Tips for taking awesome iPhone pics

Tips for taking awesome iPhone pics

One of our best news photographers, Ross Land has photographed the Queen, Governor Generals, multiple Olympic and Commonwealth Games, and All Blacks tests and tours for over a decade.

Although he started photography when there were dark rooms, now his most frequently used camera isn’t slung over his shoulder, it’s on his iPhone.

“The quality of camera in good smartphones has changed photography and made it more accessible. There is no limit to the type of photo you can take, it’s just a matter of knowing how to get the best out of it,” Ross says.

And whether using a phone or the latest DSLR camera, the basics still apply.

“We all see things differently,” Ross says, “but there are a few things that anyone lining a subject up needs to follow to get that photo that really says something. “

STEP 1.  Look at the image you’ve framed on the screen and put your finger onto the darkest part so you can see the borders of your image. This will make everything incredibly bright.

Race car resized

STEP 2.  Then frame your picture the way you want to see it when it’s taken. For a second time touch the image on the screen to expose it lightness- and darkness-wise. That’s also the point where the camera will focus.

Lama resized

STEP 3.  Follow the basics in framing your shot: stand still; hold the phone with two hands; use good natural lighting if possible; make sure nothing in the background is coming out of the subject’s head and shoulders (trees, lamp posts etc.); move around to create the picture you want, not what happens to be in front of you.

African girls resized

Ross’ favourite photo apps


One of the best around. Its versatility and number of filters virtually make it a one-stop shop. Editing options include brightness, saturations, sharpening, and spot adjustments. Google didn’t buy it for nothing!


This provides a range of frames among other features. One of the most versatile filters is under Lens FX and includes close-up lens, depth of field, vignette and wide angle lens. Great tools all of them.


Has 16 different lens types, 51 unique filtered film styles, and 40 frames. Make real time adjustments to exposure and white balance through slider-based interface. Offers continuous shooting, high speed shooting, image stabilisation, multi-exposure, multi-shot, time-lapse, long shutter, light-trail, and night snap!

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