Getting Better Pictures Out of Your iPhone Camera

Taken from the original article How to Take Better iPhone Camera Pictures and adapted with permission.


Your iPhone may not be a DSLR, but under the right circumstances it can take some pretty fantastic digital photos.  It wasn’t more than five years ago that three megapixel cameras were extremely common in basic consumer photography. Now you have one built into your cellphone! By manually taking the steps most cameras now do automatically, you’ll be able to take digital photos that look as great as any point-and-shoot.

The two most basic differences between an iPhone and a “real digital camera” are noise and flash.  Now that the resolution has improved, these are the last hurdles in achieving truly great digital photos.  Both of these problems can be taken care of at once by adding more light to your photos.  No matter how well lit a picture is, get more light in there! It may look ok on the screen when you’re taking it, but adding more let will allow the phone to shoot faster, clearer digital photos.

Stabilize the camera.  Part of the way the iPhone compensates for low light is by taking digital photos slowly.  This lets the lens absorb more light to expose the photo.   If you move as you’re taking the picture, it’s going to come out blurry.  Keep that camera as steady as possible and your digital photos will turn out alright.  Brace your arms against your body, or even try holding your breath.  Anything to make you move less.   Next to setting the camera on something, you best option is to find something to lean on.

Your movement isn’t the only thing you have to worry about.  The more the subject of your digital photos is moving, the higher risk of you’ll have of those digital photos turning out blurry.  It’s great to strike a pose, but can your subject keep it?  Where are they standing? What kind of surface are they on? Are they going to get uncomfortable?  Make sure your subject knows they have to stay very still.  If all else fails, ditch your friends and go take some digital photos of a rock or park bench.  That’ll show them.

The iPhone has some automatic focus, exposure, and white balance features.  These are the real tricks for something professionally taking digital photos – and you can use them too.  Older phones had to make sure the subject of their digital photos was about 8-10 feet away in order to be in focus.  The camera also had to use a small aperture to keep everything in focus, resulting in a darker and more noisy photo.  Now you can move your subject a good distanct away from their background, tap directly on them to ensure they’re the focal point of the digital photos, and take the picture.

Additional Tips

  • I wasn’t kidding about light! Tell your friends to stand in front of a lamp.  More to a better light room.  Shine a flashlight in the frame.  Any light you add will make r digital photos look better.  That’s why most cameras have flashes and why your outdoor digital photos look so much better than your indoor ones.
  • Try moving closer to your subject when using the tap autofocus.  You may find the auto focus works to give you higher quality digital photos.  If that doesn’t work, experiment with different focal points and see how the lighting, exposure, and color of your digital photos change.

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