How to Take Nice Travel Pictures Through Your iPhone

What do all the pictures below have in common?

They were all taken on the iPhone (my iPhone 6s), of course!! What I love about the iPhone is that it’s lightweight and sleek, you can just take it out of your pocket and slide it back in, always handy for those “perfect moments” to take “the perfect picture”. I just received my Canon camera in November 2016, so you can imagine, all the times I went to places before that time, I had no choice but to stick with my iPhone. The crazy fact is that some of my nicest pictures actually came from my iPhone alone!!! You really don’t need to have an expensive or attractive DSLR camera to get the most out of your pictures. So you’re wondering, how do you capture such awesome pictures with the iPhone, even without special tools?

Here are my tips:

Choose a focus point and keep your camera still.

For example, if you’ve hiked a cliff and want to capture the cliff AND the ocean, you might want to go above the level of where the cliff is hanging, placing your body at an angle facing the cliff, so you can take a picture of it featuring the ocean. Concentrate on what you’re going to photograph and work on all levels around that focus point until you get your best pictures. Take quiet moments to hold your phone still and straight.

Walk a couple or more feet away from the object you want to photograph.

Close-ups are good but most of my nice travel iPhone pics are because it was taken at a distance. For example, above, you can see the picture of the Washington Monument, I took that by standing at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial from an 18 minute walk. I managed to capture the whole monument, the moon, and the Reflecting Pool. Just don’t be a fool and stand in the middle of a road where cars are constantly passing by to take a picture.

Take a couple risks (but not too much of a risk). Just be aware of your surroundings and ALWAYS avoid dangerous situations.

You saw that picture above with me posing as a silhouette from the sunset? I actually told my sister to carry my not-in-a-waterproof-case iPhone into the ocean (not too close from the shoreline either), capturing the essence of the smooth waves and myself being in the center. I don’t recommend you bring your iPhone (unless you have the waterproof phone case) when there are heavy waves or in deeper levels of the ocean. It’s also important, if you want someone to take a picture of you, make sure it’s someone you trust and is more likely to not be clumsy.

Use the HDR feature of your camera.

The HDR feature is good for making your pictures a little more contrasted. It will add more dimensions and sometimes highlight backgrounds more, which is good if you want to capture the sun rising or sun setting, the sun will not look like a glare but an actual sun rise or sun set. I guess you can say the HDR feature can bring the scenery alive.

Use the panoramic feature of your camera.

This is personally my favorite feature. You want to capture the whole scenery around you? Do a panoramic shot (take a look at my middle picture of myself hiking from the picture collage above). On how to use this, first keep your phone very still and move it around slowly going to the right then press the stop button. Sometimes taking a very long panoramic photo can be too much because when someone is looking at your picture, they can lose focus on the whole scenery, so also practice taking shorter ones or midway from the scenery.

Editing your photos after can make it look alive.

Although some of your pictures might come out good unedited, it doesn’t hurt to play around with filters or editing your pictures to put more contrast, highlights, brightness, saturation and etc. Your iPhone will most likely have the feature where you can edit these (click the icon that looks like an icon of settings, next to the heart, and you will be bought to the basic things you can edit). There are apps that can add cool filters for your photos like VSCO and Afterlight. You can find so many of them if you search “photo editing apps” on your iPhone app store.

Don’t forget to turn your phone around horizontally or keep it vertically, depending on what you would want to capture.

Personally, I like to have most of my pictures taken at an horizontal standpoint, especially if I want to capture sceneries. If I want to capture, for example a slim-sized painting at a museum, I will shoot the picture on my phone vertically. It depends on how much coverage you want to show and how much of it you don’t want to show. Your iPhone will sometimes automatically turn your pictures around in your album if you shoot a picture horizontally.

If you want to take a close-up picture, make sure you have the focus of the object in front of you in focus.

The camera will automatically focus the object you center it in, which is great. It will blur the background a bit. Make sure you’re very close to the object to get it in focus, however. If you’re lucky and have the iPhone 7, you can use the portrait feature to get even more blurriness in the background!!

I hope these simple tips helped you understand how you can use your iPhone to take the best pictures!! Make sure to pass this down to a friend who needs help or to anyone who isn’t willing to spend money on camera equipment.


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