Apple iPhones have always impressed with their camera capabilities and the latest iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are no exception. But it’s the 12 Pro Max that’s at the top, with a larger camera sensor and a variety of upgrades that make it a powerhouse of photography.
But having a good camera in your pocket isn’t a guarantee of brilliant images – you need to know the tricks to using this equipment to take the pictures you want. Here are my best tips to improve your photography game and hopefully get the best pictures ever from your iPhone 12 Pro Max. if you don’t have it try to win one here.
Know when to use the different objectives
It’s easy to stand in front of a picturesque scene and quickly browse through the normal, super-wide and enlarged views from the phone, but it’s harder to understand exactly why one might be better than the other for a particular composition. To understand this, you need to take an extra moment to look at what is important in the scene in front of you.
Is there a particular subject – perhaps a statue or an impressive building – that is surrounded by many other elements such as trees, signs or streetlights? Using a telephoto zoom lens is a great way to isolate your subject and eliminate all these distractions. You may need to move back a little and then zoom in to keep it in the frame, but simplifying your scene in this way will really help your subject stand out in the picture.
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 the super-wide view will capture even more of the environment, so to prevent your subject from getting lost in the 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.
Revisit at different times of the day
The iPhone 12 Pro Max’s impressive low-light capabilities mean you’re not limited to taking pictures only at noon, 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 give the best results, and it’s always worth keeping in mind, if you can handle the first few sunrises.
If you’re taking a trip to the city (whenever these are allowed again), it’s worth trying a sunrise shot at least once, visiting the places you’ve already found and seeing how they are transformed by different light. This is what will separate your images from the hundreds of others on Instagram who have just taken a picture after having their morning coffee.
Don’t be afraid of the dark
And don’t think that once the light is on, you have to stop filming. The iPhone 12 Pro Max has one of the best night modes on any phone and can take amazing night-time photos. City scenes with car headlights, animated shop windows and even party decorations can provide great fodder for nighttime photos. And don’t worry if it rains – those wet streets will now reflect all those lights, which may seem unbelievable.
Focus on your editing
If you want to create really eye-catching images, editing should be part of your workflow, whether you photograph in raw or JPEG format. You need to start with a good image, so make sure you’ve followed the tips above, but good editing can be the biggest step in turning a standard snapshot into a rewarding art form.
I use Adobe Lightroom Mobile for most of my editing on my phone. It’s a professional tool and has granular control over color and exposure. If you don’t like the monthly fee, Snapseed from Google is free and also has many great features to get the most out of your shots, including a variety of movie effects that give your photos a nice tone of color.
If you want to get a little wilder and more creative, you should check out applications like Bazaart and PicsArt, which provide a variety of tools and effects to compose images and turn them from photos into often bizarre modern works of art. Take a look at my overview of image editing applications for more ideas.