One week of helpful tips for your iPhone camera

A few years back I was watching an interview with Annie Leibovitz.  Brian Williams asked her:

“What do you tell people when they ask you what kind of camera to buy?”

Her response :

“The iPhone…really, that is the snapshot camera of today” 

I found that to be true for myself as well.  I have several cameras.  The big Canon with the handful of lens’ I use for work is amazing.  I love my Canon but when I’m done working and just want to shoot for fun, my go-to camera is always my iPhone.  The quality of images with the new iPhone 6 are stellar.   It’s an 8 megapixel camera with improved low light (f2.2) abilities.  Not to mention the 1080p hd video.   If you don’t have the iPhone 6 yet don’t worry, the 5’s are also great cameras; very intuitive and easy to use.  But even the best cameras need a little coaxing in certain situations  to get the best shots. With more and more of us relying on our iPhone’s to capture moments or to just express ourselves creatively through Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr, Facebook etc.  I though a few tips on iPhoneography would be helpful.

Today’s tips: Knowing how your camera works.

Tap or touch….Instant correct exposure.

Your iPhone has a passive auto focus and exposure system; meaning, it takes into account all the light in the frame and sets an average exposure.   In most cases, for landscape photos in full sun it does a great job.  But there are times when the subject you want to focus on is either much brighter or darker than the background in the rest of the frame.  In that case If you haven’t already discovered this on your own, this tip will literally change the way you shoot with your iPhone.

There two ways of controlling the correct exposure or focus on your iPhone:

  1.  Quick focus and exposure – tap once on your screen in the exact place where you want to set the exposure and focus.   – a little yellow box will appear.   – snap your photo.
  2.  Focus lock – Same principle as the quick focus except this time, press and hold in the spot on your screen until the yellow box appears again.  It will engage the auto focus/auto exposure mode and it will remain in that setting until you take your shot.  This is particularly helpful when you want to slightly recompose your shot without having your camera constantly changing the exposure.

The Flash:

I prefer to keep the flash turned off, only using it when it’s needed.  If you’re indoors and want to take some flash shots, don’t stand too close to your subject or the flash will blow them out and make them look like ghosts.    Your flash works best between 5-9 feet from the subject.  Once you go beyond 12 feet the flash is much less effective you’ll start to lose quality.

 The digital zoom feature:

Don’t use it. You’ve probably noticed that the quality of the image suffers when you zoom in.  This is because the zoom feature on the iPhone is only a digital zoom.  If you want to zoom in, walk toward your subject until you have the frame you want.  You’ll end up with much better quality images.

Clean your lens:

Our grubby finger prints are all over our phones.  That, combined with pocket lint will make give your lens an oily dusty film.  Ideally, use a very slightly moist lint free cloth to clean it.   If you don’t have one, Use a soft article of clothing – like your shirt.


Coming up;  improving your composition.