3 Secrets For Taking Tack Sharp iPhone Night Photos

Does your iPhone take
bad photos at night? If so, you’re definitely
not alone. That’s because your iPhone, just like any other
smartphone, has a small camera sensor which makes it more difficult to take sharp photos in
low light conditions. With that said, there are
simple techniques anyone can use to take
high quality iPhone photos when
it’s dark. So in this short video you’re going to discover
3 secrets for taking tack sharp iPhone photos
at night. Once you start using
these secrets you’ll be able to take
flawless iPhone photos even in the middle
of the night. You’re probably a bit
skeptical but in this video
I’ll show you exactly how to do it. Now if you can’t hear me please tap on this video
to turn on the sound, and then we can get started. When we’re talking
about night photography it’s really important
to understand that there’s no such thing as photography in
complete darkness. That’s because your camera is essentially a light
capturing device. The only thing your
camera does is capture light and if there’s no light
to capture you cannot take a photo. So, where do you find light for your night photos? Well, the easiest way
to find light at night is to simply look for
subjects that are already illuminated. And as it turns out,
most cities have a large variety
of subjects you can use for night
photography. For example,
landmarks, buildings and bridges
are often illuminated. So are store fronts,
restaurants and bars. Even ads and billboards
are typically lit up, and things like Christmas
decorations can be perfect for night
photography too. So, any city has a
large number of subjects you could use for night
photography, and if they’re illuminated you’ll be able to take really high quality photos
even at night. Let me show you
what I mean. I want to take a photo of the beautiful church
tower in the background. And this tower is nicely
illuminated which is exactly what I need. At the same time there’s
this lamp closer to me
and that lamp illuminates the leaves at the top
of the screen as well as the flowers at
the bottom of the screen. And I think I could try
to combine all these elements into a really beautiful
composition. Now another thing I like
about this scene is the fact that it’s
not completely dark yet. The sky is dark blue but it’s not black and I think the
dark blue sky should go together with
the church tower really, really well. So in order to take
this photo I wanna start by switching to the telephoto lens
of my iPhone. Now, if your iPhone has
only one lens that’s okay,
you can still do great night photography. In fact, the wide-angle lens is usually better for
taking photos at night because it lets in more
light than telephoto. However, for this specific
composition I think the telephoto
lens will work better. So I’m gonna switch to
the telephoto lens by tapping on the circular
1x icon at the bottom of the screen. So, now we’re using telephoto, and you can see we’re
much closer. So, I wanna quickly
adjust the composition and the framing. And to do that, I need to
move around a little bit. I wanna make sure the tower does not overlap with
the leaves, and I wanna make sure
that all the elements fit
together nicely. Once I’m happy with
the composition I’m almost ready to
take a shot. But first I wanna make sure that the tower in the
background is perfectly sharp. In other words,
I wanna set focus on the church tower
and to do that, all I have to do is simply
tap my finger on the tower
and you’ll see this yellow box appear, which means that the
tower is now in focus. And finally,
before I press the shutter I want to make this image just a tiny bit darker. And this is kind of
counterintuitive but when you’re taking
photos at night you’ll generally do better if you make them darker,
not brighter. So, to make this photo darker I’m gonna simply swipe my finger down the screen,
and I can do this because I’ve already
set focus on the tower. So if I simply swipe my
finger down the screen, you’ll see the image
get a little bit darker. The colors are also
now more natural, and as a whole, this
image should be sharper and have less grain. So now I’m finally ready
to take a shot. I’m gonna try to
keep my iPhone as steady as I can, and I’ll go ahead and
press the shutter. And this is the kind of photo I could only take
because I found a really beautiful
illuminated subject. But now, let me show you
another example. I found this really
beautiful door that’s nicely illuminated, and there’s a balcony
right on top of this door and I think they’d make
a great photo. So I’m gonna start by
framing this shot and I’m gonna frame it
in such a way where I get a symmetrical
composition and to achieve that,
I’m standing exactly in the center
of the door, and also I don’t want
to include any of the pavement
in the foreground because I don’t think
it belongs there. Once I’m happy with
my framing, I’m gonna tap my finger on the brightest part
of the image to set focus there, and I also need to adjust
exposure so I’m gonna swipe my
finger down a bit. Once I have found the correct brightness level
for this photo I’ll go ahead and press
the shutter. And actually I’m really happy with the way this photo
turned out. I think the light looks
really beautiful there. And finally,
to give you one last example. I think this street lamp
could make a really interesting photo. So I’ll frame the shot carefully. I’ll tap my finger on the lamp to set focus there. And in order to make
the image darker I’m going to swipe my
finger down to decrease exposure. And once I’ve found the correct level of
brightness, I’ll go ahead and take a photo. And looking back at this image I’m actually really happy
with the way it turned out. And as you can see,
there are a lot of illuminated subjects
in the city, and all of them are perfect for taking sharp iPhone photos at night. When you look at a photo you see a stationary moment
frozen in time. But in reality any photo
is captured over a period of time. During that time the shutter
of the camera is open and it lets
through light, which then reaches the
camera sensor. At night,
when there’s less light, the shutter has to stay
open for longer to let in the same amount
of light. But the problem is that
any movement while the shutter is open results in blurry photos. For example,
if your hands are shaking while the shutter is open, you’ll get a blurry photo. Or if your subject is moving while the shutter is open, you’ll also get a blurry photo. And because of that
it’s so important that you keep your iPhone as steady as possible, especially when you’re
shooting at night. Let me show why that’s
so important. I wanna take a photo of the beautiful cathedral
over there. But if my hands are
moving or shaking as I’m pressing the shutter, I’ll end up with a really
blurry photo. Now, obviously, this is a bit of an exaggerated example and normally your hands
wouldn’t be shaking so much. But any movement while
you’re taking a shot will result in blurry photos
at night. So how do you keep the
iPhone steady? Well, first and foremost,
you wanna start by holding your iPhone
correctly. If you’re right-handed like I am, start by placing your
left palm in front of you. Then, position your iPhone
on your palm like this. Use your thumb to support
one side of the iPhone, and use your little finger to support the other side
of the iPhone. Then the middle three fingers will support the back
of the iPhone. With this grip, you can
get a really steady shot and you can quickly rotate between landscape and
portrait orientation, or you can conveniently
carry your phone while you’re not taking photos. But we’re not done yet. I also have my right hand so I’m gonna use my
right hand to further support the iPhone
from below like this. Or if I’m shooting in portrait, I’ll support my iPhone like this. Now, another thing that’s
really important is how you position
your elbows. You wanna avoid shooting with stretched out
arms like this because that creates
a lot of shakiness. Instead you wanna use
your elbows to position them against
your rib cage, like so, and that will give you
a steadier shot. Now, you don’t always
have that option but you can sometimes
further stabilize your body by leaning against
a vertical structure, such as a wall or a tree. Or if you have that option you can even position
your hands on a stationary object, and that way you’ll get
even more stability. So now, I wanna take
another shot of the beautiful
cathedral, this time holding my
iPhone correctly. But I’ll be really careful with how I press the shutter because the simple act of pressing the shutter button can also shake your iPhone. So I’m gonna use my right thumb to touch the shutter button and I’ll barely touch it so that I don’t move the
iPhone too much. And if we now compare the
two photos side by side, you’ll see that the
second photo is so much sharper
simply because the iPhone wasn’t moving as I was
pressing the shutter. So, the bottom line is this. If you’re taking photos
at night, you wanna keep your
iPhone as steady as possible,
and that way you’ll get the sharpest possible results. And finally, one thing we
haven’t yet talked about is taking photos of people
when it’s dark. And depending on
how much light you have available
in the scene, you may or
may not be able to get beautiful results. Let me show you. I wanna take a photo
of my wife who’s standing under the tree where it’s quite dark. But no matter how steady
I keep my iPhone and no matter what I do, I just can’t get beautiful photos. They’re all too dark
or too grainy, or too blurry, and they
just don’t look right. So, one thing I could try is turning on the flash
and to do that, I’m gonna tap on
the flash icon at the top left. And once the flash is on, I’ll go ahead and take
another photo. But unfortunately,
even the flash photo doesn’t look good. The light on the face
of my subject is really flat. There are no shadows
of any kind which doesn’t look natural. And honestly,
those red eyes just look kind of creepy. So it looks like I can’t take a good photo without flash and I can’t take a good
photo with flash. So what can I do? Well, there is one thing
I could still try and that is to find an
external light source that would illuminate
the face of my subject. So I’m gonna use the
street lamp right next to me. And I’ll position my wife
directly in front of it so that she’s looking
towards the light. And that way,
both sides of her face will be illuminated equally. Next, I’m going to switch to the Portrait mode
of my iPhone by swiping my finger
horizontally across the screen from
right to left, like this. Now the reason I’m
switching to Portrait mode is because I wanna
blur out the background and I think that will
result in a nicer photo. But, if you don’t have
the Portrait mode that’s okay too. And now, I’m gonna try to
keep my iPhone as steady as I can and I’ll gently
press the shutter. And if we look at the image
I just took, it actually turned out exactly the way I wanted. And that’s because I took the time to find an external light source that would illuminate
the face of my subject. Now as you can see
from the techniques I just shared,
the iPhone camera looks really simple on the surface. But when you start
digging deeper it’s really not that simple. There are so many
hidden camera features and camera settings
that you probably don’t know about,
and I could only share a handful of them in a
short video like this. And to make things worse it’s not enough to simply
learn about all the different
iPhone camera features, you also have to understand how to use each one of them in different photography
scenarios. We’re talking about
different light conditions, different photography subjects, and even different genres and styles of photography. Now here’s the good news. Once you really understand
iPhone photography you’ll be able to take
the kind of photos that nobody would
even believe were taken with the iPhone. And that’s why I created
iPhone Photo Academy, which is an online course
teaching you everything there is to know
about iPhone photography. So right next to this video you’ll find more information about my full
iPhone Photo Academy course. If you’d like to use your iPhone to take stunning photos that you’ll be proud to look at many years later. And if you’d like to do it
without having to carry your bulky camera, then please take a look
at my full iPhone Photo Academy course. There’s more information
right next to this video so take a look and I really hope
to see you there.


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