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How To Take iPhone Photos That No One Would Guess Came From A Smartphone

Feb 17, 2014 08:18 PM EST by Michael Thrasher

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Apple's iPhone 5s is a great smartphone. It does a lot of things very well, including take photos.

The phone's camera has pixels that measure 1.5 microns, an aperture of f/2.2, white and amber LED flashes and can shoot panoramic photos. It's got a lot of good features many cameras don't have that enable it to take picture like these:

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iPhone peppers via Apple's website.
iPhone peppers via Apple's website.
Sunset with an iPhone via Apple's website
Sunset with an iPhone via Apple's website
Skater with an iPhone via Apple's website
Skater with an iPhone via Apple's website

Those look great, but the bottom line is, it's the photographer behind the camera that makes the shot.

Lucky for us, National Geographic put together some iPhone camera tips to help make the most out of the technology that went into it.

If you are traveling and have a camera, these are still tips you soudl read. Something photo-worthy can happen or cross your path in an instant and be gone just as fast — your iPhone might be the only thing available in that split second.

The best camera is the one always with you 

Cotton Coulson, a photographer for National Geographic based in Denamrk, knows a thing or two about taking pictures... He said he didn't even consider using the iPhone for photography until the the image quality came close enough to the professional standard he was accustom to.

The cameras on mobile phones have made leaps in development over the last couple years. They aren't better than the large DSLR cameras, but they've reached a point that he sees them valuable.

Given their size and mobility, there are decent cameras in peoples hands more than ever thanks to cell phones. Remember to use yours. If you don't take photos, you'll never take a good one.

Use two hands 

Two are always better than one.

Coulson also noticed that the photo doesn't take when your thumb or finger makes contact with shutter button. It takes the photo when you release your finger. With that in mind, he now presses the button and gently releases it, versus tapping it. He recommended others try the same thing and see what works for them.

Don't use the zoom

Activating the zoom makes the exposure and white balance change and narrows the view angle. Coulson said those things only hinder a photo with the iPhone. The more you zoom, the less sharp an image will appear as well. 

Forget action shots, wildlife, etc.

"Let's face it, camera phones were never designed to compete with higher-end DSLR cameras. Use it for what it's good for-capturing the details of your life. And don't be afraid to get in close," Coulson said.

Look for readable patterns 

Remember, the iPhone photo will likely be viewed on a small screen so keep them clean, simple and small. Eyes like to follow repetition, Coulson said.

To read the rest of Coulson's tips on shooting picture with your iPhone, visit National Geographic here.

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