People Who Take Great Vacation Photos Do These 5 Things

Sophie Miura

If you've ever travelled with a group of friends you'll know that no two vacation snaps are identical, even if they're of the same place. Some people just seem to have a knack for capturing the perfect moment, with just the right amount of lighting, and razor-sharp clarity. If your iPhone photographs fall short of expectation, there's no need to invest in better equipment; according to award-winning photographers, a few insider tricks can instantly improve your game. 

Insider tapped several winners from the 2017 iPhone Photography Awards (IPPAWARDS) to find out how they capture professional-grade images on their phone. Turns out, it's easier than you think:

  1. Use a flash when photographing a sunset. Most photographers agreed that they rarely use a flash to capture photographs, instead relying on natural light, but the exception to this rule is at sunet. Photographer Jen Pollack Bianco uses flash when she wants "some additional light in the foreground of the photo to keep the contrast from being too dramatic."
  2. Don't use zoom. "Digital zoom isn't ideal to use on the iPhone because digital zoom only stretches the image area resulting in a loss of sharpness," says Darren Boyd. If you need to zoom in, step closer. 
  3. Always adjust the exposure. "My first photography teacher used to tell us off whenever she found out we were using our cameras in 'auto' mode: 'It's like asking your camera to take the picture for you. You give the camera total control over the image, while you are the one who should be in charge,' she said," recalls Maria Spironetti. 
  4. Take advantage of the HDR feature. This feature automatically combines three pictures of the same scene—one underexposed, normally exposed, and overexposed—making it ideal for high-contrast landscapes. 
  5. Use grid lines to straighten your shot. Go to 'Settings', then 'Photos & Camera' in your iPhone, then turn on grid lines. This will allow you to see whether your shot is perfectly straight. 

Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens Pack ($140)

Yongnuo Wide Angle Lens ($35)

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