You've had the iPhone for months now (maybe years, even!) but the camera functions have always been a dark area. All those functions that looks like formulae, words like apertures and frames per second, modes and aspect ratios - can we leave all the jargon aside and just learn how to take good photos? Let's demystify the jargon and master the iPhone camera once and for all.

First, the Camera Modes

To begin with, the camera app on the iPhone 6 offers both video and photo captures, and the first three 'modes' you see at the bottom are video related: time-lapse, slo mo and video. We're going to skip ahead to the next three, which are for photos:

  1. Photo - pick this if you are looking to click a normal photograph, either in landscape (wider) or portrait (taller).
  2. Square - planning to post it to Instagram? Use Square instead of Photo so you don't have to crop it up later.
  3. Pano -  whether you are at the beach or capturing the night sky or a city's skyline from a rooftop, panoramas are very useful and turn out beautifully too. Have you tried one yet? Share your favourite with us on our Facebook page!

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Burst It Up

Take a number of photos using the high speed camera on your mobile to capture movement, a gesture and the right moment without having to deal with blur. Use the burst mode by pressing shutter button and keep it held down as it takes 10 frames per second.

Remember to clean up those you don't need after picking out the one you need.

Flash? No, Thanks!

Keep this turned off, unless you're taking a pic in the night without any other light.

Flash tends to bring out the 'red eye' effect that makes us all look like Satan's  henchmen. The reason flash doesn't complement the subject of a photograph is because it directly shines light onto it - in comparison, if you bounce light off a wall or the ceiling, you get a softer illumination without dark shadows surrounding the subject.

High Dynamic Range: Auto

Using 'High dynamic range' means you are taking the highest quality photo and utilising the power of the camera's sensors. The photos come out more crisp, detailed and realistic as the camera adjusts the exposure of both the lightest and darkest parts of the photo automatically to bring out all the details. Set it to Auto to let the magic happen!

Timer

An under-used functionality, the timer on a mobile camera makes it easy to take a photo. Pick one of the options - 3 seconds and 10 seconds - and tap the shutter button once to get the timer started and then ready your pose and let the camera countdown to the snap.

Zoom

See that cat sitting on the sill of the building opposite? If you want a closer look, use the zoom but any photos taken with the zoom will not do it justice. That's because most mobile phones use something called a 'digital zoom' which only crops the existing photo layout without actually rendering the zoomed-in part. Avoid.

Camera Specs

It would be remiss if you didnt know all the dope on the camera of the iPhone 6. Here's a quick rundown: it's an 8 megapixel camera with 1.5 micron pixels and a large f/2.2 aperture, where f stands for focal ratio. What these terms mean is that there's more light getting into the camera, letting you click great photos even when it's dark.

 

For those who want to dig a little deeper into how to click great photos using your iPhone, watch this video by New York Times' photojournalist Todd Heisler who aptly says,

"How you use light is key to a good photo."