By utilizing the 3×3 grid, I used to be in a position to simply place these massive rocks within the foreground, maintaining the bridge within the higher third of the body, leading to a extra balanced composition total.

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The iPhone SE would possibly lack the unimaginable triple camera setup discovered on the top-end iPhone 12 Pro Max, however its single camera is greater than able to taking attractive photographs that belie its inexpensive price ticket. Whether you simply need better snaps of your youngsters taking part in in your subsequent journey away otherwise you’ve received your eyes squarely centered on Instagram stardom, there are many ways you’ll be able to enhance your pictures with this cellphone.

Being the beneficiant type I’m, I’ve put collectively my high suggestions right here. 

Nail your composition

To obtain its lower cost tag, the iPhone SE ditched the multi-camera array of its pricier sibling. While that is simpler on the pockets, it naturally limits the taking pictures choices you will have while you’re out and about. You will not give you the chance to swap to the ultrawide lens to seize every little thing in entrance of you, nor are you able to zoom in on particular particulars utilizing the telephoto lens. 

As a outcome, you will want to actually consider the way you compose your photographs while you’re taking them. My recommendation is to go into the camera settings in the principle settings menu and activate the grid. This offers you a 3×3 overlay when taking photographs that may make it simpler to line up your photographs in accordance to the pictures ‘rule of thirds,’ which may assist in getting a extra visually interesting composition while you’re out taking pictures.

Look for main traces, akin to a pathway or a wall that attracts the viewer’s eye into the scene, or fascinating foreground objects (akin to a patch of flowers, or a big piece of driftwood) to enhance your seascapes.

Use your ft and transfer across the scene you are in to discover the most effective angles. No, you do not have a built-in huge angle lens, however perhaps you might simply again up a couple of paces to get that church tower in body. Remember that you would be able to enhance plenty of dangerous lighting or colours in modifying, however you’ll be able to’t rescue dangerous composition, so attempt not to chop the highest of somebody’s head off while you’re taking their portrait.


By selecting my time of day excellent I used to be in a position to get stunning sundown colours over this beautiful a part of Edinburgh.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Go into the sunshine

The iPhone SE does not have Night Mode, or the Deep Fusion processing that the iPhone 12 Pro makes use of to scale back picture noise and enhance particulars in low mild. As a outcome, the iPhone SE can take OK pictures in low mild, however your finest outcomes will probably be taken out within the daytime.

If you are planning a pictures session out and about then attempt to time it so that you’re giving the cellphone the most effective alternative to succeed. Avoid the center of the day when the overhead solar will create harsh mild and deep shadows and keep away from the night time the place the cellphone will wrestle much more. Late afternoon, because the solar is edging towards setting is probably going while you’ll give you the chance to get some nice landscapes with daring colours and satisfying distinction.


Using the lengthy publicity software has blurred this raging water right into a {smooth}, ethereal circulate.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Use Live Photos to create dreamy lengthy exposures

Live Photos do not simply let your photographs come to life with a couple of seconds of video — they’ve a hidden function which may totally rework lots of your photographs. By swiping up on a picture in your gallery to carry up the ‘Effects’ panel, then swiping over to ‘Long Exposure’ the cellphone can blur any movement within the scene to give the identical impact as taking an actual lengthy publicity photograph over a number of seconds.

The finest topic to use for that is working water, be it a stream, the ocean lapping on the shore, or a waterfall cascading over rocks. I like lengthy publicity photographs of waterfalls because it turns the speeding water right into a silky-smooth blur, whereas the static rocks stay pin-sharp. Getting the identical shot on a DSLR requires a tripod and often some costly filters, so it is superb to give you the chance to get an nearly similar impact, handheld, utilizing simply the cellphone. 

You can apply the lengthy publicity impact to any Live Photo you’ve got taken at any time, so be certain the Live Photo icon is energetic on the camera display screen while you’re taking your photographs.


Moment’s lenses can add wide-angle views, or allow you to stand up shut with macro pictures. It’s pictured right here on a Samsung Galaxy S10, however the case and lenses at the moment are obtainable for the iPhone SE.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Add some equipment 

The iPhone SE could appear restricted with its single camera, however there are equipment obtainable that may tremendously enhance its performance. Accessory maker Moment produces a spread of extraordinarily high-quality lenses that connect to phone-specific circumstances and have not too long ago launched a model that helps the iPhone SE. 

Moment’s lenses embrace telephoto choices in addition to huge angle, so utilizing these may also help carry the SE’s single camera extra consistent with the iPhone 11 Pro’s three cameras. Moment additionally make varied filters together with round polarisers, which may be nice for serving to lowering glare and reflections in photographs, giving your pictures a extra skilled look. 

If you need to go even additional into the skilled realm, you might even think about getting a Profoto B10 studio strobe mild, which may allow you to take the type of product or portrait photographs that you simply’d usually solely give you the chance to have taken utilizing skilled cameras. At nearly $1,700, this one accent is a number of instances the value of the iPhone SE, so it is unlikely to be an choice for many of you, however should you’re a photographer who already makes use of a B10 for his or her skilled work, needless to say you may also now use it together with your iPhone.


By utilizing burst mode, I used to be in a position to choose the shot of myself proper when I’m on the peak of my soar.

Katie Collins/CNET

Capture the motion with burst mode

The iPhone SE can take 10 photos per second utilizing the burst mode, which makes it nice for capturing that split-second motion. But the perform is a bit more tucked away than it used to be.

Instead of urgent and holding on the shutter button (as used to be the case, however that now prompts video recording), you want to drag the shutter button to the left, should you’re holding it in portrait orientation, or drag it down should you’re in panorama. Keep it held down and it will take a whole bunch of picture in super-quick succession.

It’s an excellent software to take into account for any fast-paced topics, whether or not it is your youngster about to swing a bat or a canine leaping for a deal with. You’ll want to attempt to anticipate when the motion goes to occur and ensure you begin the burst mode firing in time to seize the second. Once you’ve got taken the collection of pictures, you’ll be able to view the stack in your gallery, press Select to undergo each picture to choose the precise shot that captures the motion as you need it.


By changing this shot to black and white and making some publicity and distinction changes, this scene has been reworked right into a moody seascape.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Edit for impression

If you actually need your photographs to pop off the display screen, then you definately’ll need to think about giving them a couple of tweaks in an modifying app. My favourite is Adobe Lightroom Mobile, which supplies granular management over publicity and colour settings in a lot the identical approach because the desktop model of Lightroom. Snapseed gives related options and is free on the App retailer. 

You can get extra inventive with apps like PicsArt, Photoshop Camera or Prisma, which allow you to apply a wide range of weird inventive results to your photographs, add in new skies or different components or mix varied photographs collectively to create distinctive artworks. 

Remember, there is not any restrict to what you are able to do together with your photographs within the wealth of modifying apps obtainable, so my recommendation is to make a cup of tea, calm down in a snug chair and see what you’ll be able to obtain. Make certain to take a look at my roundup of my high photograph modifying apps on iPhone.

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