Apple’s iPhones come with its own camera app. The app itself looks simple on the surface and is more than capable of getting the job done. However, if you’d like to have a bit more control over your photos, there are certain tips and tricks that might be worth checking out that could help you snap that great photo without the need for third-party apps.

How To Turn Off Flash

Using flash is a great way to illuminate your photos, but generally speaking, the flash units on our smartphone cameras are too direct, resulting in very harsh looking photos. A good way to ensure your photos and subjects aren’t blown out is by turning off flash completely.

  1. Launch the Camera app
  2. Tap the flash icon at the top left corner of the app
  3. Select Off

How To Change Your Camera’s Exposure

Did you know that you can change the exposure in the default camera app on your iPhone? This is one of the hidden features that Apple never really bothered to advertise or make it quite as obvious, but it is pretty easy.

  1. Launch the Camera app
  2. Tap on the object that you’re trying to focus on
  3. It will bring up a yellow box and you should see a sun icon to the right of it
  4. Tap inside the box and slide your finger up or down. Sliding down will lower the exposure, while sliding up will increase the exposure.

Note that the change in exposure will only last for a couple of seconds, after which the Camera app will revert back to automatically trying to gauge the “correct” exposure for the scene, which brings us to exposure-lock.

How To Lock The Exposure On Your Camera

If you think that the camera is currently exposed at a level that you think is good or appropriate for your photo but you don’t want to lose it, you can lock the exposure into place. This means that until you say otherwise, even if you pan around with your camera, the exposure will be maintained to whatever you had previously locked it too.

  1. Launch the Camera app
  2. Tap on the area you want to focus on
  3. It will bring up a yellow box with a sun icon to the right of it
  4. Tap and hold onto the yellow box until you see the words at the top of your screen that says AE/AF Lock.

Note that this also locks the focus into place. For example, if you locked the exposure and focus of an object, when you pan around with your camera, it will no longer try to automatically focus on other subjects or change its exposure. This is useful if you want to lock the focus on your subject and keep its clarity and sharpness while recomposing the photo to make it look better.

How To Change Your Camera’s Aperture

If you own an iPhone that supports Portrait mode, you actually have the option and ability to control the aperture of your camera. For those unfamiliar, aperture determines how wide the shutter is, where the wider it is, more light can get through, which in turn can help with low-light photography.

A wider aperture also creates more of a “bokeh” effect which is what enhances the separation between your subject and background. The camera will automatically choose the best aperture for your needs, but you actually change it manually if you prefer having more control.

  1. Launch the Camera app
  2. Go to Portrait mode
  3. Tap the f button at the top right corner of the screen
  4. A new dial will appear at the bottom of your camera app
  5. Slide it to the left or right to change the aperture

How To Turn On The Camera Grid

The purpose of the grid is to help users compose photos following the principle of the “rule of thirds”. The rule of thirds is a guide that will help you compose photos, where it is believed that by placing your subject not directly in the center of the frame makes for a “better” photo.

It also works for landscape shots where you can separate the foreground, background, and the sky into individual thirds to create a more “complete” photo. By using the grid, it will help you find the different sections needed to help you adhere to the rule.

  1. Go to your phone’s Settings
  2. Scroll down to Camera
  3. Toggle the Grid option (it should be green if it’s on)
  4. Launch your Camera app and you should see a grid overlay

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