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12 Tips For Taking Super Sharp iPhone Photos Of The Holiday Lights

It really is the most magical time of the year.

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There's just so much magic that you can capture during the holiday season. But oftentimes, taking snaps of moving lights can be tricky on your phone. Sydney-based Instagrammer Samah El Ali shared with BuzzFeed some of her easy tricks that you can try out.

1. Manually adjust the exposure and lock your focus.

"Your phone will refocus and readjust the exposure if you're trying to capture moving lights.

"The best way to capture what you need is to lock your focus by simply tapping and holding the area you want to focus until you see AE/AF LOCK appear at the top of your screen. Then slide up to add exposure (brighten) or down to under expose (darken) your scene."

3. Have fun with BOKEH!!!

Bokeh is a term used to describe an aesthetic blur that transforms lights into out-of-focused dots.

"Many people achieve bokeh shots on their iPhone using various techniques, sometimes even by accident! The easiest way is to lock your focus on your watch or another friends lit phone screen, then raise your phone to your subject.

"In this image, the focus was locked on the white fence in front of the tree then raised to capture this bokeh effect. This adds loads of fun once you get the hang of it."


5. If your shaky hands fail you, use a good tripod.

"There are some great mini tripods that are compact and very sturdy. These little mounts can be found at most camera stores and allow you to quickly and safely slot your phone in," Jamah said.

6. If you forget your tripod at home, look for a stable object in the environment.

"You can also use things around you to steady your hand, like a wall, a bench or a pole to press your phone against to avoid any shake."

7. And for even more stability, the Cortex Camera app will come in handy.

Cortex Camera is an incredible app for low light photography. It takes 2-10 seconds of frames during the exposure and combines them to create one super sharp image.


10. Simplify your photo by editing in black and white.

"If there's a lot going on in your frame, or if the light isn’t right, editing in black and white can mask flaws, add drama and change the mood."

11. Make use of well-lit areas.

When capturing people, "look around for well-lit areas. Street lamps are more than enough to expose your subject and can often elevate the mood.

"The vibrant lights are also a perfect opportunity for capturing cool silhouettes."