Images in the Backcountry

5 ways to improve your iPhone photos

Smartphones, especially the iPhone, has been a game changer for consumers. People are starting to find that it is useless to buy small compact cameras when their iPhone can do what these compact camera do, albeit with some limitations. What the iPhone lacks, it makes up for in easy to use features and thousand of apps to edit your photos with your imagination the only limit.  In this post I want to talk about five tips to make the most use out of your iPhone.

1) The first issue is the bad image stabilization that the iPhone has.  Fixing this is simple. All you have to do is really focus on using two hands as much as possible when taking the photos.  Though an easy way fix this problem is to get a tripod for your iPhone, kind of like the gorilla pod. You can buy one on Amazon (click here to see what they look like).  I have one of these for my DSLR and I love it!

2) Find an app that does a good job with editing.  Even with the photos I take with my DSLR I always edit them by correcting color, adding contrast, or fixing the brightness or darkness of the photo. I do the same thing with the photos I take with my iPhone.  The edit that I feel is the most important is adding sharpness to the photo.  Since the iPhone tends to produce soft photos, adding some sharpness to the image is extremely important.  One of my favorite apps to edit photo's is Snapseed (click here to see the app for yourself)

3) For better focusing or to select a focus on a certain area click on the area you want focused.  For example, if you want to focus on just a person's face you click on the screen where the person's face is and you will see a orange box go to that area. 

4) Sometimes by manually controlling your flash you will get a better result.Have you ever seen a photo you've taken where it is way too bright?Turning your flash on and off rather than keeping it in auto could help you avoid this problem. 

5) Using the HDR mode can help you get a better exposed image.  On your iPhone you might have seen a mode called "HDR" which is by default turned off.  If you click that button it will say in orange lettering "HDR On."  Although for photographers like myself HDR photos are a whole other ball game, this mode on the iPhone does serve a purpose.  The purpose in this case really is to help you get a better exposed image.  For example, let's say you're taking a photo in the middle of the afternoon and yoursubject has lots of harsh shadows.  Well give the HDR mode a try and you might find that you are able to get more details in those once dark shadows.  My only caution is that if you have this mode on you are no longer able to use the flash.
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