How to Take Amazing Pictures with Your iPhone

As digital technologies are gearing up for better and even more advanced performance, very popular digital photography is no exception. Turns out that today you can take pretty awesome photos with only an iPhone camera on hand. If you trace back time to about a couple of years ago, you’d realize that there was no way of making professional-quality photos with mobile phone cameras. Yes, they were great for taking casual shots and were producing good enough pics for posting on some social media accounts. But post-processing them didn’t even worth the shot.

Then iPhones gained incredible popularity because of advanced camera quality. What else adds to the great popularity of the iPhone’s camera is that it keeps on improving constantly with useful updates and new cool features. Indeed, there is always some kind of update that comes out on a regular basis.

At the time when the iPhone 8Plus hit stores available for sale, all fans were thrilled about how advanced its new features were. Moreover, photographers got excited just as much. It suddenly became clear that the iPhone 8Plus camera can produce amazing quality images. Indeed, it is still used for photo projects by professional guys in the photography field.

But to expect the same scope of modes from an iPhone camera is rather naive. It’s just not there yet if you’d compare it with professional DSLRs. The capabilities of iPhone cameras are rather limited in comparison with DSLRs. But, hey, you just can’t out beat its incredible mobility and full potential. What makes it especially so great? Well, having a lightweight device is always handier when you travel that still makes awesome quality photos. Rather than dragging a bulky gear on the spot of the photoshoot. Yeah, in this case, having an iPhone in your pocket seems like an awesome alternative.

Got an iPhone 8Plus or a newer one? Wondering how to start making great pics? Keep on reading this blog post to get cool hints on this topic! Learn about features and modes that just came out. Ready for some tips? If yes, then let’s roll!

Start Out With Learning Settings

So, you want to make your pics look like they’ve been taken by an experienced photographer. First, you need to start by reviewing the settings. Pick through settings and determine how to adjust or re-adjust to squeeze the most out of them. Figure out the best ways possible that work well for ISO or aperture. Because these things convert a photo into a great photo. Along with a well-chosen composition, of course. Since it will probably take you a fair amount of time and effort to get to the point of mere professionalism, keep on going and don’t hesitate.

Master creativity with lots of practical work and learn how to handle such important stuff as the exposure triangle, aperture, shutter speed, etc. Don’t worry if you never dealt with any of those DSLR cameras. Not a big deal. Settings that you’ll see for the iPhone camera will give a clear view and the best way to go about everything.

Some handy phone camera settings that can make your pics look super nice:

Quality. Set your camera to the highest quality in case if you’re going to snap pics of some important stuff. Or if you plan on post-processing later on. High resolution always comes in handy if you plan further photo editing.

It’s good to set your image quality to a low resolution if you keep a bunch of pics without even transferring them anywhere (let’s say, cloud storage or other storage). Photographs of low resolution keep the phone from becoming too overloaded quickly.

Focus point. The focus point becomes important every time you are in the process of taking a shot. The focus point feature makes photographs look sharp even without post-processing.

First, decide on the best possible way to compose your future photograph. Then apply the focus point by tapping the screen at the exact spot where you want to have it. Find a small “sun” icon (yellowish in color), then set the exposure to a correct level. In case you have to recompose, utilize the AE/AF lock and you’re all set for taking amazing photos on an iPhone!

High dynamic range. Try the HDR feature for creating evenly exposed photographs. Every time you shoot some pics, the camera makes about 3 shots stacking these shots. All these photo shots are perfectly exposed showing all shadows and highlights in detail (detailed components).

Necessary steps for setting it up:

  • Find HDR on auto mode and switch it off
  • Find a mode that says “normal photo” – switch it off
  • Wait for the “hdr” icon to show up
  • Once you see a crossing line, go ahead and tap it with a finger for further activation.

Useful tip: iPhones provide an option that lets you save all settings you’ve used during your most recent photoshoots. This is an option that is set as default. But you can keep it switched off (if you wish so).

Gridlines. What are they? Let’s dive into it. Imagine people picking through their pics that they took on vacation or such. Then suddenly they realize that lots of images show a tilted horizontal line. Yay! Looks like these pics were shot by some kind of an amateur photographer. Right? Most people want to see pictures of beautiful landscapes that display a perfect composition.

Another example. You observe a photograph of a nice sunny beach and really like it. But the ocean in that photo looks like it almost slides off the picture. This flaw can spoil everything right there. If you’ve already learned the rules of composition, you’ll notice the flaw immediately. Use the gridlines feature on your iPhone! This will prevent such a problem as a crooked horizon. The gridline will make this horizon perfectly aligned and straight on the photograph.

Composition Rules You Ought To Be Aware Of

Rule of Thirds. In photography, everybody needs to know this rule since it makes a perfect composition. Follow this rule and your photos will look much more visually appealing allowing viewers to observe with admiration and flow over them with ease. However, this rule might not work in some cases. Basically, determine if you need it or not for yourself.

Keep it simple. Not always displaying a bunch of stuff in pics plays in favor. Sometimes the rule of simplicity that says “less is more” will lead to achieving this “wow” result right away. Capture your viewers’ attention by showing a meaningful thing that stands alone. Guide them exactly to the point you want them to observe. Express creativity by adding lots of air to an image and conveying a single subject into space. Allow your viewers to focus on this object with curiosity or even rapture.

Different angles create amazing pictures. If you shoot the same object but under different angles, this changes perspective. And you can end up with some really interesting pics. So, don’t be afraid to goof around and play with different angles for the best shots! Try different positions while you shoot, stay safe though, and don’t break anything including your iPhone. 

By changing perspectives you can make pics look less repetitive and less boring, indeed. So, get down on the ground (lay body flat) and turn perspective all around. Tricks like that make photos look very interesting and fun.

Are you more of a drama queen? That’s fine! Add a pinch of drama by tracing contrasts that you can spot on the sky. And then interweave them with objects around – trees, buildings, cars, etc. Lift your head up once and a while and find cool stuff that is worth photographing!

Show small things like if they’re large objects. Small details shown up close do look really amazing in the photo. The iPhone camera has a capacity similar to those of macro lenses. This approach can create the wow effect, you bet.

Photography encompasses focus and imagination where light and shadows are the keys to creativity. Master techniques used for expressing light and shadows to create special effects. Practice by observing all different ways the light can hit objects during the day and at dawn. Or under different weather conditions like stormy weather or sunny beautiful days. For instance, capture a single color that pops up and traces its way through the monotone surface of an object and make an awesome image that is worth framing.

More on iPhone features

Portrait. This mode was a winner since the iPhone 8 plus came out and became the most useful feature (you’ll find it in iPhone Xs and iPhone XR too). Portrait mode brought endless possibilities to creativity by providing much broader capacities like depth adjustments, bokeh, blurry effects, etc. Take your time exploring by yourself more in-depth because it does provide great capabilities.

Pano. Very useful if you like to photograph landscapes and take panoramic photos. Allows creating a much wider angle for panorama.

Square. Utilize for making composition intact. Indeed, very popular amongst Instagram bloggers.

Live Photo. Record 3-second vids while you’re pressing on the shutter.  Let you view everything in action right after the photoshoot. Keep it either activated or deactivated. Totally up to you.

Burst. You can make a whole series of images with this mode, take “action” pics, and capture any moment you find striking.

Zoom/Attachable lenses. Let you zoom in and no more crawlings up to the subject! Useful, huh? Remember how many times you’ve been trying to take a good picture of some cute little bird while wandering outdoors? And then suddenly it would spook-out and fly away? Now with the iPhone on hand, you can take pictures of anything that is far away easily by zooming in and zooming out. Great for portrait sessions too! Don’t use it for stalking though. Just kidding.

Another great news is that the iPhone lets you utilize attachable lenses!  Even though this option just came out,  it’s already been appreciated as an awesome alternative. We’re talking about advantages in prices and quality for your reference. Get a macro lens or even try a fish-eye lens and have a whole bunch of fun! You’ll shoot like a pro!

Editing/filters. Super-duper popular amongst both – newbies and experienced photographers. New editing apps even offer filters for creating different moods! Other apps offer to edit for “fine-tuning” your pics by auto-adjusting ISO/shutter speed/aperture. Anything.

iPhone apps you might find useful:

Pro camera – the camera can be set for automatic/manual/semi-automatic modes. Cool features include RAW capture/live histogram/anti-shake. This app makes pics look really super sharp!

VSCO – controls ISO and provides lots of functions that are easily customized. Just play with exposure components (similar to DSLRs) and learn how to adjust them right before you launch your shot. Needless to say, you’ll be able to create long-exposure images with fine-tune focus points. Or activate a tiltmeter for leveling your phone. This way a perfectly straight horizon line is guaranteed.


iPhones became an impressive substitute for professional-level photo cameras. Today, they provide portability, convenience, and great features used for visual communication. Knowing the most useful modes on the iPhone camera will help to take amazing quality images. 

At some point, your photo editing skills will also come into play. And so, this is also something that you will have to start learning as you learn photography. Are you wondering what is natural about your pictures if they need editing? The editing tools are not like your basic Photoshop tools. They are meant to enhance the images while keeping them as natural-looking as possible.

Find unique and interesting objects and scenes to capture. Your own interest in photography will have to be strong. Even if you think of it as a long-term hobby or even a profession. Even here, the basics will matter. Start with landscapes and gardens that have few trees and lesser objects around. Click several photos from various angles and see how you can make them look prettier. Learn more hints and tricks of photography with photography courses and masterclasses on Grinfer!

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