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Whether or not you simply booked a dream trip to Bali or are having fun with a staycation at a brand new resort near house, moments spent touring are ones you’ll wish to bear in mind endlessly. And whereas taking images throughout your journey is the simplest strategy to memorialize it (and make your social media followers tremendous jealous), lugging round a flowery DSLR digicam is pricey, cumbersome, and barely definitely worth the effort.

Fortunately, you possibly can shortly flip your iPhone right into a professional-grade journey digicam utilizing a few intelligent tips. A mix of digicam hacks, telephone equipment, and enhancing apps will yield images that may simply examine with these taken with a pricy Canon or Nikon.

We reached out to skilled photographers and journey bloggers to get their greatest suggestions for taking unimaginable iPhone images. From one of the best packable tripods to telephone settings that’ll make landscapes pop, listed here are their suggestions.

iphone camera tripod
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Once I reached out to photographers to ask for his or her iPhone images hacks, “use a tripod” was the most typical tip I obtained. Telephone tripods are tremendous light-weight, can simply match into your suitcase or backpack, and are completely essential when capturing images that are usually ruined by shaky arms (suppose lengthy exposures, low-light images, and nature photographs).

There are tons of nice choices in the marketplace, however listed here are some telephone tripods particularly advisable by journey photographers:

Gahenwo 64-Inch Selfie Stick Tripod with Remote

Journey and vogue professional Nneya Richards swears by “the scale, sturdiness, and value” of the Gahenwo 64-inch tripod, which helped her seize this epic photo in Thailand. “I at all times set the photograph on ‘Reside’ so I can get one of the best shot out of some totally different actions,” she says. The tripod suits most iPhone fashions, and it comes with a distant management for added management (and selfies).

Joby GorillaPod with Phone Mount

Raymond Cua, founding father of Travelling Foodie and Journey Traveler, prefers the Joby GorillaPod for its “type issue and adaptableness for distinctive images eventualities.” This common tripod has versatile, spider-like legs that may be bent into any form you need. Wrap it round tree branches or railings to take footage from any angle.

DJI OM 5 Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer

If you wish to seize professional-level movies along with images, take into account a gimbal (principally a selfie stick that retains a digicam regular whereas capturing video). Lauren Grijalva, full-time RVer and journey blogger at The Wanderpreneurs, makes use of the DJI OM 5 for all her social media channels. The gimbal helps seize clean images, but it surely additionally comes with a clip-on tripod for shortly shifting to photograph mode.


{Most professional} photographers agree: It’s best to by no means use the auto-flash in your digicam telephone. This burst of sunshine often produces poor-quality, pixelated images and fully washes out your topic—and flash images is usually banned at museums and artwork galleries anyway. To disable auto-flash, open your digicam app, faucet the flash icon on the left of the display (it seems to be like slightly lightning bolt), and choose “flash off” (which will likely be a logo of the flash with a line by it).

So does this imply you possibly can not take images at the hours of darkness? By no means. You may connect an exterior flash unit to your telephone to get extra natural-looking lighting. Jeremy Scott Foster, Founder and CEO of TravelFreak, recommends the Xinbaohong ring light, which is marketed as a selfie gentle however might be simply circled to make use of for normal images. “[It’s] one thing that may be significantly helpful for night photographs the place you might be having fun with the cultural nightlife, or witnessing lovely landscapes at the hours of darkness,” he says. “Will probably be the distinction between a blurry photograph…and a transparent and crisp nighttime picture that exhibits the great thing about what you might be really seeing.”

Joshua Earle/Unsplash

You’ve most likely seen tons of journey influencers put up dreamy pics of themselves immersed in nature—maybe they’re strolling down a tree-lined path, or gazing out over a canyon. And except they’re at all times touring with their “Instagram husband,” likelihood is they achieved these photographs utilizing a distant shutter.

Digital camera remotes are usually cheap and may connect with your telephone through Bluetooth. Will Hatton, founder and CEO of The Broke Backpacker, personally recommends the Ashutb Bluetooth 5.0 remote shutter. “[It’s] important for the aesthetic ‘strolling away from the digicam into nature’ images,” says Hatton. “Since I usually journey alone, this buy has served me nicely in my quest to take images of myself on adventures.”

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It’s possible you’ll remember that urgent the quantity buttons on the aspect of your telephone can click on images when your Digital camera app is open, however do you know that trick additionally works with the quantity buttons in your Apple EarPods? Avenue photographer Todd Coleman likes to take images this manner, claiming it “helps in low gentle conditions in order that there isn’t a digicam shake.”

All you need to do is plug in your EarPods, open the Digital camera app, and push both the quantity up or quantity down button on the wire to snap the photograph. Not solely does this system assist with shakiness, but it surely’s additionally nice for candid photographs, as individuals round you’ll simply suppose you’re listening to music and never fiddling along with your display. “It has actually freed me up and reworked [my] journey images,” says Coleman.

Linxi Luo/EyeEm/Getty Photographs

Should you’ve ever seen a photograph the place shifting objects (like clouds, waterfalls, capturing stars, and automotive headlights) look clean or smeared, it was most likely taken with lengthy publicity—a way that slows down the shutter pace to make nonetheless objects seem sharp and shifting objects seem blurry. It’s a well-liked strategy to imbue life into images, and you may simply mimic the model in your smartphone.

There are a number of third-party digicam apps that decelerate your telephone’s shutter pace—like Slow Shutter Cam, ProCam 8, and Camera+ Legacy—however you possibly can convert Reside Images to long-exposure images in only a few seconds and at no extra value. Except for exhibiting motion in photographs of water or night time skies, photographer Sam Opp says the trick “additionally works nicely if there are lots of people strolling round that you don’t need within the photograph. Lengthy publicity will make them extra blurry and never the primary focus in your photograph.” (Try her Instagram tutorial to see what she’s speaking about!)

Comply with these steps to transform Reside Images into long-exposure images: Open the Digital camera app and activate Reside Images (an icon within the high left of your display that appears like slightly goal). Take a photograph—ideally with a tripod for one of the best, least shaky outcomes—then open the Images app and discover the shot you simply took. Both swipe as much as reveal “Results” or faucet the drop-down menu subsequent to “Reside” on the high of the photograph (relying in your telephone mannequin) and choose “Lengthy Publicity.”

6. Put money into exterior lenses for zoomed-in photographs.


Whereas the most recent iPhone fashions have three lens choices (huge, ultra-wide, and telephoto), earlier fashions don’t have a built-in telephoto lens, which implies zooming in even a tiny bit drastically reduces your photograph high quality. In case your travels would require photographing objects from a distance (occurring a safari, visiting the Grand Canyon, and so forth.), it’s price investing in a high-quality exterior lens.

After listening to nice issues about Second’s line of smartphone lenses, I made a decision to purchase the Moment Tele 58mm Lens (which supplies 2x zoom) for a visit to Yellowstone in early 2020. It helped me take images of landscapes and wildlife that I used to be tremendous proud of, particularly when evaluating them to the blurry zoomed-in pics my telephone often takes. All of Second’s lenses require a special phone case, however when you get which you could simply clip on every lens and change them out in a few seconds if wanted. And if I ever improve to an iPhone with a built-in telephoto lens, I can place this over that third lens to attain 4x zoom, which is fairly unimaginable.

James Wheeler/Unsplash

“One of many best methods to enhance photograph high quality is [using] the automated HDR perform,” says Rick Wong, editor-in-chief of Cameras Trends. When an iPhone is in HDR (excessive dynamic vary) mode, it takes a number of images at totally different exposures and blends them into one picture, which “ensures that the publicity of the photograph is right,” says Wong. That is significantly helpful in case you are attempting to seize surroundings with plenty of shadows or totally different lighting ranges inside a single body. Should you don’t have HDR turned on, then you could get a nature shot with a darkish foreground and a very washed-out sky with no cloud particulars.

Whilst you can manually management whether or not or not a photograph is taken utilizing HDR, a newbie photographer ought to go forward and permit their telephone to do that routinely. Go to Settings > Digital camera, then toggle on Good HDR. Voila! Your journey images at the moment are more likely to point out lovely particulars and coloring.

iphone grid lines rule of thirds
Fernando Jorge/Unsplash

On this planet of images, the “rule of thirds” refers to a sort of composition during which a body is split into thirds (each horizontally and vertically) and the topic is positioned on the intersection of these grid traces. This creates a closing photograph the place the topic occupies roughly one-third of the body, whereas the encircling surroundings or background occupies the opposite two-thirds—typically thought of to be fairly a visually pleasing composition.

To assist with your personal photograph composition, you possibly can select to have very gentle grid traces seem in your Digital camera app each time you open it. Go to Settings > Digital camera, and toggle on Grid below “Composition.” The grid traces may also provide help to preserve your telephone degree so your landscapes don’t come out crooked.


Whereas many new smartphones are water-proof, they’re not meant to outlive a dive into the ocean. Having mentioned that, it’s completely doable to take underwater images along with your telephone for those who use slightly further safety.

For snorkeling, try to be high quality with a easy waterproof telephone case, just like the extraordinarily common Joto Phone Pouch. It may well match almost all smartphones, and the clear home windows nonetheless allow you to use your telephone’s touchscreen to snap images as much as depths of 100 toes. (For peace of thoughts, ensure you do the “tissue take a look at” earlier than dunking your telephone: Merely put a chunk of tissue into the telephone case, submerge it in water, and ensure the tissue emerges fully dry.) Many completely happy Amazon reviewers say they had been in a position to take underwater footage and movies that had been “very clear” and “dreamy.”

Struggling to seize the whole thing of a constructing? Eva Phan, blogger {and professional} photographer at Eva Darling, suggests taking a vertical panoramic photograph to suit every part within the body. Merely change your digicam to panoramic mode (it would seem as “Pano” on the backside of the app) and maintain your telephone horizontally. Then, as an alternative of shifting left to proper such as you usually would in panoramic mode, transfer the telephone from the bottom in direction of the sky. You’ll find yourself with prolonged portrait-mode images that present towering bushes or landmarks.

Joshua Earle/Unsplash

“One easy strategy to take higher journey images along with your iPhone is to discover ways to use publicity compensation to your benefit,” says Rex Freiberger, co-CEO and editor of Gadget Review. “This instrument adjusts how gentle or darkish a photograph is earlier than you are taking it, however typically the automated changes do not completely seize sure out of doors scenes.” To manually alter the publicity, open the Digital camera app, faucet the display, and search for a yellow field with a sunshine icon to pop up. From there, merely slide your finger up and down on the display to check totally different publicity choices.

Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock

“One of many strategies I’ve used to get distinctive pictures with an iPhone is capturing from a low angle with the telephone the wrong way up,” says Sean Lau, journey photographer and blogger at LivingOutLau. Since an iPhone’s digicam lenses are positioned on the high of the telephone, it’s arduous to get a super-low angle even for those who lay along with your telephone upright—flipping your telephone means the digicam is flush with the bottom. “That is excellent for taking reflection images the place there’s a puddle of water on the bottom,” says Lau. “The sort of photograph is often very tough to get with a standard DSLR digicam, however the portability of the iPhone makes it so much simpler.”

abu dhabi skyline golden hour
Maria Kray/Shutterstock

Whereas utilizing ring lights and enjoying round with publicity are nice instruments, nothing can absolutely replicate the photographic magic of pure daylight—particularly in the course of the “golden hours” proper after dawn and earlier than sundown. “The magic hours of early morning or nightfall are simply as efficient when capturing along with your iPhone as an enormous spectacular Nikon,” says Garrett Hayes, an avid chook photographer and founding father of Birding Hub. Using the comfortable, heat gentle of those time home windows (versus the cruel, unflattering gentle of excessive midday) will end in lovely photographs that don’t require any filters. Earlier than your subsequent journey, obtain the Golden Hour app to get location-specific suggestions for one of the best occasions to exit and snap some images every day.

Vieta Collins

Visiting new eating places is among the greatest components of touring. However taking ‘gram-worthy images of your meals? That may be a ache. Culinary images is its personal beast that takes tons of observe (and excellent lighting), however New Orleans-based meals photographer Vieta Collins has a number of useful suggestions which can be tremendous simple to duplicate.

To start with, Collins stresses that “meals seems to be greatest in pure gentle, not synthetic,” so ask to be seated close to a window for those who’re eating out. She additionally recommends utilizing the digicam grid traces (see tip #10) for overhead photographs that don’t look warped or askew.

However most of all, mess around with plating and rearrange objects in your desk to create a enjoyable picture bursting with life. “The general composition of your photograph is simply as essential because the meals itself,” says Collins. “Make the most of your silverware and napkins. Incorporate arms and have individuals maintain issues as nicely.” She additionally suggests letting some plates hang around of the body to make the desk look pleasantly cluttered, as a result of “busy tables are at all times extra fascinating.”


“Having a transportable battery to take with you is important, primarily for those who use your telephone for footage,” says Ally Wardrop, proprietor of Cafes and Getaways. Utilizing the Digital camera app drains battery life faster than many different telephone capabilities, and “the very last thing anybody needs is to overlook out on capturing a particular second as a result of their telephone has died!”

Wardrop personally vouches for this Anker power bank, which at the moment has over 53,100 five-star evaluations on Amazon. It’s sufficiently small to slide into your backpack or carry-on bag, and the producer claims it has sufficient juice to cost an iPhone 11 a minimum of 4 occasions.

Igor Lypnytskyi/Unsplash

Now that you understand the ins and outs of your Digital camera app, it’s time to discover ways to edit images. You might spend years watching Photoshop tutorials or taking on-line images programs, however there are tons of enhancing apps that make remodeling your images simple and intuitive.

Once we requested photographers for app options, a overwhelming majority had been fast to sing the praises of Adobe Lightroom. “It’s superb how skilled the images come out,” says Isabella Biava, journey blogger at Boundless Roads. “I might counsel [you] begin from one of many included presets after which alter the sunshine or vibrancy based on the ultimate outcomes you wish to obtain.” The app is free, however you possibly can pay a month-to-month payment to unlock all of the premium options.

Different nice enhancing apps are Adobe Photoshop Camera, VSCO, Snapseed (my private favourite), and Afterlight.

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