How to Do More with Your iOS 7 Camera
Much like every other app in iOS 7, the Camera app received a big makeover in the latest update, coming with a ton of new features. Of course, you probably already have enough knowledge to take a decent photo with your iPhone or iPad, but you may not be using the camera to its full potential.
The features that come with the Camera app are fairly simple and straightforward, but many folks don’t use them to their advantage. With just a few tips and tricks up your sleeve, you’ll be able to take better photos on your iPhone or iPad, even to the point where you can think about getting rid of that point and shoot camera that’s collecting dust in your desk drawer.
Focus & Exposure
Before you can begin using all of the great feature available to you in the iOS 7 camera app, your photos first need to come out looking technically correct, meaning that the subject needs to be in focus and the lighting needs to be right.
The iPhone does a decent job at automatically focusing in on a subject, and it usually gets the exposure right so that you can clearly see what’s in the picture. However, if you want to put focus on a particular subject, all you have to do is simply tap on it on the screen to change the focus. This will also change the exposure to put emphasis on the subject, so if your subject appears dark in the photo, just tap on it to expose it properly.
Many people associate filters with Instagram, but now Apple has included them with the iOS 7 camera. Granted, there aren’t as many filter options to choose from compared to Instagram, but the basic ones are included. We see filters as a tool to save photos that didn’t turn out so well. For instance, if the white balance isn’t right or if the photo is under or overexposed, you can make it look slightly better by using a filter.
To activate a filter, tap on the venn diagram icon in the lower-right corner and then select the filter that you want to apply to any photos that you take. If you want to apply a filter to a photo after you’ve taken it, simply just go to your Camera Roll and tap on the photo, then tap on Edit in the upper-right corner. From there, tap on venn diagram icon at the bottom to pick and apply a filter.
One rule of photography that even the most novice of photo takers should know is the Rule of Thirds. This is where the subject is off from the center of the photo and is placed two-thirds to the side of the photo to create a more pleasing image, composition-wise.
The camera in iOS has had the ability to add grid lines for a while now, but not many people know about it. We covered the process in the past on how to enable them, but it’s quite simple. Just open up the Settings app and tap on Photos & Camera. From there, tap on the toggle switch next to Grid to enable grid lines. These will allow you to better place subjects and allow you follow the Rule of Thirds without a problem.
If you’ve ever been in a situation where you’re trying to take a photo of a landscape, but the sun is so bright that the camera goes nuts and doesn’t show the darker areas very well, then HDR is your friend. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, and that basically means that the camera will take multiple photos at different exposures and merge them together to have every area in the photo properly exposed, that way you can see everything.
iOS 7 has an HDR mode that makes it extremely easy to take such photos. At the top of the camera app, you’ll see a small HDR Off. Tapping on that will toggle HDR mode. When it’s enabled, it’ll say HDR On in yellow letters.
Once you take a photo, it’ll save two copies, one of which is the HDR photo and the other is the regular photo.
Your iPhone has a LED flash on it, but it’s actually best not to use it unless you really need to. It’ll wash out your subject and make your photos unattractive to look at overall. Granted, if you just need to take a casual photo of something that’s dimly lit, then by all means crank that LED flash, but if you’re at a party and are wanting to get some great photos of friends having fun, keep that flash off as much as possible.
If you have an iPhone 5s, the flash is better than past iPhone models, because it essentially comes with two different LEDs that are at different color temperatures in order to more-accurately light the subject based on the environment’s current color temperature, but you’ll still get washed out pics most of the time, so tread lightly.