Using the Camera on an iPhone

Why haul around a bulky DSLR when you can get photos just as fancy-looking with your iPhone 4S or iPhone 5? Although the camera features on older iPhone models are lacking in quality, the newer iPhone models are making up for lost time with image quality that no one will guess came from your iPhone. Here are a few quick tips we picked up on using the camera on your iPhone.

1. Think camera, not iPhone.

Hold the phone like a camera. That means two hands, not one. Two hands make for a steady shot. The most important thing to remember if you want to take good photos with your iPhone is to hold it still. You shake the phone, you'll end up with a blurry picture every time. If possible, steady your arm, hand, or camera on something solid for an even steadier shot.

2. Zoom with your body.

Yes, there's a zoom feature on your iPhone. But if you want a higher quality image, we recommend "zooming" with your feet. Get closer to the subject, if possible. Obviously, if you're taking a picture of the Grand Canyon at the edge of a cliff and want it closer, use the zoom—not your body.

3. Take two. Or fifty.

Why settle for one mediocre shot when you can take 50 and keep the best one or two shots? The only way you'll get better at taking pictures with your iPhone is to practice. So take 50 shots of the sunset. Try different angles. Use a filter. Get closer. Back up. Just remember to delete the shots you don't want later on. We recommend viewing the photos on a computer screen to see the true quality before deciding which shots to keep and which to delete.


4. See the light.

Light makes a big difference in the quality of images you take with your iPhone. Dim indoor light equals grainy images. Natural light outdoors equals sharp, professional-quality images. The more you play with lighting, the better you will understand which light conditions (time of day, indoor/outdoors, shadows, etc.) are optimal for shooting high quality photos. Don't hesitate to shoot at night or dusk—just know that you may need to fiddle with the camera settings or take multiple shots in order to get what you want.

5. Check the settings.

Can't figure out why your friends can take better pictures on their iPhones than you can? You might want to double check the settings on your camera. For the best images, set the resolution and picture quality as high as possible. Just know that higher quality images require more storage space, which means you'll want to download those images onto your computer to free up more space.

6. Clean the lens.

Cleaning the lens is one of those no-brainer things that you only think of after you've tried everything else. A clean lens makes all the difference between grubby photos (think oily fingerprints) and sharp shots. Just be careful not to scratch the lens when you clean it.

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