How to Take Great iPhone Photos – 5 apps reviewed

How to Take Great iPhone Photos – 5 apps reviewed


iphone-camera-photographyIt has happened to us all: something astounding happens in front of our eyes and there is no camera at hand to immortalise the moment. We fall back on unreliable memory, which tends to struggle with remembering simple things, like what was for dinner last Thursday. And unlike the iPhone, it doesn’t improve every year.

When you have an iPhone, however, there is always a camera nearby, but sometimes the tiny lens needs a little help. After all, the lens on an iPhone – even on the impressive iPhone 4, is a lot smaller than a traditional compact camera. Below, we outline some tips and apps that will help you to take and share great iPhone photos.

Photo Basics:

To take a good picture on any camera – although especially on a mobile one – you need to follow the three simple rules listed below :

Light – Make sure the target is well-lit, and never take a picture of someone when they are in front of the light source – such as standing in front of a window. High-end cameras can fix both of these, but the iPhone just isn’t up to this mammoth task.

While the iPhone 4 can still take excellent pictures in dimly-lit houses and strobed nightclubs, the 3GS and before will result in blurry, noisy photos.

Still Target – If they are moving, you’re blurring. Either make sure you are in very well-lit conditions, or make sure the target is a still-life.

Don’t Move – If the subject moves, they blur – if you move, everything blurs. Stay as still as possible. Rest your camera on a surface, use two hands or rest your elbows into your chest to create a make-shift tripod – do anything but move.

Gorillacam-for-iPhoneTaking Great Photos: Gorillacam (free)

Not everything that Apple touches turns to gold, and Gorillacam is a great example of a third-party doing it better. It adds a whole bunch of settings that should have been included in Apple’s offering, including a self-timer, anti-shake, time-lapse, bubble level (for taking level photos), and a three shot burst mode.

The best feature, however, may be the “Unlimited Rapid-Fire” mode, which takes up to 1.6 photos per second continuously until you run out of space. The whole app is free, too.

Night-Camera-foriPhoneLow-Light Conditions: Night Camera (£0.59)

Photographs taken in low-light conditions tend to be blurred. This is because the lens needs to be open for longer to get in enough light – a longer exposure. Night Camera helps to take sharp photographs by using the iPhone’s accelerometer to work out when your hand is at its steadiest, and then takes the picture.

TrueHDR-for-iPhoneDramatic Pictures: TrueHDR (£1.19)

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, a technique used in photography to capture extremely dynamic and dramatic images. It works by taking two pictures, one at the darkest range, the other at the lightest, and then merges the two together.

By combining the two ranges, the image has a better overall exposure than a single image attempting to include both ranges. The results are simply stunning – for a dramatic photo, you need this app.

Photoshop-Mobile-iPhoneCleaning Them Up: (Free)

Sometimes you’ll think you’ve caught the golden fleece, and later you review your photos and discover that it is actually a bronzey-olive colour. Should you go out and take it again? No! Just photoshop it!

Use the tool to crop, straighten, rotate, flip, exposure, saturation, tint, black&white, and soft focus until your picture is perfect.

Flickr-for-iPhoneSharing: Flcikr (Free)

There are plenty of ways to share your pictures – but when the biggest image sharing website offers to take them on board, you might as well give in. Super easy to upload pictures, super easy to share them.


  1. I got one of those exact same ones too, Jason, but I found it a bit fiddly to fit every time. You feel like you are fighting with the spring a bit.

    I ordered a Glif a few weeks later, from It was a bit more expensive ($20) but its really great. I can use the mini tripod from that first stand, or a full-size tripod, or it free-stands on a tabletop in a number of different ways for videoing or just playback/ Facetime.

    Note: The Glif fits iPhone 4 only. Whereas that first tripod will fit iPod Touches too.



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