focus

3 Secret iPhone Camera Features For Perfect Focus



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Do you sometimes get iPhone photos that are out of focus?

If so, you're definitely not alone.

While the autofocus of the iPhone usually works fine,

there are also times when it doesn't work

and that's when you end up with blurry photos

that you can't possibly use

but it really doesn't have to be that way.

My name is Emil Pakarklis.

I'm the founder of iPhone Photography School

and in this short video I'll reveal three secret

iPhone camera features for getting perfect focus.

Once you start using these three secret features,

your iPhone photos will always turn out tack sharp.

Now, if you can't hear me, please tap on this video

to turn on the sound and then we can get started.

One of the most common reasons iPhone photos

end up blurry is because the focus is not set correctly.

So, how do you set focus on the iPhone?

Actually it's really simple. Let me show you how to do it.

So, when you first open the Camera app of the iPhone,

you'll see that the iPhone has already picked somewhat

of an average focus for this photo

and we have these beautiful flowers in the foreground

as well as the street buildings in the background

but neither of them is really in focus.

because the iPhone has tried to make sure that as many

parts of the photo as possible are in focus and as a result,

nothing is really in focus. So, in order to fix that,

all you have to do is use your finger

and tap it on the screen where you want the focus to be.

So, right now I'm going to tap on this flower

So, right now I'm going to tap on this flower in the foreground and you'll see this yellow box appear

in the foreground and you'll see this yellow box appear

and that means that the focus is now set

on the flowers in the foreground.

Now, if I want to set the focus on the buildings

in the background instead, all I have to do is tap my

finger on these buildings in the background

finger on these buildings in the background

and you'll see that now these buildings are in focus

but the flowers in the foreground

are no longer sharp.

Now, when I set the focus here on these buildings

in the background, the image also became a little bit darker

and that's because when you're setting focus,

you're also adjusting how dark or how bright

the photo is going to be,

so if that's a problem, it's really easy to fix

and all you have to do is simply swipe your finger

up or down the screen like this

and you can make the photo darker or brighter

if you need to do that.

So, now that I'm happy with both focus and exposure,

I'm gonna go ahead and take another photo

and if we compare these two photos side by side,

you'll see that in the first photo,

the flowers in the foreground are nice and sharp,

but the buildings in the background are out of focus

while in the second photo, the buildings in the background

are in focus but the flowers in foreground

are no longer sharp,

so the bottom line is this, if you want to make sure

that your iPhone photos turn out great,

you should always set the focus yourself.

Otherwise you're leaving your photos up to chance.

Sometimes they'll work out and other times they won't

but you will not get consistent results.

Now, the technique I just shared with you

works really great but there's one problem.

Every time you take a shot or every time

something changes in the scene, the iPhone will

automatically reset back to auto focus and whatever

changes you have made to focus and exposure

will simply disappear.

Now, obviously it's a problem especially if you want to

take several photos where the focus is the same

but luckily there's a very easy way to fix that

and that is by locking the focus.

So, let me show you how to do that.

So, in order to lock the focus, all you have to do is simply

tap and hold your finger

where you want the focus to be set.

So, I want to set the focus on this wall in the background,

so I'm gonna simply tap and hold my finger there

for a couple of seconds until the letters AE/AF Lock appear

at the top of the screen

and that tells me that both focus and exposure

are now locked and no matter how many photos I take,

and no matter what kind of changes happen in the scene,

I can be confident that the focus will remain unchanged

until I switch it back off.

Now, this technique is particularly useful

when you're expecting a great photo opportunity

and you'll want to be prepared in advance.

For example, I'm sitting on the side

of this little beautiful street

and I know that eventually some people will walk past me

and when that happens, I want to be ready to take the photo

and because of that, I'm locking the focus in advance

and I'm gonna already frame the shot

and I'll shoot it through this beautiful green grass

in the foreground so that my subjects

will be partially obscured, so now I simply have to sit here

and wait until someone walks past me.

Okay, so now I think the moment is right,

so I'm gonna take several photos

and you can see that no matter how many photos I take,

the focus remains locked and the beautiful green grass

in the foreground is still blurred out

and these are the kind of photos I can only take

by locking the focus of my iPhone.

Next I'd like to share with you an advanced technique

for setting focus accurately in your iPhone photos

and this technique is particularly useful

when your subjects are small or they're far away

and you want to be absolutely sure

you've set the focus the right way.

So, if we look at the scene,

you'll see that my wife and my daughter

are standing here on this beautiful street

and I'd like to set focus on them

to make sure that their faces are perfectly sharp

but if I simply tap my finger on them,

I cannot be absolutely sure where the focus goes.

Maybe the iPhone does a good job

and the focus goes on the subjects

or perhaps the focus is instead set somewhere

into the distant background and I don't want that.

So, in order to accurately set focus on my subjects,

what I can do is use two fingers

to zoom in and to get really close to my subjects like so

and then I can tap and hold my finger right on the face

of my subject like so until the letters AE/AF Lock appear

and now I've locked the focus on my subject

but I'm not gonna take a photo while I'm zoomed in like this

because this photo wouldn't be of high quality.

The iPhone uses digital zoom when you zoom in too much

and what happens is that you lose photo quality

if you take zoomed in shots like this.

So, instead I'm gonna use two fingers again,

So, instead I'm gonna use two fingers again,

this time to zoom out

and I'm gonna zoom all the way out

but you'll see that the letters AE/AF Lock are still there

which means that the focus is still set

on the face of my subject and if I now take some photos,

you'll see that my subjects are still perfectly sharp

and I'm confident that their faces will be in focus

even though they're far away

and this is how you can accurately set focus

when your subjects are far away

and when it's really important that they are perfectly sharp.

Now, as you can see from the techniques I just shared,

the iPhone camera looks really simple on the surface

but when you start digging deeper,

it's really not that simple.

There are so many hidden camera features

and camera settings that you probably don't know about

and I could only share a handful of them

in a short video like this

and to make things worse, it's not enough to simply learn

about all the different iPhone camera features.

You also have to understand how to use each one of them

in different photography scenarios.

We're talking about different light conditions,

different photography subjects

and even different genres and styles of photography

but here's the good news,

once you really understand iPhone photography,

you'll be able to take the kind of photos

that nobody would even believe

were taken with the iPhone

and that's why I created iPhone Photo Academy

which is an online course teaching you everything

there is to know about iPhone photography.

So, right next to this video, you'll find more information

about my full iPhone Photo Academy course.

If you'd like to use your iPhone to take stunning photos

that you'll be proud to look at many years later,

and if you'd like to do it without having

to carry your bulky camera, then please take a look

at my full iPhone Photo Academy course.

There's more information right next to this video.

So, take a look and I really hope to see you there.