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Insect macro photography allows you to capture stunning close-up detail of tiny bugs. But how do you achieve such amazing images with your iPhone? Shooting iPhone macro photos of insects might sound challenging. But it doesn’t have to be. In this tutorial, you’ll discover 8 secrets for incredible insect macro photography with your iPhone.

1. Use A Good Quality iPhone Macro Lens

The iPhone’s built-in camera lenses aren’t capable of capturing extreme close-up detail.

So how do shoot close-up macro photos with your iPhone?

You use an add-on macro lens!

There are many iPhone macro lenses on the market. But not all of them produce good quality photos.

If you’re serious about insect macro photography, you’ll need a good quality lens that produces sharp images.

So which is the best iPhone macro lens?

In my experience, you can’t beat the incredible Moment macro lens.

This high-quality lens produces beautifully sharp images. And you don’t get any blurring or distortion around the edges of the photo – which is a common problem with iPhone macro lenses.

The Moment macro lens costs $99.99 – which is more expensive than most other iPhone macro lenses. But the superior image quality is definitely worth it.

To attach the lens to your iPhone, you’ll need the Moment iPhone Case ($39.99).

With the Moment case on your phone, you simply attach the macro lens whenever you want to shoot close-up photos.

If you’re looking for a lower-priced iPhone macro lens, Olloclip is a good choice.

You can definitely get sharp shots with Olloclip macro lenses. (Some of the photos in this article were shot with an Olloclip macro lens.)

You’re likely to get some blurring around the edges of your photo when using Olloclip lenses. But you can always crop away the edges in post-processing.

Olloclip offers a range of macro lenses with different magnifications. And they often come as part of a kit containing different lenses. For example, you can buy a kit containing the Olloclip 7x and 14x macro lenses for $44.99.

Olloclip lenses attach to a special clip that slots directly onto your phone. You’ll need to purchase the clip separately for $19.99.

Once you’ve got your macro lens attached to your iPhone, you’re ready to start shooting.

Read on to discover how to find great subjects for your insect macro photography!

2. Find An Interesting Subject For Your Insect Macro Photography

How do you find interesting insects for your iPhone macro photography?

Here’s the good news:

You don’t need to be in an exotic location to find fascinating insects to photograph.

In fact, an ordinary fly is one of the most amazing subjects for insect macro photography.

Once you get up close, your macro lens will reveal incredible detail that you wouldn’t normally see.

Other great subjects that you’ll find in abundance include:

Bees, ladybirds, spiders, ants, caterpillars, and beetles.

Look for interesting features, such as big eyes, delicate wings, bold patterns, and vivid or metallic colors.

Even the hairs on a fly’s leg, or pollen on a bee, make for eye-catching features in a macro photo.

You really won’t need to go far to find a whole range of insects to photograph.

Just go out into your garden, take a walk along a country lane, or explore your local park.

Get down low and look closely at the flowers and leaves.

Insects love flowers. So summer tends to be the best time of year for insect macro photography.

When the flowers are in full bloom, you’ll find a huge range of species in just a small area.

Once you start looking, you’ll see insects that you never would have noticed before.

And when you photograph them with your macro lens, you’ll capture the tiny, unique features of these incredible insects.

3. Shoot On A Still, Sunny Day

What are the best weather conditions for insect macro photography?

A still, sunny day is perfect!

This kind of weather brings out the insects. And it provides the perfect conditions for capturing great macro photos.

If it’s windy or raining, you won’t find as many insects.

Wind also makes it very difficult to capture sharp shots.

If the flower that your insect is perched on is blowing around in the wind, your photo will be blurred from the movement.

If there is a breeze, try holding the stem of the flower or leaf to keep it perfectly still.

In many photography scenarios, it’s best to avoid bright sunlight. But I find that bright light results in better photos when shooting insect macros.

It seems to illuminate the insect perfectly, bringing out fine detail and texture.

I usually achieve better focus on my subject in bright sunshine than on a cloudy day.

Bright light also allows the iPhone camera to use a fast shutter speed. (Shutter speed refers to the amount of time the camera’s shutter is open).

Fast shutter speeds are perfect for photographing moving subjects.

Why? Because a fast shutter speed freezes movement.

In low light, the camera will use a slower shutter speed. And any movement will appear as motion blur. So you’ll definitely want to avoid this.

When shooting in bright light, you do need to watch out for shadows.

Try to ensure there are no harsh shadows falling directly onto your subject.

Look out for shadows cast by surrounding flowers and leaves. And ensure your body or camera doesn’t cast a shadow on the subject.

Remember, you can use your hand to twist the flower stem towards the light for better illumination.

4. Switch On HDR For Better Color & Detail

Getting good exposure (brightness levels) in your photos is essential.

If the image is too dark or too bright, you’ll lose color and detail in certain parts of the image.

The iPhone allows you to adjust exposure by swiping up or down on the screen.

In most photography situations, this is an amazing tool. But when you’re photographing insects that are constantly on the move, you often don’t have time to adjust exposure.

You just need to grab the shot before the insect flies away!

So how can you achieve good exposure in your insect macro photos? How can you ensure the camera captures plenty of color and detail throughout the image?

Here’s the secret:

Use the HDR iPhone camera feature.

HDR lets you capture more color and detail in both the bright and dark areas of a scene.

It does this by capturing several different exposures (from bright to dark). The camera then combines these shots into a single well-exposed image.

HDR preserves detail in both the highlights (bright areas) and the shadows (dark areas).

This is perfect for macro insect photography as you often have bright areas (flower petals) and dark areas (the insect).

So, how do you switch on HDR in the iPhone Camera app?

You simply use the HDR icon at the top of the Camera app. If the icon appears without a line through it, HDR is already switched on. If the icon has a line through it, tap HDR to switch it on.

If you don’t see the HDR icon at the top of the Camera app, open the Settings app and select Camera.

Ensure Smart HDR is switched off (if it’s on, you won’t see the HDR icon in the Camera app). You can also switch on Keep Normal Photo to ensure the camera saves a non-HDR version of the image too.

With HDR switched on in the Camera app, simply take your pictures as normal. The camera will work its magic, creating an evenly exposed photo whenever you press the shutter.

So don’t forget: Whenever you’re shooting insect macro photos, switch on HDR for fantastic color and detail.

7 Hidden iPhone Camera Features

As it turns out, the most important iPhone camera features are completely hidden from regular iPhone users. That's why we created this free video revealing 7 hidden iPhone camera features that every photographer should use. Click here to watch this video.

5. Get The Insect In Sharp Focus

The most challenging part of iPhone macro photography is getting your subject in sharp focus.

Here’s the problem:

When shooting extreme close-ups, the depth of field is very shallow.

Depth of field refers to how much of the image is in sharp focus from front to back.

A shallow depth of field means that only a tiny portion of the image is sharply focused. Anything in front of or behind the focused area will appear blurred.

If you don’t focus on the correct area, you won’t be able to capture the intricate detail of the insect.

So how do you achieve accurate focus in your macro photos?

First, ensure you’re not shooting on a windy day. If the insect is on a flower that’s blowing around, it will be almost impossible to get the subject in focus.

If there is a breeze, hold the flower with your free hand to stop it moving around.

Next, you need to decide which part of the insect you want in sharp focus.

What’s the most interesting feature that you want to emphasize?

Is it the eyes? The wings? The legs? The pollen on a bee?

Now you need to get that area in sharp focus.

The iPhone’s built-in Camera app allows you to quickly set the focus point. Simply tap the area you want in focus. You’ll see a yellow box indicating the focus point.

In most photography scenarios, tapping to set focus works really well. But with insect macro photography, it doesn’t always produce accurate results.

Why? Because you’re working with incredibly small subjects. And those subjects are moving!

It can be difficult to set focus on a very small area with your finger. And even if you do set it accurately, that focus point will be lost if the insect moves.

So here’s the secret to getting perfect focus in your iPhone macro photos:

Simply move your iPhone towards and away from your subject until the correct area comes into focus.

Use tiny movements and take lots of shots at slightly different distances. (Later, you can go through your photos to find the ones with the best focus.)

When you take a shot, ensure you press the shutter button gently to avoid moving the camera.

The built-in Camera app is great for insect macro photography as you can open it quickly from the lock screen. (Swipe left on the lock screen to open the camera).

However, you might also want to check out the Halide Camera app.

This app has a “focus peaking” feature which highlights the area that’s in focus.

Simply tap the AF (Autofocus) icon near the bottom of the screen. Then tap the Focus Peaking icon to the left of the focus slider.

The focused area will appear highlighted in green. In the screenshot above, you can see that the insect’s wings and legs are in focus.

Another great feature of the Halide Camera app is that you can shoot in RAW format. RAW images are higher quality than standard JPEG images. And they allow you to bring out more detail in editing.

Whichever camera app you use, remember to take lots of pictures.

The more shots you take, the better chance you’ll have of capturing a perfectly focused macro photo.

6. Compose Your iPhone Macro Photos From Different Perspectives

When shooting macro photos of insects, you’re under pressure to get the insect in sharp focus.

This means you won’t have much time to think about creating the perfect composition.

If you spend too much time deciding how to compose the shot, your subject might fly away before you even press the shutter.

Composition techniques like the rule of thirds and leading lines are great ways to create eye-catching photos. But they’re not the most important elements in insect macro photography.

The intricate detail of your subject is what draws the viewer to the image.

With that in mind, you should definitely consider the best angle to shoot from.

Different perspectives will emphasize different features of an insect.

For example, shooting a fly or bee from above will capture the intricate detail of its wings.

Shooting from above also means you get a great view of the flower or leaf beneath the insect.

A side-on view usually reveals the shape of an insect’s body. You’ll get a better view of the legs and eyes which is perfect for photos of flies.

Shooting an insect from the front often doesn’t produce great results. But a front-on perspective does work well for wider subjects such as spiders.

When shooting front-on, you’ll only get a small part of the insect in sharp focus. So it’s important to set focus on the face of the subject.

You could also consider shooting from behind the insect. This works particularly well for bees, especially if you can shoot from slightly below to reveal the detail in the wings.

Remember, you don’t always need to have the insect looming large in the frame. You can get great results by shooting from slightly further away.

This perspective works particularly well when the insect is on a flower. It allows you to capture the beautiful detail of the flower. And the flower will act as a frame around the insect.

Shooting from further away also adds a sense of scale to your image. In the photo below, notice how tiny the ladybirds look when you see them against the flower.

Of course, once you’ve taken your picture, you can always improve the composition by cropping with a photo editing app.

In the ladybird photo above, I cropped the image to create a central composition. Symmetry works particularly well for close-up flower photos.

You can also crop the image so that the subject is off-centre, aligning with the rule of thirds.

7. Avoid Frightening The Insect Away

With iPhone macro photography, you have to get very close to your subject.

But as you approach an insect to compose your shot, you risk frightening it away.

So how do you avoid disturbing the insect you’re trying to photograph?

Here are my top tips for avoiding frightening the insects away:

Keep very quiet. And use slow, smooth movements.

Avoid approaching the insect from above. It’s better to approach it from beneath a flower or leaf.

When you spot an insect you’d like to photograph, get down low, using the plant as cover.

Then bring your iPhone slowly up to the insect’s level.

Take your shots quickly before the insect flies off.

It’s also a good idea to wait for the insect to start feeding on a flower.

You can capture wonderful photos of bees once..

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Do you want to discover how to use iPhone photo editing apps to make your photos look spectacular? I have great news! You can join my iPhone Editing Academy course with a huge 80% discount. But this special deal ends soon. So if you want to turn your ordinary iPhone photos into stunning masterpieces… today is the perfect day to sign up for my course.

The post Huge 80% Discount For iPhone Editing Academy Course appeared first on iPhone Photography School.

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Do you want to discover how to use iPhone photo editing apps to make your photos look spectacular? I have great news! You can join my iPhone Editing Academy course with a huge 80% discount. But this special deal ends soon. So if you want to turn your ordinary iPhone photos into stunning masterpieces… today is the perfect day to sign up for my course.

The post Huge 80% Discount For iPhone Editing Academy Course appeared first on iPhone Photography School.

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How do you turn an ordinary photo into a spectacular masterpiece? The secret is to use iPhone photo editing apps! This might sound complicated… but in just a few minutes, you can turn an average photo into a beautiful one. In this step-by-step video tutorial, you’ll discover how to use iPhone photo editing apps to create stunning high-quality images that you’ll be proud to share.

The post How To Use Photo Editing Apps To Make Ordinary Photos Look Spectacular appeared first on iPhone Photography School.

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Do your iPhone photos look blurry or out of focus? It doesn’t have to be this way! But how do you take stunning photos where your subject is always pin-sharp? In this tutorial, you’ll discover the secrets to taking perfectly focused photos with your iPhone. If you follow these 10 focus tips, you’ll never take a blurry iPhone photo again!

Table Of Contents: 10 Focus Tips For Perfectly Sharp iPhone Photos

Click any title link below to go straight to that section of the article:

1. Tap To Set iPhone Camera Focus
2. Tap & Hold To Lock iPhone Focus
3. Don’t Change Your Distance After Focusing
4. Avoid Getting Too Close To Your Subject
5. Use A Macro Lens For Extreme Close-Ups
6. Use Manual Focus For More Precise Focusing
7. How To Blur Background On iPhone Using Portrait Mode
8. Get Closer To Your Subject For Incredible Background Blur
9. How To Get Everything In Sharp Focus
10. How To Take Sharp Photos In Low Light

1. Tap To Set iPhone Camera Focus

Does your subject sometimes look out of focus or blurred?

Has the iPhone camera focused on the wrong part of the scene?

Getting the focus correct in your photos is a top priority.

Why?

Because our eyes naturally search for the sharpest point in an image.

If the main subject is out of focus, the viewer will become confused about where they should be looking.

But if your subject is in sharp focus, the viewer will be instantly drawn to that part of the scene.

So, how do you tell the camera which part of the scene you want in sharp focus?

Setting iPhone focus is actually very easy.

But it’s one of those hidden iPhone camera features that most people don’t even realize exists!

So here’s the secret to setting the focus point in your iPhone photos:

Open the built-in iPhone Camera app and compose your photo.

Then simply tap on the screen where you want the focus to be. Usually, this would be on your main subject in the foreground.

A yellow box appears to show where the camera is focusing.

And that’s all there is to it. You’ve just learned how to adjust focus on iPhone!

If you wish, you can tweak the exposure (image brightness) after tapping to set focus.

To adjust exposure, swipe up or down on the screen. Swipe up to make the image brighter. Or swipe down to make it darker.

When you’re ready to take your photo, press the shutter button.

Because you tapped to set the iPhone focus, your subject will be perfectly sharp.

In the photo above, I tapped to set focus on the large flower on the left. If I hadn’t done this, the camera might have tried to focus on one of the other flowers in the scene.

So don’t forget:

Whenever you take a photo, think about which part of the scene you want in sharp focus.

Then tap to set the iPhone camera focus on that area.

If you do this, your subject will always be pin-sharp!

2. Tap & Hold To Lock iPhone Focus

Tapping to set focus works well in most situations.

But there are times when this isn’t enough.

One situation is when there’s movement in the scene, such as people walking around in the background.

Even if you’ve tapped to set focus on your foreground subject, the camera might re-adjust the focus onto a person walking through the background.

Another situation is when you want to take several similar photos of the subject.

The problem with this is that as soon as you press the shutter button, the camera forgets where you focused in the previous shot. So you’ll have to tap to set focus again for each new photo.

Luckily, the iPhone camera offers an easy way to solve these problems!

You simply need to lock the focus.

Once focus is locked, you can take as many photos as you want and the focus will remain locked where you set it.

So, how do you lock the iPhone camera focus?

Instead of just tapping where you want to set focus, you need to tap and hold for a couple of seconds.

When you see AE/AF Lock in yellow at the top of the screen, focus is locked.

If necessary, adjust exposure by swiping up or down. Then take your picture.

You’ll notice that the yellow AE/AF Lock remains on the screen after you’ve taken your photo.

This means the focus and exposure are still locked on the same settings from the previous shot. So you can go ahead and take more photos without having to set focus and exposure again.

If you want to adjust exposure, you can do so without unlocking the focus.

When you want to unlock focus and exposure, simply tap anywhere on the screen.

As you can see, the iPhone camera focus lock is really useful.

Use it whenever you want to take several shots with the same focus setting. And use it to ensure the focus remains on your subject when there’s movement in the scene.

Locking focus is also great for street photography. Why? Because it allows you to set up the shot in advance.

Simply position yourself in a good spot where you know someone will walk into the frame. Lock focus at the point where you think someone will walk past. Adjust exposure if necessary. Then press the shutter as soon as someone walks by.

3. Don’t Change Your Distance After Focusing

Here’s a little-known focus tip for you:

After you’ve set the iPhone camera focus, don’t change the distance between the camera’s lens and your subject.

In other words, don’t move towards or away from your subject.

Why is this important?

Because focusing works by setting the focus point at a particular distance from the camera. Anything in front of or behind this point may appear out of focus.

So, what happens if you set focus at a particular point and then you change the camera-to-subject distance?

Here’s the answer:

The subject that you originally focused on might not appear sharp.

Why? Because it’s no longer at the same distance from the camera.

In the example below, the flowers in the foreground are in sharp focus. That’s because I tapped on that area to set focus there.

But look what happened when I set focus on the foreground flowers and then took a few steps back:

Now everything is out of focus. That’s because I told my iPhone to focus at a certain distance from the camera. But then I changed that distance. And the camera is still trying to focus at the distance I initially set.

As you can see, it’s really important that you don’t change the camera-to-subject distance after setting focus.

If you need to move closer or further away from your subject, that’s fine. Just make sure you tap again to set focus from your new standpoint.

Don’t forget that even if you stay still, your subject might be moving (a lively child or pet!). If this is the case, you might need to reset the focus if they move closer or further away.

Most people don’t realize that you shouldn’t change your distance after setting focus.

But now you know this secret, you can avoid those blurry iPhone photos when you’re shooting!

7 Hidden iPhone Camera Features

As it turns out, the most important iPhone camera features are completely hidden from regular iPhone users. That's why we created this free video revealing 7 hidden iPhone camera features that every photographer should use. Click here to watch this video.

4. Avoid Getting Too Close To Your Subject

Do all of your close-up photos turn out blurred… even when you tap to set focus?

Tapping to set focus on your subject ensures it will be sharply focused… with one exception:

If the camera lens is too close to the subject, it won’t be able to focus at all.

In the example below, I was holding my iPhone too close to the flower.

No matter how many times I tapped to set focus, the flower was never going to appear sharp. The iPhone camera isn’t capable of focusing at this close distance.

By pulling my iPhone back a couple of inches, I was able to get the flower in focus:

Remember, whenever you change the camera-to-subject distance, always tap to set the focus point again.

Of course, it can be frustrating when photographing close-up subjects like flowers. Often, you can’t get close enough to avoid getting some of the distracting background in the shot.

However, keep in mind that you can always crop away the edges of a photo if necessary.

Yes, your cropped image will have fewer pixels. But if you’re not planning to print your photo at a large size, then it should be fine… as long as you don’t crop too much away.

It’s better to get the subject in focus and then crop the image, rather than get too close and end up with a blurred photo.

That said, there is a way to capture extreme close-up photos with your iPhone!

Read on to find out how to shoot sharply-focused pictures at very close distances…

5. Use A Macro Lens For Extreme Close-Ups

You’ve just learned that you can’t take extreme close-up photos with your iPhone.

So how do people shoot those incredible iPhone macro photos where the subject is very close?

They use an add-on macro lens!

A macro lens, such as the Olloclip Macro, allows you to focus at very close distances.

Getting the lens extremely close to your subject allows you to capture detail that’s often invisible to the naked eye.

However, when you use a macro lens, you have to be very accurate when tapping to set focus.

Why?

Because shooting extreme close-ups results in a very shallow depth of field. This means that only a small portion of the image will be in focus, while the rest appears blurred.

You may have to take a few shots and tap on different areas of the scene before you get the focus perfect.

It’s also essential that you don’t change the distance between the lens and the subject. The tiniest change in distance will mean you don’t get what you want in focus.

For this reason, it’s best to use an iPhone tripod and iPhone tripod mount when using a macro lens.

It can take a bit of practice to capture sharply focused macro photos. But the results are definitely worth it!

6. Use Manual Focus For More Precise Focusing

Sometimes, you might not be able to get the camera to focus on the exact spot you want.

This is especially true with close-up and macro photography.

Tapping to set focus doesn’t always work when you need to be extremely precise.

So, what can you do to focus more accurately?

You can use a third-party camera app to focus manually.

Camera+ 2 is one of the best iPhone camera apps that offers full manual control over your camera settings.

Its manual focus feature lets you use a slider to adjust the focus point very gradually.

To use manual focus in Camera+ 2, tap the Auto Focus icon (circled below).

The Manual Focus slider will appear at the bottom of the viewfinder.

Slowly drag the slider left or right. As you do this, notice how different parts of the scene come into focus.

When the correct part of the scene is in focus, press the shutter button to take a photo.

To switch back to autofocus, tap the Auto button to the left of the focus slider.

Manual focus isn’t something you’ll want to use for every photo.

But it’s a great backup option when the tap-to-focus technique isn’t focusing precisely enough.

Knowing how to focus iPhone camera accurately can make all the difference to your close-up shots.

7. How To Blur Background On iPhone Using Portrait Mode

Getting your subject’s face in sharp focus is critical in portrait photography.

But how do you create those beautiful blurry backgrounds in your iPhone portrait photos?

You use Portrait mode!

This shooting mode keeps your subject’s face in sharp focus. At the same time, it uses depth-effect software to create a dreamy blurred background.

Portrait mode is available in the built-in iPhone Camera app on the following iPhones:

iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone XiPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone 7 Plus.

How do you use Portrait mode to blur the background in your photos?

Open the Camera app and select Portrait at the bottom of the screen.

Compose your shot, making sure the camera is between two and eight feet from the subject.

The camera should automatically focus on the subject’s face. You’ll see a yellow focus box to indicate where it’s focusing.

If you’d prefer to set the focus point yourself, you can tap on the screen.

When the camera has focused, you’ll see Natural Light in yellow at the bottom of the screen.

Now simply press the shutter button to take a beautiful portrait photo.

Your subject should appear sharply focused, while the background is blurred out.

If you have one of the latest iPhones (iPhone XS, XS Max, or XR) you can even adjust the strength of the background blur… after you’ve taken the photo.

Just open your portrait photo in the Photos app and tap Edit.

Then use the Depth slider to adjust the blur strength. A lower f/number results in a blurrier background, while a higher f/number shows more detail.

Portrait mode is an incredible iPhone camera setting. But it’s not the only way to blur the background in your photos.

Read on to discover a simple way to create beautiful blurry backgrounds without using Portrait mode…

8. Get Closer To Your Subject For Incredible Background Blur

Do you want to know how to blur background on iPhone without using Portrait mode?

Here’s the simple answer:

Get closer to your subject!

This is one of the best focus tips for creating professional photos with beautiful blurry backgrounds. It works with all iPhone models – and indeed all cameras.

All you need to remember is this:

The closer you get to your subject, the blurrier the background will become.

Of course, you have to ensure you don’t get too close because the camera won’t focus at very close distances.

But you can certainly get within a few inches of your subject.

Just make sure you tap to set focus where you want it.

There’s one other thing to consider:

The distance between the subject and the background also affects how blurred the background will appear.

The further away the background is from your subject, the more out of focus the background will be.

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Do you want to make a photo look like a painting? It’s easy with an iPhone photo painting app! But with so many photo art apps available, how do you know which one to use? In this article, you’ll discover the 5 best painting apps for turning your iPhone photos into beautiful works of art.

1. Brushstroke App

The Brushstroke app ($3.99) converts your photo into a painting with just one tap.

It offers more than 50 different presets in a wide variety of painting styles.

These include watercolor, acrylic, oil, lead pencil, gloss, and abstract.

The Brushstroke app makes it very easy to turn a photo into a painting.

To apply a paint effect, simply select the style you want to use. You can adjust the paint intensity to achieve just the look you want.

After painting the photo, you can edit settings such as contrast, saturation, exposure, and sharpness.

You can also adjust the colors or change the background texture.

Do you want to see your masterpiece framed on your wall? It’s easy with Brushstroke!

You can order prints directly from the app and get them shipped straight to your doorstep.

If you want to create beautiful paintings using a wide range of styles, Brushstroke is the app for you!

2. Glaze App

Glaze is a free photo to painting app that converts your pictures into textured paintings.

With the free version of Glaze, there are 36 painting styles to choose from.

But you can unlock more styles for an additional $2.99.

The app also allows you to create your own presets by stacking different styles together.

Another great feature of the Glaze app is the mask tool. This lets you apply the paint effect to only certain parts of your photo.

However, to use this feature, you’ll need to pay an extra $2.99 to unlock the transparency pack.

Many of the Glaze painting presets are strongly textured. And some of the effects will create interesting abstract images.

You can use the Glaze paint effects on any photo. But I find it works best on pictures that have strong shapes and contrasting colors.

If you want to create paintings with a strong texture, Glaze is the perfect photo art app.

The 7 Best iPhone Photography Apps

There are thousands of excellent photo apps on the App Store, and the things you can do with apps are absolutely incredible. With that said, the number of photo apps out there is overwhelming, and it's really hard to know which apps are worth getting. 

That’s why we created this free report revealing the 7 best iPhone photography apps that you should start using straight away. Click here to download this free report. 

3. Waterlogue App

The Waterlogue app ($4.99) turns your iPhone photos into beautiful watercolor paintings.

This watercolor app is incredibly simple to use.

As soon as you open a photo, the app automatically turns it into a stunning watercolor.

There are 14 gorgeous watercolor styles to choose from. Each style varies in wetness, outline, and color.

After applying your chosen paint style, you can change the brush size and image brightness. You can also add a white border if you wish.

I find this app works best on landscapes, street scenes, and still life photos.

It works particularly well on landscape photos that have a blue sky with white fluffy clouds.

If you want to turn your photos into watercolor paintings, you can’t go wrong with Waterlogue.

It just a few seconds, this picture to painting app turns your photos into incredible works of art!

4. Portrait Painter App

The Portrait Painter app ($2.99) is designed for turning your portrait photos into stylized paintings.

But it’s actually ideal for any type of photo.

It does a terrific job of bringing out color and contrast, as you can see in the flower picture below.

There are over 25 different painting styles to choose from.

Styles are divided into two categories: Portrait Painter and Bright & Colorful.

The Portrait Painter styles retain the image’s natural colors. And the Bright & Colorful styles use bold, colorful brushstrokes.

You can customize your painting using a range of settings. These include brush size, skin smoothing, color enhancement, and canvas style.

If you want to create bold, colorful paintings on a textured canvas background, Portrait Painter is a great choice.

Remember, you don’t need to limit yourself to portraits of people and pets. This painting style can work on many different kinds of photo.

5. Tangled FX App

The Tangled FX app ($2.99) creates a truly distinctive look.

It turns your photos into paintings using “tangled” effects such as fibers, swirls, webs, and etching.

Tangled FX has 16 painting styles to choose from.

And you can fine-tune each style using a range of color and contrast settings.

You can also adjust the intensity of the effect to achieve the exact look you want.

If you want to add a unique, abstract style to your photos, try Tangled FX. You’ll be amazed at what you can create!

How To Turn A Picture Into A Drawing

Do you enjoy using iPhone photo painting apps? If so, you’ll probably enjoy turning your photos into drawings and sketches too!

Check out our comparison of the 6 best apps that turn photos into drawings.

The post 5 Best Painting Apps That Turn Your iPhone Photos Into Paintings appeared first on iPhone Photography School.

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Are you wondering how to blur the background of a picture on your iPhone? Creating beautifully blurred backgrounds might seem difficult. But it’s actually easy with the tricks you’re about to discover! Read on to start creating stunning iPhone photos with gorgeous background blur.

Table Of Contents: How To Blur Background On iPhone

Click any title link below to go straight to that section of the tutorial:

1. Capture Beautifully Blurred Backgrounds Using Portrait Mode
2. Get Closer To Your Subject For Amazing Background Blur
3. Blur The Background Of A Picture In Editing
4. Frame Your Subject With A Dreamy Blurred Vignette

1. Capture Beautifully Blurred Backgrounds Using Portrait Mode

Do you want to shoot stunning iPhone portrait photos with gorgeous blurred backgrounds?

If you thought you could only achieve professional results with a DSLR camera… think again!

The built-in iPhone Camera app has an incredible tool for blurring the background in your photos.

What is this tool?

It’s called Portrait mode.

Portrait mode uses depth-effect software to blur the background of a picture as you shoot it.

The subject will remain in sharp focus… which is perfect for portrait photography.

It’s also great for shooting scenes with distracting backgrounds. Your subject will stand out much better if the background is blurred.

Portrait mode is available on all of the latest iPhones: iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.

You’ll also find it on the iPhone XiPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone 7 Plus.

If your iPhone doesn’t have Portrait mode, don’t worry! Just skip to Section 2 below to discover how to blur photos on iPhone without using Portrait mode.

1.1 How To Blur Background On iPhone Using Portrait Mode

So, how do you use Portrait mode to blur the background in your iPhone photos?

First, open the Camera app. Then select Portrait at the bottom of the screen.

Ensure your subject is between two and eight feet from the camera. There also needs to be enough light in the scene. (Portrait mode doesn’t always work in low light).

When you’ve composed your photo, you’ll see a yellow focus box around the subject’s face. The face will be in focus and the background will appear blurred.

When you see the words Natural Light (or Depth Effect on iPhone 7 Plus) in yellow, your iPhone is ready to shoot.

Now, simply press the shutter button to take a picture!

1.2 How To Change Background Blur In Portrait Photos

Did you know you can make changes to the background blur… after you’ve taken a photo?

On the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, you can easily adjust the strength of the background blur.

Open your portrait photo in the Photos app. Then tap Edit at the top right.

Use the Depth slider beneath your photo to adjust the blur strength.

A lower f/number results in stronger blur. And a higher f/number reveals more background detail.

Tap Done to save the changes.

The Depth slider isn’t available on older iPhones. However, if you’re not happy with the background blur, you can revert to the original image without any blur.

To remove the background blur, open your photo and tap Edit.

Tap the yellow Portrait option at the top of the screen. The depth effect will be switched off and the blur will be removed.

You can switch the blur back on at any time by tapping Portrait again.

While we’re looking at the Portrait mode editing options, let’s take a quick look at Portrait Lighting (not available on iPhone 7 Plus).

Portrait Lighting lets you add different studio lighting effects to your portrait photos.

Open your photo and tap Edit. Then swipe over the Portrait Lighting icons (cube icons) at the bottom of the photo.

Natural Light doesn’t modify the lighting in any way. Studio Light brightens your subject’s face. Contour Light adds shadows for more defined facial features.

Stage Light turns the background black. Stage Light Mono is the same as Stage Light, but with a black and white effect.

7 Hidden iPhone Camera Features

As it turns out, the most important iPhone camera features are completely hidden from regular iPhone users. That's why we created this free video revealing 7 hidden iPhone camera features that every photographer should use. Click here to watch this video.

2. Get Closer To Your Subject For Amazing Background Blur

Do you want to know how to take pictures with blurred background on iPhone… even if you don’t have Portrait mode?

Here’s a simple trick for getting incredible background blur:

Get closer to your subject.

It’s that simple!

Shooting up close creates a shallow depth of field.

A shallow depth of field means only a small portion of the image is in focus. The rest of the image will be blurred out.

The closer you get to the subject, the shallower the depth of field will be.

So for really blurry backgrounds, you’ll need to get really close.

However, if you get too close, the camera won’t be able to focus at all. And your subject will appear blurred.

So always check that your subject looks focused. If it doesn’t, move a bit further away and try taking the photo again.

For extreme close-up photos, you’ll need to use an add-on macro lens. This kind of lens allows you to focus at very close distances.

When shooting up close, it’s important to ensure the correct part of the scene is in focus.

You want your foreground subject to be sharp and the background to be blurred.

Luckily the iPhone makes it easy to set focus.

In the Camera app, simply tap the screen where you want the focus to be set. A yellow box will indicate the focus point.

If the background doesn’t look blurred, move a bit closer, then tap to set focus again.

Remember, the closer you get, the blurrier the background will be!

3. Blur The Background Of A Picture In Editing

As you’ve discovered, taking photos with a blurred background is easy.

But what if you don’t capture a blurry background… and then decide the photo would look better if it was blurred.

This isn’t a problem!

Because you can use an editing app to blur the background after taking a picture.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to blur the background of a picture using the AfterFocus app.

3.1 Select Your Foreground Subject & Background

Open AfterFocus, then tap Select Photo at the bottom of the screen. Tap on the photo you want to edit.

Some helpful tips may appear on the screen after opening your image. Swipe across to read the tips, then tap the X at the top left to exit.

The first step is to use the Smart Selection tools to select the subject and background.

Tap the Focus icon at the bottom of the screen. Now, draw a line with your finger inside the area you want to keep in focus.

You don’t have to be too precise. Just roughly mark out the foreground subject you want in focus.

Next, tap the Background icon. Draw a line over the background that you want to blur. When you release your finger, the foreground will be highlighted with a red mask.

The red area with white lines is the part of the image that will remain in focus. The black line indicates the area that will be blurred in the next step.

However, before you blur the background, you need to check whether the app has selected your subject accurately.

Is part of your foreground subject not highlighted in red? Or does part of the background appear red? If so, you’ll need to fix this so that only the background gets blurred.

In the example above, you can see that the top of the boy’s cycle helmet hasn’t been selected.

You can try drawing more lines to mark the foreground and background areas. But this doesn’t always produce perfect results.

If you can’t achieve an accurate selection with the Smart Selection tools, you’ll need to switch to Manual Selection mode. To do this, tap the Pencil icon at the top of the screen.

Zoom in by pinching with two fingers. Then check the edges of your selection carefully. Use two fingers to drag the image while zoomed in.

Tap the Brush Size icon, then select a suitable brush size for the area you want to select. Now, select either the Focus or Background icon, then brush over the subject or background that you want to select.

Remember, you need to be precise when using the Manual Selection tools. Any area that you brush over will be selected.

If you make a mistake, tap Undo (curved arrow) at the top of the screen. Or switch between the Focus and Background icons to repaint an area you selected by mistake.

When you’ve finished, the red mask should only be on the foreground subject that you want in sharp focus. The neater you make your selection, the more realistic it will look when you apply the blur effect.

When you’ve made a neat selection, tap the arrow at the top right. The background of your photo will now appear blurred.

If you notice a mistake with your selection, tap the single left arrow at the top of the screen. You can then adjust your selection by brushing with the Focus and Background tools. Tap the right arrow to return to the blur effects screen.

3.2 Customize The Blur Effect

The icons at the bottom of the AfterFocus app let you customize the blur in your photo.

Tap the Blur icon, and ensure Lens Blur is selected. Drag the slider to adjust the strength of the blur.

Below is the edited photo with a beautifully blurred background.

For comparison, below is the original image where the background is in focus. Notice how the blurred background helps make the boy pop off the page.

If you want to add a sense of movement to the scene, you can select the Motion Blur option (instead of Lens Blur).

This is perfect for moving subjects as it exaggerates the feeling of motion in your image.

Below is the image with motion blur applied to the background.

The original photo was actually taken while the boy was stationary. But the motion blur makes it look like he was moving quickly through the scene.

When you’ve finished editing your photo, don’t forget to save it. Tap the down arrow at the top of the screen, then tap Yes.

4. Frame Your Subject With A Dreamy Blurred Vignette

This next editing technique offers something slightly different.

Rather than blurring the entire background, you’re going to create a blurred vignette around the edges of the scene.

The blurred edges help draw attention to the central focused area. The blur acts as a frame, drawing the viewer’s eye toward the subject.

A blurred vignette also adds a dreamy, atmospheric quality to your photo.

Here’s how to blur photos on iPhone using the free Snapseed app:

Open Snapseed, then tap the screen to open your photo library. Select Open From Device, then tap on the photo you want to open.

Tap Tools at the bottom of the screen. Then scroll down and select the Lens Blur tool.

Two white circles will appear on your image.

Anything inside the inner circle will be in sharp focus. Anything outside the outer circle will be blurred. The area between the two circles is where the image transitions from sharp to blurred.

You can drag the circle to a different area if you wish. Or resize it by pinching with two fingers.

To adjust the blur strength, swipe up or down and select Blur Strength. Then swipe left or right to adjust the strength of the blur.

You can also adjust the Transition and Vignette in the same way.

Transition adjusts how gradually the focused area transitions to blur. And Vignette controls how dark the edges of your photo appear.

When you’re happy with the blur effect, tap the checkmark at the bottom right.

Save your image by tapping Export, then Save A Copy.

Below is the edited image with a dreamy blurred vignette.

For comparison, below is the original image without any blur applied. Notice how the subtle blurring in the photo above draws the eye toward the center of the frame.

The post 4 Easy Ways To Blur The Background In Your iPhone Photos appeared first on iPhone Photography School.

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Is an unwanted object ruining your iPhone photo? If so, don’t worry! Removing objects is easy with the TouchRetouch editing app. In just a few seconds you can remove objects, people, skin blemishes, and power lines. Read on to discover how to use TouchRetouch to remove unwanted objects from your iPhone photos. The results will definitely be worth it!

Table Of Contents: Removing Objects From Your iPhone Photos

Click any title link below to go straight to that section of the article:

1. Quickly Remove Object From Your Photo
2. Remove Blemishes From A Portrait Photo
3. Remove Unwanted Lines From Your Image
4. Remove Large Or Irregular-Shaped Objects
5. Clone Detail From One Area To Another
6. Top Tips For Removing Objects Accurately

You can download the TouchRetouch app for $1.99 from the App Store.

1. Quickly Remove Object From Your Photo

The TouchRetouch app has several tools for removing objects from your photos.

But the quickest and easiest option is the Quick Brush tool. You simply brush over the object and it disappears!

This tool works best for removing small objects, or objects surrounded by empty space, such as sky or water.

In the example below, the colorful buoys have been removed from the water to create a cleaner, clutter-free image. The first photo is the original, and the second is the edited version with objects removed.

Here’s how to edit something out of a picture using the Quick Brush tool:

Open the TouchRetouch app, and tap Albums. Locate the photo you want to edit, then tap the photo to open it.

Tap Quick Repair at the bottom of the screen. Then ensure the Quick Brush tool is selected.

If you wish, you can tap Settings and use the Size slider to adjust the size of the brush. The brush is the white circle inside the green circle.

It’s also a good idea to zoom in on the object you want to remove – especially if the object is small. This will ensure an accurate selection of the object.

To zoom in, place two fingers on the screen, then drag your fingers apart. You can pan to a different part of the image by dragging with two fingers.

Now, simply use your finger to brush over the object you want to remove.

Because your finger is covering the area you’re selecting, you won’t be able to see the object under your finger. So whenever you touch the screen, you’ll see a white circle which shows the area you’re selecting.

The selected area will appear green. When you release your finger the object will disappear!

You’ll notice that the object is replaced by pixels from the surrounding area. So in this case, the buoy has been replaced by pixels from the surrounding water.

In most cases, the app will do a great job of removing the object. But if you’re not happy with the result, tap Undo (back arrow) at the top of the screen. Then try brushing over the object again.

You can keep brushing over other areas to remove as many objects as you want. In the example below, all of the colorful buoys in the water have been removed.

When you’re happy with the result, you’ll need to save your image.

To save, tap the Export icon (square with up arrow) at the top right. Then tap Save As Copy.

Your edited image will be saved to the Photos app on your iPhone.

Tap Back at the top left to exit the Export screen. Then tap the Home icon to select another image to edit.

2. Remove Blemishes From A Portrait Photo

Could your portrait photos be improved by removing pimples or imperfections from your subject’s skin?

The Blemish Remover tool in TouchRetouch makes it easy to create flawless portraits.

In the example below, the skin blemishes have been removed. The first photo is the original, and the second is the edited version with blemishes removed.

To remove blemishes from a portrait, open the image in TouchRetouch.

Tap Quick Repair at the bottom of the screen, then select the Blemish Remover tool.

Tap Settings at the bottom right and use the Size slider to adjust the size of the brush. The brush should be slightly bigger than the blemish you want to remove.

Zoom in, then tap on the blemish you want to remove. As soon as you release your finger, the blemish will disappear!

If the Blemish Remover tool struggles to remove a particular imperfection, switch to the Quick Brush tool. Then brush over the area you want to remove.

In the example below, you can see that several pimples and freckles have been removed from the subject’s face.

When you’re happy with the edit, tap the Export icon at the top right, then tap Save As Copy.

Tap Back at the top left to exit the Export screen. Then tap the Home icon to select another image to edit.

The 7 Best iPhone Photography Apps

There are thousands of excellent photo apps on the App Store, and the things you can do with apps are absolutely incredible. With that said, the number of photo apps out there is overwhelming, and it's really hard to know which apps are worth getting. 

That’s why we created this free report revealing the 7 best iPhone photography apps that you should start using straight away. Click here to download this free report. 

3. Remove Unwanted Lines From Your Image

Is your beautiful landscape photo ruined by a power line or telegraph pole?

Does your portrait subject want you to get rid of their wrinkles or a scar?

You can easily fix these problems with the Line Removal tool.

This tool uses innovative technology to recognize and remove lines – whether they’re thick, thin, straight, or curved.

In the example below, the power line has been removed from the bottom part of the image. Removing the wire helped create a cleaner, minimalist composition.

To remove lines from a photo, open it in TouchRetouch.

Tap Line Removal at the bottom of the screen, then select the Line Remover tool.

If you only want to remove a segment of a line, rather than the entire line, you’ll need to select Segment Remover instead.

Tap Settings at the bottom right, then select whether the line you want to remove is ThinMedium, or Thick.

To remove a whole line, you only need to drag your finger over part of the line. There’s no need to highlight the entire line. And you don’t need to be precise as the app will find the line.

(Note that if you’ve selected the Segment Remover tool, you’ll need to highlight the entire line segment to remove it).

As soon as you release your finger, the line will vanish from your photo!

If the line wasn’t removed perfectly, tap Undo, then try selecting the line again.

When the line has been removed, don’t forget to save your edit.

4. Remove Large Or Irregular-Shaped Objects

Is the object you want to remove large or complex in shape? If so, the tools we’ve covered so far might not be suitable.

But don’t be put off by removing large or irregular-shaped objects!

The Object Removal tool lets you easily select complex shapes.

In the example below, I removed the jumping man from the photo. This left only his reflection, creating an intriguing and mysterious composition.

Open your image in TouchRetouch, and tap Object Removal. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see three tools for selecting your object: Brush, Lasso, and Eraser.

The Brush and Lasso tools are for selecting an object. The Eraser tool lets you deselect areas that you selected by mistake.

In most cases, the Brush tool is the best option for selecting your object.

Zoom in, then simply brush over the object you want to remove. Tap Settings if you need to adjust the brush size.

The Lasso tool works a bit differently. With this tool, you don’t brush over the object.

Instead, you draw a continuous line around the edge of the object. When you release your finger, everything inside the lasso gets selected.

The Lasso tool is useful when your object is large. It means you don’t have to brush your finger over the entire object.

Once you’ve selected the object, you should check your selection carefully. Zoom in and check around the edges.

If you made a mistake and selected too much of the background, don’t worry! Simply switch to the Eraser tool and brush over the areas you want to deselect.

When you’ve made an accurate selection, tap Go at the bottom right. The selected object will disappear!

Finally, don’t forget to save your edit when you’re done.

5. Clone Detail From One Area To Another

The final tool in TouchRetouch is the Clone Stamp tool.

The Clone Stamp lets you manually copy pixels from one area to another.

This is different from the other tools which automatically replace an object with pixels from the surrounding area.

You can use the Clone Stamp to remove defects or repair a background that’s been damaged by removing an object.

It’s also handy for accurate object removal when the other retouch tools don’t produce good results.

In the example below, I didn’t get good results when I used the Object Removal tool to remove the lower flower. This was because the two flowers are right next to each other.

So I used the Clone Stamp to clone part of the blue sky over just the lower flower.

You can also use the Clone Stamp to duplicate objects in a photo.

In the example below, I used the Clone Stamp to duplicate the birds in the photo. The extra birds add more drama to the image.

Open your photo in TouchRetouch, and tap Clone Stamp. Ensure the Brush tool is selected at the bottom of the screen.

Tap on the object or area you want to duplicate (in this case, it’s one of the birds). A circle indicates the “source point.” If you want the cloned object to be mirrored horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, tap the Mirroring option.

Now brush over the area where you want the cloned content to appear. As you brush, the pixels from the source point are copied to the area that you brush over.

In the example above, the bird from the source point circle has been cloned to a different part of the photo. The duplicate bird is facing in the opposite direction because Mirroring was set to Horizontal.

If you’re not happy with the result, tap Undo or use the Eraser tool to erase the cloned object.

If you wish, keep repeating the above process to clone more objects within the image.

When you’re happy with your edit, save the image.

6. Top Tips For Removing Objects Accurately

Knowing how to remove something from a picture will really expand your editing options.

But you have to take care to ensure you get realistic, accurate results.

Here are some top tips for getting perfect results every time!

6.1 Have Some Empty Space Around Your Object

Results are usually better when there’s plenty of empty space around the object you want to remove.

Sky, water, snow, fields, and walls are all perfect backgrounds for removing objects.

When you remove the object, the pixels from the surrounding empty space will seamlessly replace the object.

But if there’s too much detail around the object, it’s more difficult (but not impossible!) to achieve realistic results.

6.2 Small Objects Are Easier To Remove Than Large Ones

The smaller the elements are, the easier it is to remove the imperfections.

Small objects can be selected quickly. And they usually have more empty space around them.

Removing large objects is perfectly possible, but you’ll usually need to spend a bit more time removing them.

6.3 Zoom In On The Object

For accurate object removal, ensure you zoom in by pinching outwards with two fingers.

A closer view allows you to select the object more accurately.

The more accurate you are with your selection, the better the final result will be.

6.4 Use The Eraser For A More Accurate Selection

When selecting complex objects, don’t forget to check the edges of your selection.

Then use the Eraser tool to deselect any areas of the background that shouldn’t be selected.

Erasing areas that you selected by mistake will result in a better final result.

6.5 If It Doesn’t Work Out, Try Again!

You might not always get perfect results on your first edit. But that doesn’t mean you can’t remove the object from your photo.

If it doesn’t work out on the first go, tap Undo and try again.

Try brushing over a slightly different area of the object. Or try using a different retouch tool.

For images with complex objects or backgrounds, you might need to spend a bit more time editing.

But the results will be worth it!

As you can see, TouchRetouch is an amazing app for removing objects from your photos. And it offers incredible value for just $1.99.

If you’d prefer to try a free app to remove unwanted objects from a photo, check out our guide to the best photo retouch apps.

The post Removing Objects From Your iPhone Photos: The Ultimate Guide appeared first on iPhone Photography School.

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Do you struggle to take great action shots with your iPhone? Photographing moving subjects can be challenging. But here’s the secret to never missing a great photo opportunity again: use iPhone burst mode! Watch this video from my iPhone Photo Academy online course… and discover how to take incredible action photos using burst mode.

How To Never Miss A Great iPhone Photo Opportunity Again - YouTube

My iPhone Photo Academy online course shows you how to take incredible iPhone photos that everyone adores and that you’ll be proud to look at years later.

How To Use iPhone Burst Mode

Burst mode is an iPhone camera setting that lets you take ten photos per second. This maximizes your chances of capturing a moving subject in the perfect position or pose.

But how do you activate burst mode on your iPhone?

It’s actually really simple!

Step 1: Open the built-in iPhone Camera app. Ensure the shooting mode is set to either Photo or Square.

Step 2: To activate burst mode, simply keep your finger on the shutter button. The iPhone will keep taking photos until you release the shutter button.

How To View Burst Photos On iPhone

Once you’ve finished shooting, how do you see your burst photos?

Step 1: Open the Photos app, then locate the set of burst photos.

Images captured in burst mode will appear in the All Photos album as well as the special Bursts album (you’ll find this in the Albums section of the Photos app).

Step 2: Photos captured in burst mode appear as a stack of three images (as shown in the example above).

To view all of the images in a burst, tap on the burst mode stack you want to open, then tap Select.

Step 3. You can now choose which photos you want to keep and which you want to delete. Swipe across to view all of the photos that you captured in burst mode.

Select the images you want to keep by tapping the small circle at the bottom right corner of the photos (a blue checkmark appears when selected).

Tap Done when you’ve selected the photos you want to keep.

Tap Keep Only [number] Favorites to save just the images you’ve selected. The other images will be deleted.

The images that you chose to keep will now be stored in the All Photos album of the Photos app. From there you can open and edit the photos as normal.

When To Use iPhone Burst Mode

You know how to shoot burst mode photos. And you know how to view and select burst mode photos on iPhone.

But when should you actually use burst mode? And what tricks can you use to ensure you get the most out of burst mode?

Read on to discover 11 tips for using iPhone burst mode to capture incredible photos…

1. Take Crisp, Clear Action Shots

Burst mode is an ideal way to capture action photos like people jumping, skateboarding, or even swimming underwater (if you have an underwater housing/case for your phone).

Burst photos are perfect because they allow you to capture multiple shots as your subject moves. Just keep your finger pressed down on the shutter button while the subject moves through the scene.

Once you’ve taken a set of burst photos, you can then select the best shots from the action sequence.

The key to capturing the perfect moment is to begin shooting before the person starts jumping or moving through the scene.

This allows you to capture the whole movement from start to finish. The result will be a sequence of images that are taken in very quick succession.

Somewhere within this sequence of shots, you should have at least one image that you’re happy with – where the composition is perfect and the subject is sharp and in just the right pose.

If you don’t use burst mode for these types of action shots, you’ll struggle to get a good shot because the subject is moving so fast. But with iPhone burst mode you’re pretty much guaranteed to get a good shot in one take.

2. Take Flattering Candid Shots Of People

The best photos of people are usually candid, unposed shots. Candid photos are taken when the subject isn’t actually looking at the camera, or even aware that the photo is being taken.

The problem with this, however, is that your subject is likely to be moving around as you’re taking their picture.

Capturing candid shots of people in the perfect pose is much easier if you use burst mode. Just hold down the shutter button until you’re sure you’ve captured at least one great photo.

The photo below captures a silhouette of a woman in a natural pose against the sun. I took about 85 photos in burst mode to capture the perfect composition.

Burst mode allowed me to capture the woman in a beautiful pose with her glasses silhouetted against the sky.

The candid photo below was taken in burst mode because both the man and the falcon were in constant motion. The final result was a wonderful moment in which both the man and his bird have identical facial expressions.

3. Capture The Perfect Facial Expression In Portrait Photos

In portrait photography, your subject is usually posed while sitting or standing still. So why would you want to use burst mode?

Even when a person is posed, they rarely stay perfectly still or keep the same facial expression for long. This makes it difficult to capture the perfect pose and expression if you only take one shot.

Using burst mode for posed portraits gives your subject the freedom to blink or try out different facial expressions, knowing that you’ll capture plenty of pictures to choose from.

Using burst mode allows you to capture all of your subject’s movements, reactions and subtle changes in expression, giving you the best chance of taking a wonderful portrait photo.

4. Photograph The Perfect Stride

If you’re photographing people who are walking, it usually looks better if you capture them while they’re in full stride. This creates a more dynamic shot with a sense of movement in the scene.

Using iPhone burst mode makes it easy to capture the perfect stride in your photos.

All you need to do is hold the shutter button down while the person takes a few steps. You’ll then have plenty of images to choose from.

You can use the same technique when photographing animals in motion. Burst mode was the perfect tool to capture the silhouette photo of the camels below.

By being patient and using burst mode, you can capture the unique shapes of subjects on the move.

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As it turns out, the most important iPhone camera features are completely hidden from regular iPhone users. That's why we created this free video revealing 7 hidden iPhone camera features that every photographer should use. Click here to watch this video.

5. Capture Interactions Between People

Timing is the key to success when you’re capturing moments and interactions between people.

Shooting with burst mode enables you to capture unique moments that might only last a second or two.

Just keep the shutter button held down whenever you anticipate that something interesting might happen.

6. Make The Most Of Windy Conditions

When it’s windy, anything swaying in the breeze such as grass, trees, hair, or clothing can appear blurred due to its movement.

iPhone burst mode makes it easier to capture a sharp shot of moving subjects. It’s more likely that there will be at least one picture where the subject doesn’t appear blurred.

In the picture above, the long grass was blowing around in strong winds. And in the photo below the woman’s skirt was creating different shapes as it blew around in the breeze.

iPhone burst mode made it possible to convey the movement of these subjects as they blew around in the wind while keeping the subjects sharp.

Many of the other photos that were captured during these bursts had motion blur, but these two images captured the subjects perfectly.

7. Take Spontaneous Shots Of Children And Animals

Photographing children can be extremely difficult. By the time you’ve taken the photo, they’ve either run out of the frame or they’re moving around so fast that they just appear as a faint blur.

Using burst mode when photographing children will help you get shots without any motion blur. At the same time, you’ll be able to capture the spontaneous moments that make these photos so special.

Photographing animals can be just as challenging. You can never predict what they’re going to do. So it’s best to just start shooting in burst mode to see what you can capture.

8. Take Perfect Group Photos

Photographing groups of people can be tricky. It’s difficult to capture the moment when everyone is doing the right thing at the same time.

No matter how well you set up the shot, there’s a good chance that someone will have their eyes closed or their mouths open.

Using burst mode will maximize the chances of getting at least one good shot of everyone – especially if you’re shooting groups of people on the move.

Burst mode is also very useful when shooting group silhouettes. The pose and stance of each person is particularly important in these situations as their shape is the only thing that stands out.

9. Capture Splashing Water

Photos of splashing water can be wonderful, but only if you can capture the splash and water droplets at just the right time.

Whether you’re shooting waves crashing onto a beach, rocks being thrown into a pond, or children splashing in a pool, using burst mode will make all the difference.

The trick to capturing the perfect water splash photo is to anticipate the movement of the water. Start shooting in burst mode a few seconds before you expect the splash to appear.

So if you’re shooting waves crashing onto a beach, watch as the wave approaches the shore. Then hold down the shutter button before the waves make a splash.

Keep the shutter button held down until the splash has disappeared. Now you’ll have lots of shots to choose from. And at least one of them should capture the perfect moment with water droplets in the air.

Without burst mode, it’s very difficult or even impossible to capture such an ideal moment.

10. Frame The Perfect Moment

If you’re photographing a moving subject, such as a cyclist or a person walking across the scene, or even waves crashing onto the shore, it’s important to anticipate the direction of their movement.

You can then start shooting either before they actually enter the frame or as soon as they appear in your viewfinder.

This allows you to capture several images of the subject moving through different parts of the frame. You can then choose the best composition.

When photographing subjects that are moving from one side of the frame to the other, it usually looks best if you leave more space in front of your subject than behind them.

This gives the impression that the subject has space to move into, rather than appearing as if they’re just about to walk or cycle out of the photo.

Burst mode is also a great tool for framing random motion, such as the movement of birds in the sky. Most of the images that were shot of the scene below were poor for one reason or another.

In some shots, the birds had already flown out of the scene. And in others, they appeared too far away or were in the wrong position for a good composition. In some shots, the birds appeared blurred because they were flying so fast.

By keeping the scene framed in the viewfinder, and waiting patiently while anticipating the movement of the birds, it was possible to use burst mode to capture this one great shot where a single bird appears in the perfect pose against the sky.

11. Take Great Images When Your Camera Is Moving

If there’s a chance that your hands will move, even slightly, it’s worth using burst mode to ensure you get the perfect composition and focus.

You can run into this problem when you’re standing on a moving object, such as a boat or a moving dock.

As the photos above make clear, it’s tough to take a photo of moving fish from a moving dock. The task is made even harder in low light conditions as the camera has to use a slower shutter speed.

In these situations, burst mode gives you the best chance of getting at least one sharp shot. Above is a burst photo in which neither the photographer’s feet nor the fish are blurred, and everything is well positioned within the frame.

Burst mode can also be effective when photographing an aligned composition, such as a symmetrical or patterned scene.

Composing a perfectly symmetrical image and deciding when to push the shutter button can be quite tricky if you’re hand-holding the camera. This is where burst mode comes in handy.

Just hold the shutter button down while you move the camera around slightly, trying to get the perfect symmetrical composition and perspective.

The post How To Use iPhone Burst Mode For Incredible Action Photos appeared first on iPhone Photography School.

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Do you struggle to take good iPhone photos when you shoot at night? Do your night pictures end up grainy or blurred? Shooting in low light can be challenging. But with a few simple tricks, you can dramatically improve your night photography. In this tutorial, you’ll discover how to take night photos that you never thought possible with an iPhone! Read on to start shooting sharp, high-quality iPhone photos at night.

1. Keep Your iPhone Camera Steady

Do your photos often turn out blurry when you shoot at night?

If so, you’re not alone. Blurry photos are a common problem when taking pictures at night.

But it doesn’t have to be that way!

It’s perfectly possible to capture sharp, blur-free photos at night.

First, let me explain why low light photos often end up blurred.

Here’s the reason:

When there’s not much light in the scene, the camera uses a slower shutter speed.

Shutter speed is the amount of time the camera’s shutter remains open when taking a photo. The longer the shutter is open, the more light gets captured in your photo.

So, in low light, the shutter stays open for longer to capture enough light and detail in your image.

But there’s one problem with slow shutter speeds:

Any movement during the long exposure time will appear as motion blur.

This applies to any moving subjects in your scene. But it also applies to camera movement.

If you move your iPhone – even slightly – you’ll end up with a blurry picture caused by camera shake.

So, to prevent camera shake, you need to keep the iPhone really steady as you take your shot.

If you have an iPhone tripod and iPhone tripod mount, use them to keep your camera perfectly still when taking pictures at night.

If you don’t have a tripod, you can improvise. Rest your iPhone on a wall, a rock, or any solid surface.

Or lean against something solid, like a wall, a lamppost, or a tree, to keep your body steady. You should also keep your elbows held against your body to steady your arms.

So, here’s the bottom line:

If you keep your iPhone camera steady, you’ll never take a blurry night photo again!

2. Reduce Exposure In The Camera App

Do your iPhone night photos often look too bright?

Do the shadows (dark areas) appear a grainy gray? And do the highlights (bright areas) appear overly bright with no detail at all?

Here’s why this happens:

When you take a photo of a dark scene, the camera tries to capture as much detail as possible. To bring out detail in the shadows, the camera makes the image brighter.

But this isn’t usually what you want for a night photo.

You want the blacks to appear black, and you want to see detail in the brighter areas.

So how do you achieve this?

Well, the good news is that you don’t need to use any special iPhone night mode camera settings.

All you need to do is reduce the exposure in the Camera app before you take your shot.

Exposure refers to the brightness of a photo. Reducing exposure makes the image darker – which is exactly what you need for a great night photo.

To reduce exposure in the Camera app, start by tapping to set focus on the part of the scene you want sharp. Then simply swipe down to make the image darker.

You want the dark areas, such as the sky and shadows, to appear black or very dark. And you want the bright areas to have visible color and detail.

When you’re happy with the exposure level, press the shutter button to take your picture.

There’s also an added bonus of reducing exposure for night photos:

When you reduce exposure (to make the image darker), the camera doesn’t need to capture as much light. This means it uses a faster shutter speed to avoid letting too much light in.

A faster shutter speed means less chance of blurry photos caused by camera shake. And less chance of motion blur when photographing moving subjects.

So don’t forget:

Reduce the camera’s exposure when you shoot at night. If you do, your iPhone night photos will look so much better!

3. Shoot in Well-Lit Areas

If you shoot in the dark with no light at all, your iPhone night photos won’t turn out well.

There has to be some kind of light to illuminate your subject.

Look out for street lights and illuminated buildings, storefronts, or billboards.

You can even use car headlights, candles or lanterns as your light source.

Anything that creates light in the scene is great for night photography.

For night portrait photography, position your subject so that the light illuminates their face.

You could light up their entire face from the front. Or you could position them side-on to the light. Side-lighting will result in half of their face being lit up, while the other half appears in shadow.

Another good trick is to surround the well-lit area with darker negative space.

The dark empty space acts as a frame, drawing the viewer’s eye towards the illuminated subject.

Street lighting is perfect for creating silhouettes and long shadows.

To create a silhouette, position your subject with the light source behind them (as shown below).

After tapping to set focus, swipe down to reduce the exposure. Your subject will appear as a dark silhouette against the bright light.

Shadows and silhouettes are perfect for creating mystery and drama in your photos. Which is exactly what you want for night photography!

4. How To Avoid Grainy Photos When You Shoot At Night

Do your night photos often look grainy (like the one below)?

Grainy images are one of the most common problems in low light photography.

Grain (also called “digital noise) reduces image quality.

So, for stunning night photos, you’ll need to avoid getting grain in your pictures.

Now, it’s possible to reduce the amount of grain slightly using a photo editing app. Apps like PS Express and Filterstorm Neue have noise reduction tools for reducing grain.

However, too much noise reduction can leave your photos looking “soft” and lacking sharp detail.

It’s far better to avoid capturing grain in your photos when you shoot them.

Read on to discover how to never take a grainy night photo again!

4.1 Reduce Exposure

The quickest and easiest thing you can do is to reduce exposure in the Camera app.

You’ve already learned that reducing exposure ensures the image doesn’t appear too bright. But lowering the exposure also reduces or eliminates grain.

When you lower the exposure, those grainy gray shadows will become a grain-free black.

4.2 Reduce ISO

If you want a get more advanced with the iPhone camera controls, you can also play around with ISO.

ISO controls how sensitive the camera’s sensor is to light. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive it is to light.

Essentially, the camera captures more light at high ISO settings.

You might think this is perfect for shooting at night. But there’s a downside to using a high ISO.

High ISO settings introduce grain into your pictures. So, for night photography, you’ll want to avoid high ISO settings if possible.

Unfortunately, the built-in Camera app doesn’t let you control ISO. Instead, it chooses the best ISO setting for the light conditions. So in low light, it will usually use a high ISO, resulting in grainy photos.

If reducing exposure doesn’t eliminate the grain, you can use a third-party camera app, such as Camera+ 2, to lower the ISO.

In the Camera+ 2 app, you’ll see the current shutter speed and ISO settings (circled below).

To change the ISO, tap on the current Shutter Speed/ISO values. Then tap the [+] icon on the right of the slider.

Drag the ISO slider (circled below) to adjust the setting. The lower the ISO, the less grainy your image will be.

7 Hidden iPhone Camera Features

As it turns out, the most important iPhone camera features are completely hidden from regular iPhone users. That's why we created this free video revealing 7 hidden iPhone camera features that every photographer should use. Click here to watch this video.

5. Shoot Around Sunrise & Sunset

Rather than always shooting when it’s completely dark, try taking photos when there’s a little bit of light in the sky.

When the sun is just below the horizon, you’ll get the effect of a night shot but with a hint of color and detail in the sky.

Shooting around sunrise and sunset is especially effective when you have clouds in the sky.

The clouds will add wonderful visual interest and plenty of drama to your photos.

You can also use the light of the sun on the horizon to create stunning silhouette photos.

When you’re taking photos during sunrise or sunset, the light and colors change very quickly.

While the sun is above the horizon, you’ll get the magical warm, orange glow of golden hour.

And when the sun is below the horizon, the light will be a cooler blue. This kind of light can add an eery atmosphere to your photos.

The colors in your sunrise and sunset photos can be further enhanced by editing your photos.

Try boosting the color saturation or adjusting the warmth to make the most of the amazing colors.

Editing really will make a huge difference to your photos!

6. Shoot In The Rain

Taking night photos in the rain might not sound that appealing!

But it can actually be a fun experience. And you can capture some really creative photos on a rainy night.

In rainy weather, you can capture stunning photos of water droplets on windows. And the street lights will create reflections for added interest.

Here’s one of my favorite techniques:

Shoot raindrops through a coffee shop window or the glass panes at a bus stop.

Find a scene where there are streetlights and people walking by, then hold your iPhone fairly close to the glass.

Tap to set focus on the water droplets. The droplets will appear sharp and the background will become blurred.

Reduce the exposure if necessary so that the highlights aren’t over-exposed. Then wait for the perfect moment when someone walks past with an umbrella.

Rain always seems to create a romantic atmosphere. And it’s a bonus if you’re able to capture people at night with umbrellas.

When shooting in the rain, don’t forget to look down at the ground too.

When the ground is wet, you’ll see amazing colored reflections from street lights and neon signs.

These reflections will light up the ground, creating incredible color and detail in your night photos.

7. Use Lights As Leading Lines

Do you find it difficult to create stunning compositions when it’s dark?

During daylight, you can often find leading lines such as roads or rivers. Leading lines create strong compositions that draw the viewer into the scene

But at night, these elements blend into the dark background.

What really stands out at night, though, are lights!

And you can use these lights to create stronger compositions in your night photos.

Look out for rows of street lights that create linear patterns. And use these lights as leading lines.

Compose your shot so that the lights lead from the foreground into the distance.

The lights will draw the viewer’s eye deep into the photo, creating a strong sense of depth and perspective.

Frame your shot with lights on either side of the frame for a perfectly symmetrical photo.

8. Use Lights To Frame Your Subject

Another way to create powerful compositions is to use something in the scene to frame your subject.

In daylight, you could use an archway, a door frame, or even the branches of an overhanging tree.

But at night, you can use lights as framing elements in your photo.

In the example above, the round light in the background frames the subject’s facial details. It also has the added bonus of creating a bright background suitable for a silhouette photo.

You could also look out for lights that shine down from above. This “spotlight” effect creates a bright area that’s framed by a darker area.

Position your subject within the illuminated part of the scene. This creates a frame around the subject, drawing attention to that part of the scene.

For a more intriguing composition, try having your subject only partially framed by the light.

In the photo above, the subject is partially in shadow.

This adds mystery and drama to the photo… which is always a good thing in photography!

9. Experiment With Long Exposure Photography

Night time is one of the best opportunities for creating amazing long exposure photos.

A long exposure photo captures any movement in the scene as a blur.

This is great for conveying a sense of motion in your photos.

And at night, you can capture incredible long exposure light trail photos.

Moving trains and cars are perfect for creating long exposure shots.

As the vehicle lights move through the scene, they’ll be captured as a beautiful light trail.

So, how do you create these amazing long exposure photos?

First of all, you’ll need an app that lets you use a slow shutter speed. Slow Shutter Cam is a dedicated long exposure app. And it’s perfect for this kind of photography.

You choose what kind of long exposure photo you want to capture (Motion BlurLight Trail, or Low Light). And then you adjust Blur Strength and Shutter Speed to create the desired long exposure effect.

When you press the shutter button, the app shoots a series of images in quick succession. It then blends them together to create a long exposure photo that captures the movement of your subject.

Because of the long exposure time, it’s essential that you keep your iPhone perfectly still. If there’s any camera shake, the stationary objects in your photo will appear blurred – and that’s not what you want.

Therefore, it’s recommended that you use an iPhone tripod when shooting long exposures. That way, the stationary objects will appear sharp, while only the moving subjects will be blurred.

Long exposure photography can take a bit of practice to master.

You’ll usually need to experiment with different shutter speeds and settings to get a perfect result. And you might need to try out a few different scenes before you find one that works.

But once you get it right, the results will be jaw-dropping!

10. Convert Your Night Photos To Black & White

Knowing how to take night photos with iPhone doesn’t just involve getting it right when shooting.

You can also improve your night photos after taking the picture.

Some night photos look great in color – especially if there are colorful neon lights in the scene.

But many night photos lack impact in color. And that’s when you can try converting them to black and white in post-processing.

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