Let's be real: Everyone loves getting "likes" on their newest Instagram photos, so it's no surprise you've probably wondered about the best way to take a picture with your iPhone. People follow all sorts of approaches to getting their ideal pictures: Filters can save your skin on the mornings of your worst hangover, and we all have that one foodie friend who believes whole-heartedly in no one taking a bite until the picture is perfect. Personally, I love seeing pictures on social media; from what people are eating to what their morning commute looks like to their #ootd, I'm into getting a glimpse into my friend's and loved one's lives when we're too busy or too far apart to experience it first hand.
Interestingly, I'm not alone. According to research on social media released from PEW, nearly half of adults who use social media post original photographs online. I know there are all differing opinions on whether we "should" take pictures to share online (as some people argue it detracts from living and enjoying life in the moment), but ultimately, I think it's the way of the future and goes hand-in-hand with how deeply technology is incorporated into our lives.
All of which leads me to ask: How do you use your iPhone to take the best pictures? In all honesty, not everyone can afford a fancy DSLR, and even if they can, not everyone is in the mood to carry around an expensive camera and tripod all the time. Luckily, iPhones are actually really good cameras, and there's plenty of tricks and tips for how to capture the best images with them. Matt Gonzalez of MacRumors shared a video with specific hacks on how to take awesome photos just using an iPhone. Check out three of the tips I found the most useful below, and scroll down to watch the full video for a whole bunch more.
1. Stay Focused
No, really. As Gonzalez explains in the video, adjusting the focus on your iPhone is key. You want to make sure your HDR setting is on "Auto." Basically, this ensures that your iPhone can capture the layers of light in your photo. You know that frustrating moment when there's a lovely contrast between light and dark (say, the sun and a shadow), but for some reason, your picture just keeps "balancing" it all out so it's one muted level of brightness? Your HDR is probably turned off. Turn it on and you'll definitely notice a nice contrast in your sunset pics.
2. Find Your Center
You know when you're ready to take a picture and that yellow box appears on your screen? in Gonzalez's opinion, that yellow box is actually the most powerful tool in the app. It's a "tap to focus" feature, and it's super cool. You can tap anywhere on the screen and have that part of the image both be in focus and properly exposed. You'll know it's set properly because the yellow box will appear when you tap that part of the image.
3. Expose, Expose, Expose
Nothing ruins a shot like bad lighting. What's sometimes more frustrating is when you think there is great light in person but it isn't translating to the picture. Gonzalez's suggestion is to revisit the exposure settings on your iPhone. Luckily, this is a pretty simple fix: Before you capture a photo, you tap your finger against the screen and scroll lightly. A thin, yellow bar will appear on your screen. You'll notice that when you scroll up, the image gets brighter, and when you scroll down, the image gets darker. Exposure can help you set the mood for your picture without sacrificing details or crispness.
There you have it! Gonzalez shares more tips in the full video, which you can check out below. Because, let's be real, who doesn't want to become Instafamous?