great for creating a dramatic scene and the iPhone has several great presets to choose from. To access this feature, tap the three overlapping circles in the top righthand corner of your photo screen to view and select your filter. Check out Noir. These are great options for photography on an overcast day!