A Close up Guide to Mastering the Macro Feature on Your iPhone 13

A Close up Guide to Mastering the Macro Feature on Your iPhone 13
Credit: Stephanie Nuzzo/Lifehacker Australia

Instagram obsessive or not, loads of us get a kick out of producing a killer photo here and there. Especially if you’re the owner of a shiny new phone that is built to take exceptionally beautiful photos – like the latest model iPhone 13.

If you are lucky enough to have an iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Plus, you will likely already be aware that the macro photography capabilities on these phones elevate the photography potential to a truly mind-blowing level.

We’ve touched on the world of macro photography before, but we’ve come to discover a whole lot more insight on using the photography tool, and how to shoot more professional-looking snaps with iPhone – so we thought we’d share a more detailed guide.

Here are some tips on how to capture better photos on your iPhone 13 Pro

6 tips from a photographer

iPhone macro photography tips. Credit: Stephanie Nuzzo/Lifehacker Australia

To start, photographer Daphne Nguyễn shared her 6 top tips on how to get the most out of iPhone 13 macro photography. You’ll want to keep a note of these golden pieces of advice.

  1. Turn on Macro Control in the camera settings so you know when the camera is switching to the ultra-wide lens to capture Macro shots.
  2. Play around with focus and exposure settings as you reframe. Tap and hold a point on the screen to lock focus and slide the exposure up and down to change the light and shadows in the images.
  3. A tripod, or a point of contact between your body and elbows, can be great stabilisers for the iPhone, especially if you’re shooting video.
  4. Lighting is fundamental to all photography. Use lots of light, whether it’s windows or additional light sources for your image.
  5. Experiment with different angles, filling the frame, or moving back to reveal more negative space to create different artistic styles.
  6. Get familiar with the camera settings so you get the style that you like. There is a Lens Correction option for the front and ultra-wide lenses.

If you want more advice on iPhone photography, below we’ve expanded on some of Nguyễn’s tips and shared a rundown of some other pointers you can find on the Apple website.

Get your settings in order for iPhone photography

macro photography tips iphone
Image credit: Stephanie Nuzzo/Lifehacker Australia

First things first. Do you have all your iPhone settings prepped to help you capture that perfect photo?

When shooting macro photos, you’ll likely want more control over the camera settings used – hop in and alter when your iPhone camera switches from Wide to Ultra Wide shooting for both photos and videos (on iOS 15.2 or later).

  • Go to Settings > Camera, then turn on Macro Control.
  • Open Camera, then get close to your subject.
  • Tap the Macro icon when it appears on the screen to remain on the Wide camera.

Hot tip: If the photo or video becomes blurry, back up or tap .5x to switch to the Ultra Wide camera.

  • Tap the Macro Icon to turn automatic switching between the Wide and Ultra Wide camera back on.

Play around with focus, exposure and photography styles

iPhone photographic styles
iPhone photography styles. Credit: Apple

For many people, using automatic settings for photos on iPhone will do just fine. But if you’re looking to learn more and maybe experiment a little with photography styles, there are some fun ways to do that.

The Photographic Styles option on iPhone 13 makes for a pretty fun way to change up the tone of your photos; introducing a range of temperatures to your snaps. Choose from options like Rich Contrast or Vibrant, then adjust other settings such as tone and warmth.

  • When you open the Camera app for the first time, tap Set Up to choose your Photographic Style. Swipe through the different styles and tap Use [Style Name] on the preset that you like.
  • Make sure to set your style before you start taking photos — you can’t add your Photographic Style to a photo after you’ve already taken it.
  • Before you take a photo, the camera automatically sets the focus and exposure, and face detection balances the exposure across many faces.
  • You can use Exposure Compensation Control to precisely set and lock the exposure for upcoming shots.
  • After you take a photo or video, use the editing tools in the Photos app to make it even better. Open a photo or video, tap Edit, then tap the buttons at the bottom of the screen to adjust lighting, add a filter, crop, or rotate. As you make edits, tap the photo to compare your changes to the original.

How to capture macro photos on iPhone

iPhone 13 macro photography tips.
iPhone 13 macro photography tips. Credit: Stephanie Nuzzo/Lifehacker Australia

When it comes to iPhone macro photography specifically, there are a few tips worth considering that may help you along with the process. From the distance you shoot from, to focusing on specific areas within the frame, here are the top tips you can apply when capturing a macro photo.

  • Make sure to get close to your subject — you can get as close as 2 centimetres (about an inch) away.
  • Place the primary point of focus near the centre of the frame, as that’s where the sharpest focus is when shooting in macro on iPhone.
  • Tap an area in the viewfinder to set a specific focus point.
  • Shoot at .5x to capture an Ultra Wide field of view, or try shooting at 1x for tighter framing — iPhone will automatically switch cameras as you get close while maintaining the 1x framing.

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