Take amazing photos with these iPhone 13 photography tips

Apples iPhone 13 Pro has a really impressive camera setup. Its three rear cameras can take beautiful photos that easily rival those of competing flagship phones such as the Pixel 6 Pro Where Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. The powerful combination of overall image quality, software processing and advanced iPhone features, such as Apple’s ProRaw image format, means images from the iPhone 13 Pro can look like they were taken on a professional level camera.

But just having a great camera isn’t the only thing you need to take award-winning images – it’s knowing the tricks of the trade that will make the difference between coming home with fun snaps and come back with beautiful photos you can’t wait to print and frame your wall.

So here are my top tips for better images, techniques I use every day as a professional photographer, from working with light to using more creative angles to polishing your photos in apps. editing. Many of these tips will apply to any newer phones you may have, including lower-powered iPhone models like the iPhone 11 or the 13 Mins and even many Android phones, while others are more specific to the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max, which share the same camera system.

Know when to use different lenses

It’s easy to stand in front of a scenic scene and flick between normal, super wide, and zoomed views on the phone, but harder to figure out exactly Why one might be better than the other for a particular composition. To understand it, you have to take an extra moment to look at what’s important in the scene before you.

fishing boats

Switching to the ultra-wide lens, I was able to capture that mooring rope as foreground interest, which really ties the scene together.

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Is there a particular subject – perhaps a statue or an impressive building – that is surrounded by many other elements like trees, street signs or streetlights? Using the iPhone 13 Pro’s 3.5x telephoto zoom is a great way to isolate your subject and eliminate all those distractions. You may need to step back a bit and then zoom in to keep it in frame, but simplifying your scene like this will help your subject stand out.

But maybe it’s those extra surrounding elements that really add to the scene and provide context for where you are. In this case, using the standard zoom will allow you to keep these elements in the shot. Switching to super wide view will capture even more of the surroundings, so to keep your subject from getting lost in frame, you might want to get closer and find some interesting foreground objects (a patch of flowers, a cool looking rock) to add to the composition.

Edinburgh at sunset

Waiting until evening for this shot really paid off, with an incredible fiery sunset.

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Revisit at different times of the day

The amazing low-light capabilities of the iPhone 13 Pro mean you’re not limited to taking photos only at midday when the sun is at its highest. Sunrises and sunsets will generally be darker, but can reward you with beautiful colors in the sky and great contrast in the projected light. Landscape photographers know that getting up before dawn can often yield the best results and it’s something always worth keeping in mind, if you can handle the early rises.

Edinburgh on a cloudy afternoon

Only 10 minutes earlier, it was the same scene. Fine, but without any of that Edinburgh sunset drama.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

If you’re in town, it’s worth trying at least once for a sunrise photo shoot, visiting the places you’ve already found and seeing how they are transformed by the different lights. It’s what will separate your images from the hundreds of others on Instagram who just took a picture after having their morning coffee.

boats on an illuminated quay at night

The iPhone 13 Pro’s excellent night mode allowed me to capture a vibrant, crisp photo here, even though it was the middle of the night.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Don’t be afraid of the dark

And don’t think that once the light goes out completely you have to stop shooting. The iPhone 13 Pro has one of the best night modes on any phone and can take amazing night shots. City scenes, with car headlights, vibrant storefronts, and even festive holiday decorations can provide great fodder for night shots. And don’t worry if it’s pouring rain – those wet streets will now reflect all those lights, which might sound amazing.

Check out our tutorial If you want to get even better results from your night phone photography.

a photo of two people walking up stairs, one color version, the other black and white

The original image on the left is a good shot, but with moody black and white editing it has a lot more atmosphere and works much better as a shot.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Shoot in ProRaw, edit your shots later

A few careful tweaks in editing apps like Adobe Lightroom can mean the difference between an everyday snap and a beautiful, prize-worthy work of art. Luckily, Apple has done this even with the introduction of ProRaw on the latest generation of iPhones. ProRaw is much the same as raw shooting on regular DSLRs; it doesn’t save all image data, allowing you to change white balance and edit colors much more precisely after you’ve taken your shot.

It also captures more detail in the shadows and highlights of your images, giving more scope to save those bright skies with the highlights slider or to bring back a little more visible detail in darker shadows. You will see the believed button in the top corner of your screen when you’re in the camera, so make sure there’s no line if you take an image that you know you’ll want to tweak later to be the best . You can also edit JPEG images, it’s just that you won’t have quite the same level of flexibility.

I use Adobe Lightroom Mobile for most of my editing on the phone. It’s a professional tool and it has lots of granular control over color and exposure, all while syncing my images to the cloud so I can retrieve my edits later on my iPad or desktop. If you don’t like monthly fees, Snapseed by Google is free and also has many great features to get the most out of your photos, including a variety of film effects that give your photos beautiful colors.

If you want to get a little wilder and more creative, you should check out apps like Bazaart and PicsArt, which provide a variety of tools and effects for composing images to turn them from photos into often bizarre works of modern art. . Take a look at my roundup of image editing apps for more ideas.

Remember that there is no right or wrong way to edit your images and applying creative effects does not mean deleting the original file. So you can always go back and try again if you don’t like the result. My advice is to have a cup of tea, sit in a comfortable chair, and spend some time playing around with your editing app of choice and seeing what you can create. You might be surprised at what you can find, even from images in your gallery that you may have taken some time ago.

About Bernard Kraft

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