This is a guest post by Max Therry.
So, your iPhone is all packed in your bag and you’re ready to embark on the travel journey ahead.
From getting the right light to taking those scenic panorama shots — we’ve put together a list of 12 tips and tricks that will help you get the best travel snaps possible!
1. Learn the Basics.
When it comes to iPhone photography, there are a few basic (but essential) rules that should be brought along in your back pocket while traveling and used for capturing great images. Let’s cover some of the most useful ones.
The Rule of Thirds
Apply the Rule of Thirds by using the grid lines on your iPhone to align your subject. To switch your grid lines on, simply go to Settings – Photos & Camera – Grid Image. Your image will be divided into nine equal parts (two vertical lines and two horizontal lines).
To achieve a compositionally beautiful photo, just place your subject along the places where the lines intersect.
The use of Leading Lines is extremely powerful for creating travel images that engage the viewer and draw them into your scene. You can use bridges, painted yellow road lines, trees — anything that forms lines and leads people to your subject.
These lines will add symmetry, depth, and intrigue to your travel snaps.
With the Diagonal Rule, one side of your photo is divided into two parts — and each of those halves is then divided into three parts. The lines connect the points and lead to a diagonal frame. According to this rule, crucial parts of your photo are then placed along the diagonals.
Lines and diagonals in the same picture
When you’re traveling, you’ll find elements like waves, fences, bridges, rocks and more. If you place them diagonally in the image, rather than horizontally, the elements are said to become more dynamic and visually interesting.
2. Don’t Zoom In.
This is an easy but important tip to keep in mind when you’re traveling — don’t zoom in! iPhones have a fixed lens and do not feature optical zoom (expect for IPhone 7-8 Plus and IPhone X). Digital zoom just crops the image and causes it to be pixelated. Instead, snag your photo as you normally would — then crop later.
3. Get the Light Right.
When it comes to the iPhone flash, you might notice using it tends to wash your images out. To avoid this, go for natural light when shooting. During the daytime, this is easy! But as the evening progresses, you might find you need to get creative with what’s offered in your environment.
Use objects like twinkle lights, candles, and street lamps.
Setting focus on the iPhone is one super easy way to ensure a better-looking image. To do so, just tap on your screen at the point where you’d like the camera to focus — hold — and watch elements of your photo become crystal clear from there.
5. Adjust exposure.
You may or may not have come home from your travels abroad only to find an assortment of under and overexposed travel shots. The under-exposed images look too dark — the overexposed ones look too bright.
Even though the iPhone featured a fixed aperture, you can still manually adjust your exposure. With iOS 8, tap and hold the phone screen to focus then opt for using the small slider with the sun icon to adjust from there.
Sun icon is for the exposure; square is for the focus.
As you swipe, you’ll notice the exposure slider moving, and your image becoming magically more enticing.
6. Try HDR.
You might have noticed the letters HDR written out on your iPhone when you’re snapping your shots. But are you utilizing it? With the iPhone, HDR photography combines three different exposures of the same setting to create one perfectly exposed final image.
Give it a try in your close-up photos or for scenes where there are both dark and light elements.
7. Create Depth.
The technology within the iPhone is capable of creating rich scenes full of dynamic depth that help to draw your viewer into the photo.
To add some depth to your images, try using leading lines or including certain elements in the foreground of your photo to frame the scene. Say, for example, you’re shooting a horizontal landscape of the ocean. Why not experiment with a couple palm trees in the foreground to frame those alluring teal waters?
8. Think of Different Angles.
The great thing about shooting with an iPhone is that the shots can easily be taken from a whole bunch of different angles. Try getting low to the ground and shooting up into the trees. Or standing on a chair and shooting your plate of food from the top down.
If you want to test yourself and your creativity, stand with your feet fixed in one place and see how many different angles you can capture.
9. Experiment with Filters.
Filters are a fun way to bring creativity to your images. Filters for iPhone on the app store offer 800 ways to quickly (and radically) transform your photos.
From vintage film and black and white, to vibrant hand-painted textures — there are a lot of different ways to enhance your photos depending on the vibe and feel you’re looking to create.
The best news? If you change your mind after applying your filter, simply tap edit and select the “No Filter” option to try again.
Instead of filters, you can always edit you’re your photos right on your iPhone by adjusting some setting. For that, open your picture and tap “Edit” to choose from the options given.
Try different ones to improve your picture!
10. Try Shooting Panoramas.
Panoramic images are perfect for those moments when you find yourself thinking, “How can I fit all this into one photo?” The panoramic feature is often underutilized on the iPhone — but the end results it creates are incredible.
To use this feature, switch to PANO when you open your camera and tap the shutter to begin capturing your scene. Try using PANO with ocean images, sunset shots, and horizontal street snaps that seem to stretch for miles.
11. Try Burst Mode.
Burst mode works wonderfully if you’re looking to capture golden candid moments or images with moving subjects. If you hold down the shutter while in burst mode, your iPhone will capture an assortment (or a burst) of images.
Then, choose your favorite from there! Using burst mode can make the difference between capturing an epic shot of someone mid-air — or capturing a shot of them on the ground, instead.
12. Sharpen Your Photos.
If you’re looking for an excellent way to make your travel images clear and blur-free — try the self-timer. By clicking on the clock in the upper section of your iPhone, you’ll be able to select the amount of time you’d like.
As you press down the shutter, you’ll be given a few extra seconds to get that shake-free selfie or steady landscape image you’ve been dreaming of.
Whether you’re shooting close-up photos of your breakfast or wide-angle shots of long, green forests — we hope these 12 tips and tricks have given you the necessary tools to get out there and snag the best travel photos you can.