SUPERGUIDES Master iPhone PHOTOGRAPHY - Take Control

SUPERGUIDES Master iPhone PHOTOGRAPHY - Take Control


Master iPhone



Snap, Edit, and Share Your Mobile Images

Click here to buy the full 87-page “Macworld Master iPhone Photography Superguide” for only $3.99!


Get Started

Why Use an iPhone?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

Your iPhone as a Camera. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

Work with the Camera App . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Snap Pictures

Adjust Your Settings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Ten Rules for iPhone Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

How to Shoot Anything. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26

Organize, Edit, and Share Images

View and Organize Photos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36

Edit Pictures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Share and Back Up Photos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

Add Apps and Accessories

Photography Apps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

Editing Apps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

Video Apps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

Accessories. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

Click here to buy the full 87-page “Macworld Master iPhone Photography Superguide” for only $3.99!


Growing up, I spent my allowance on two things: books and disposable cameras. I went

through the latter about as fast as the former, at times snapping a whole roll of

pictures in a day.

This resulted in a lot of terrible photos, sure. But it also got me in the habit of carrying

a camera around just about anywhere; and when my dad bought his very first digital

camera, you can bet it found its way into my knapsack, hidden away while I scouted for

perfect shots and hilarious moments.

Thanks to the iPhone, many more of us have a camera in our pocket. But, like any art, perfect photography takes

time. (Maybe not so much money wasted on roll upon roll of 35mm film, but still.) That’s why we put together

this book—our attempt to help you glide through the rough patches and on to photographic stardom.

This book explains it all: the nitty-gritty bits of taking pictures (where’s the shutter button?), editing and sharing

your work, and using third-party apps and accessories to move from mischief to mastery.

We can’t teach you to have fun or love your iPhone camera. But with any luck, this book will put you on that path.

—Serenity Caldwell

San Francisco, June 2012


Click here to buy the full 87-page “Macworld Master iPhone Photography Superguide” for only $3.99!

Master iPhone


EDITOR: Serenity Caldwell

PRESIDENT AND CEO: Mike Kisseberth



ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Serenity Caldwell


COPY EDITORS: Gail Nelson-Bonebrake, Sally Zahner


Macworld is a publication of IDG Consumer & SMB, Inc., and International Data Group, Inc. Macworld is an

independent journal not affiliated with Apple. Copyright © 2012, IDG Consumer & SMB, Inc. All rights reserved.

Macworld, the Macworld logo, Macworld Lab, the mouse-ratings logo,, PriceGrabber, and Mac

Developer Journal are registered trademarks of International Data Group, Inc., and used under license by IDG

Consumer & SMB, Inc. Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, and Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple. Printed in

the United States of America.

Have comments or suggestions? Email us at


Click here to buy the full 87-page “Macworld Master iPhone Photography Superguide” for only $3.99!


Karissa Bell (@karissabe) is an app-obsessed writer based in San Francisco.

Associate Editor Serenity Caldwell (@settern) helps run the Superguide program. After taking hundreds of photos

for this book, her new motto is “always be snapping.”

Alexandra Chang (@alexandra_chang) writes about all sorts of gizmos and gadgets for Wired. She loves her

iPhone camera.

Lauren Crabbe (@crabbeypants) is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. She has a degree in photojournalism

and a black belt in awesome.

Senior Editor Jackie Dove (@jackidove) runs Macworld’s Create channel, which covers software, hardware, and

services that help Mac users in creative pursuits.

Senior Editor Dan Frakes (@danfrakes) authors the Mac Gems column; covers the audio/video, accessory, and

input-device beats; and writes about OS X and iOS, troubleshooting, and hardware.

Dave Johnson covers a variety of consumer and business technology topics, though he focuses on digital imaging

and mobile computing.

Heather Kelly (@kelly_heather) loves photography, bunnies, cheese, and arguments. She is currently a tech reporter

for and lives in San Francisco, where she is probably cold right now.

Senior Editor Dan Moren (@dmoren) isn’t presumptuous enough to take pictures—he much prefers to give them

to others.

Senior Editor Tim Moynihan (@aperobot) has used nearly every pocket camera released in the past four years,

and yet he usually reaches for his iPhone when he needs to take a photo.

Senior Contributor Derrick Story (@Derrick_Story) teaches digital photography on and runs a virtual

camera club at The Digital Story.

Macworld Contributor Marco Tabini (@mtabini) runs a development and publishing company based in Toronto,


Macworld Assistant Editor Leah Yamshon (@leahyamshon) would like to thank iPhoto for iOS and her eight

favorite photo apps for sprucing up her shots.


Click here to buy the full 87-page “Macworld Master iPhone Photography Superguide” for only $3.99!

C H A P T E R 1

Get Started

FROM THE BEGINNING Let’s start with the basics, so you can learn to take beautiful

iPhone photos like this one.

Digital photography is as much about our technical gear as it is about art, making our digital cameras one of the

most unique gadgets in our day-to-day lives. You don’t need to have an expensive DSLR or to lug around a pointand-shoot

to capture good photos. If you have a smartphone with a built-in camera, you may already have the

only camera you need in your pocket. The iPhone makes a surprisingly robust camera, thanks in large part to the

built-in apps that let you shoot, manage, and sync your images.

If you own an iPhone or iPod touch, chances are you’ve used it to take a photograph or two before. But you can

use your device for so much more—if you’re willing to give it a shot. In this chapter, we explain why you might

want to use an iPhone for such tasks, in what cases a digital camera might work better, and some good basics to

know when it comes to iPhone photography.


Click here to buy the full 87-page “Macworld Master iPhone Photography Superguide” for only $3.99!

CHAPTER 1 Get Started

Why Use an iPhone?

An iPhone isn’t perfect for your every photographic need. But it can serve awfully well in many situations where

you might once have needed a digital camera.

When you look at basics, it doesn’t get any simpler than a camera phone. Smartphones are constantly upgrading

the quality of their built-in cameras. Many even shoot high-definition (HD) video. While the image caliber of

smartphones is still catching up with that of the most basic point-and-shoots, their popularity has skyrocketed.

The iPhone also has features that other cameras don’t, including access to fun and creative editing apps. The

phone stays in your pocket, so you always have a camera handy when unexpected moments come up. It’s also incredibly

small, which makes it easy to capture scenes without drawing attention to yourself. You can edit images

and share them instantly with friends and family. Finally, the simplicity of its camera tools makes a smartphone

the ultimate entry-level camera.

True, with an iPhone you lack some settings controls. The gadget also sports smaller image sensors and a fixed

aperture (the depth of field in an image). Digital cameras and SLRs may allow you greater flexibility in that arena.

So yes, there are still situations where you might want a heftier piece of equipment, such as in low-light areas or

when you’re trying to capture fast motion. But for many others, the iPhone can be just as good as—if not better

than—your DSLR. As the popular saying goes, “The best camera is the one you have with you.”





Motion and Sports

Live from the Scene


Low Light



Fast movement may result in blurry pictures, but quick access to the

camera allows you to capture moments otherwise forgotten.

It’s always in your pocket, and you can quickly whip it out at the

dinner table, though shooting dishes in low light may prove difficult.

The iPhone’s lack of white balance controls may also over-color

images; try a third-party app to warm up your food photo.

May not capture detail as well as a camera with a larger sensor, but

colors and apps can augment photos. Try third-party panoramic

apps for extra fun.

Often produces blurry images due to the iPhone’s automatic shutter

speed controls and sensor size.

The iPhone’s small size and common form factor means you may be

able to surreptitiously capture images and video.

You can often get cheap waterproof housings for the iPhone,

though pictures may end up with a light halo.

The iPhone 4S sensor is better than that in previous iPhones at

handling low-light situations, but it’s still not as good as that of a

dedicated camera. LED flash is subpar.

Use apps and external accessories to aid in focusing and framing,

and you can take stunning macro shots.


Takes higher-quality pictures, but you risk kids moving before you

set up the shot or freezing up at the sight of a proper camera.

Has better focus than a fixed-lens camera like the iPhone, but is

clunky to bring out at the table.

Lenses and better, bigger sensors result in a richer picture.

Cameras either have a dedicated sports setting or allow you to set

custom aperture and focus settings to achieve blur-free motion.

Digital cameras may be bulkier and can draw unwanted attention.

Underwater casings for digital cameras are often expensive and

require custom rigs, though you can purchase dedicated

underwater cameras.

Bigger sensors and custom flash options result in better low-light


Lenses and manual focus give digital cameras a leg up, but the

result depends on the lens and the camera.


Click here to buy the full 87-page “Macworld Master iPhone Photography Superguide” for only $3.99!

CHAPTER 1 Get Started

Your iPhone as a Camera

So you’d like to use your iPhone as your primary camera. Before you start, it’s good to know your device inside

and out and understand just what it can do in terms of photography.

A) Front Camera

If you have an iPhone 4 or 4S, you have a VGA-quality camera (0.3 megapixels) on the front of your device. This

isn’t particularly good for serious photography, but can be fun to use with third-party photo-booth apps.

B) Shutter Button

When you have the Camera app open, your iPhone’s Volume Up button can also act as a physical shutter for

either your front-facing or your rear-facing camera. This is true as well for the Volume Up button on your headphones;

if you have Bluetooth headphones with volume controls, you can trigger your iPhone’s camera remotely.


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CHAPTER 1 Get Started

C) Camera App Shortcut

If your iPhone is running iOS 5 or later, when you wake it you can quickly access the Camera app by swiping upward

on this icon, so as not to miss any sudden memorable moments.

D) Rear Camera

The rear camera is your iPhone’s main photography feature. If you have an iPhone 4, this consists of a 5-megapixel

backside-illuminated CMOS sensor and a 3.85mm camera lens with a fixed aperture of f/2.8; the iPhone 4S

has an 8-megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS sensor and a 4.28mm camera lens with a fixed aperture of f/2.4.

Both devices automatically adjust the shutter speed and ISO to get the best exposure.

In nontechnical terms, this means that your iPhone 4 or 4S can take photos at print-quality resolution with decent

low-light exposure, and though you can focus the lens through the Camera app and other third-party apps,

you won’t be able to manually zoom it or alter how much light it sees. (You can, however, use a digital zoom. You

can also attach lens accessories that give you more flexibility; see the “Add Apps and Accessories” chapter for

more information.)

The iPhone 4 and 4S can also take HD video; on the iPhone 4, you’re limited to 720p, whereas you can take full

1080p on the 4S.

E) LED Flash

Both the iPhone 4 and the 4S have an LED flash to help illuminate low-light situations. While LED flashes aren’t

traditionally as useful as full-form bulb flashes, your iPhone’s flash can illuminate a scene well up to five feet; at

ten feet, it projects some light but won’t illuminate the full picture.


Click here to buy the full 87-page “Macworld Master iPhone Photography Superguide” for only $3.99!

CHAPTER 1 Get Started

Work with the Camera App

To shoot photos and video with your iPhone, it’s simplest to use Apple’s built-in Camera app. You can launch it in

one of two ways: Swipe up on the camera icon from the iPhone’s lock screen, or unlock your device and tap the

Camera app’s icon (which looks like a camera lens against a gray background).

IT’S A SNAP! You can line up, snap, and view pictures within the Camera app.

The app launches by default in still image mode; you can take a shot by tapping the camera icon at the bottom of

the screen or by clicking the Volume Up button.

Switch between the front and back cameras by tapping the camera icon with the circular arrows in the top right

corner. For help in composing your shots, tap the Options button at the top of the app’s screen and turn on Grid;

this overlays a three-by-three grid on the screen. That’s also where you can turn on the camera’s high dynamic

range (HDR) feature, which combines three separate exposures to create a single image with optimal lighting.

HDR is best for landscape and outdoor portrait shots; don’t use it for action photos.


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CHAPTER 1 Get Started

OPTIONS, OPTIONS Set your flash choices and any extra camera tweaks before

snapping your shot.

If you’re in a low-light setting, tap the flash button in the upper left corner to turn the flash to On or Auto; turn it

to Off if you want to ensure that there’s no flash in your shot.

To shoot video, tap the photo/video toggle in the bottom right corner. A round red light replaces the camera

icon. Tap this button to start recording and tap it again to stop. While you’re recording, a time code appears in the

upper right corner. Tap the toggle in the lower right corner again to return to still mode.

The Camera app automatically sets exposure and focus points, but it doesn’t always do so correctly. To focus and

set the exposure level on a specific part of an image, tap that area on the screen. If you move your iOS device, or

if you have moving subjects in your photo, the Camera app recalibrates and picks new focus and exposure points.

To prevent this from happening, tap and hold on the part of the image where you want the camera to focus and

set the exposure; this creates an AE/AF (autoexposure/autofocus) Lock. You can tap the screen again to reset

that selection.

To view images you’ve recently snapped, you can either swipe on the live image to the right, or tap the square

thumbnail icon in the lower left corner of the app.

While the built-in Camera app is fine for most users, more serious photographers will want a third-party app with

more features. Tap tap tap’s Camera+ ($1) and Jens Daemgen’s ProCamera ($3) are excellent choices: Both let you

lock the exposure on one part of an image and focus on another—something Apple’s Camera app can’t do. They

also provide more advanced features, including stabilizing modes, self-timers, and burst modes to take quick successive

photos. (For more information on third-party apps, see the “Add Apps and Accessories” chapter.)


Click here to buy the full 87-page “Macworld Master iPhone Photography Superguide” for only $3.99!

CHAPTER 1 Get Started


Now that you know your way around the iPhone’s Camera app, you can start snapping away. These tips will help you take

better photos.

KNOW YOUR CAMERA Any camera is better than no camera, but there is a difference between the various iPhone generations.

If you are set on taking the best possible photos with your device, opt for the latest hardware. An iPhone 4S will

take more print-friendly pictures than previous iPhones because it delivers images with a higher pixel count. Increased

pixel count manifests itself as a slight improvement in an image’s overall sharpness. Also, because the iPhone 4 and 4S

allow selective focus and metering, they offer more shooting flexibility. But even if you’re working with an earlier-generation

iPhone, you can still take decent shots.

PUT YOUR BACK INTO IT If you are using an iPhone 4S, use its back camera. While the front-facing camera makes

shooting self-portraits much easier, it also yields substantially lower-quality images than the back camera.

SHOOT HORIZONTALLY When you hold your iPhone for games and reading, you generally hold it in portrait view. When

you shoot pictures, however, you should rotate your phone into landscape mode; you’ll fit more into the frame and have

a steadier shot.

KEEP IT LIGHT Remember that the iPhone likes to have as much light as possible, so if you’re shooting indoors in low

light, try to brighten the scene by switching on more lights or by enabling your LED flash. If you have an image with both

very dark and very bright spots, turn on the iPhone’s HDR feature, which composites three separate images at different

settings for a final shot with a wider dynamic range. This is especially useful when you are shooting night shots, such as

cityscapes, or a backlit subject indoors.

GO EASY ON THE FLASH As with any illuminator, overdoing it with the iPhone 4S’s LED flash will leave your images

overexposed. The iPhone doesn’t offer any kind of flash exposure compensation, so the only control you have is distance.

The farther away you are, the less intense the flash’s effect will be. While the use of digital zoom isn’t usually recommended,

with the iPhone it’s worth using the zoom and risking a little pixelation to get your flash exposure under control.

If you want a tight shot of someone, try standing farther away and zooming in to reduce the flash exposure.


Click here to buy the full 87-page “Macworld Master iPhone Photography Superguide” for only $3.99!

C H A P T E R 2

Snap Pictures

READY TO ROLL Get your trigger finger ready to snap some great photos.

Thanks to the iPhone camera’s automatic adjustments, you don’t need to know much about f-stops and focal

length to get decent shots; you just point and shoot. But if you want to go beyond “decent” to get truly beautiful

and unique shots, you need to understand how your iPhone sees the world. You may not be able to manually

adjust your device’s camera settings, but you can still make smart choices about light, exposure, and focus.

In this chapter, we’ll walk you through different situations, explain effects, and give you strategies for taking

control. We’ll also help you master the most essential element in photography: lighting. Once you’ve gotten the

basics down, you can troubleshoot challenging photo situations and experiment with unusual shots.


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CHAPTER 2 Snap Pictures

Adjust Your Settings

Unlike a compact camera or DSLR, your iPhone doesn’t allow you to adjust the most popular camera settings:

aperture, lens length, shutter speed, and white balance. That said, several tools available within the Camera app

(and other third-party programs) can aid you in taking the best pictures possible.

Exposure and Focus

On your iPhone, setting your exposure (how bright the image is) is as simple as tapping once on whatever part of

the image you’d like to source. If you move, or if the view changes too much, the Camera app also automatically

recalibrates and picks a new focus and exposure point.

LOCKED AND LOADED Tap and hold anywhere in the frame to

lock your exposure and focus.

If you’re taking a macro picture (one object in sharp focus, with the background blurred out), or if you’re trying

to keep your iPhone from focusing on a bright area and leaving the rest of the picture washed out, you can lock

the exposure and focus on a specific point. Just tap and hold on that point until the blue focus box appears and


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C H A P T E R 3

Organize, Edit, and

Share Images

As any good photographer knows, taking the pictures is just the first step: After that, you still have to decide how

to sort, tweak, and share them. Luckily, your iPhone can do it all—you don’t need a computer or external device

unless you really want one.

In this chapter we’ll run down the best ways to find and organize your images, discuss how to edit them in the

built-in Photos app and iPhoto, and show you where you can disseminate your pictures once they’re ready for

public viewing.

View and Organize Photos

As we discussed briefly in the “Snap Pictures” chapter, you can access all images you’ve snapped previously from

the Camera Roll, an album built into the Camera app. This album also shows up in your Photos app (and, if you’ve

purchased Apple’s $5 iPhoto app, there as well).


Click here to buy the full 87-page “Macworld Master iPhone Photography Superguide” for only $3.99!

CHAPTER 3 Organize, Edit, and Share Images

View Images from the Camera Roll

To see images you’ve recently taken, open the Camera app and do one of two things: Swipe to the right to go to

the most recently snapped photo, or tap the thumbnail button in the lower left corner of the screen.

ROLL ON Your Camera Roll provides basic viewing of your snapped photos.

You can view your Camera Roll’s images by swiping back and forth one image at a time, tap the play button in the

toolbar to create a simple slideshow, or tap the Camera Roll button in the top left corner to see them all at once.

The latter returns you to thumbnail view, where you can view all the images and video you’ve taken together or

divided by type. To return to the Camera app, tap the blue camera icon in the lower left corner.

View Images from the Photos App

Though you can view and share your Camera Roll from the Camera app, those photos and images are technically

part of the Camera Roll album, located within the Photos app. This app holds these photos along with any others

you may have synced from iPhoto, Aperture, or your Pictures folder on your computer.


Click here to buy the full 87-page “Macworld Master iPhone Photography Superguide” for only $3.99!

C H A P T E R 4

Add Apps and


TIME TO EXPERIMENT Get more out of your iPhone with an alternate camera app like

Digital Arch’s $2 Pris.

As you’ve seen, the built-in Camera and Photos apps on your iPhone can be invaluable when you’re snapping and

editing images. But sometimes you need to go above and beyond the basics—and when you do, there’s a good

chance that some apps in the App Store and external accessories can fulfill your photographic desires.


Click here to buy the full 87-page “Macworld Master iPhone Photography Superguide” for only $3.99!

CHAPTER 4 Add Apps and Accessories

Photography Apps

The Camera app keeps the photo-taking process simple. If you want more-sophisticated controls and extra overlays,

however, a third-party app might be just the ticket.


Digital Arch’s Pris ($2) provides a simple gesture-reliant interface to make it easier for you to take better photos.

When you first start up, an overlay clues you in to the gestures you’ll use to control the app. For example, to

take a picture, you tap anywhere in the viewfinder. Swiping to the left or right switches you into a manual mode,

where you can control the focus and exposure—you can even adjust those settings independently by dragging

their respective reticles to the desired place on the viewfinder. You can jump back to automatic mode at any

time by swiping up on the viewfinder, or you can toggle between the modes by tapping the tab to the right of the



Click here to buy the full 87-page “Macworld Master iPhone Photography Superguide” for only $3.99!

Thanks for Reading!

We hope that this Superguide has helped you make sense of iPhone photography and that you’re ready to embark

upon your own photographic journey. For even more information on snapping great images, take a look at

our Digital Photography Superguide.

And check out and the rest of our Superguide program for the latest tips, tricks, how-tos, and

news about the iPhone, iOS, and all of Apple’s other products.


Click here to buy the full 87-page “Macworld Master iPhone Photography Superguide” for only $3.99!

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