As a serious photographer, I am amazed at how iPhone and other smart phones take snapshots. They adjust the light and focus well most of the time. There are photo contests that are limited to iPhone cameras only. The results are outstanding. There are a few things you can do to increase the range of what you can do with the camera on a smartphone.
Taking pictures when it is relatively dark
Only use the flash if you are less than two meters/yards from the subject when taking evening or night pictures. At concerts or other situations when subjects are further away … using the camera flash does not work. Flash actually limits the camera’s ability to take the picture. Turn off the flash and hold the camera as still as possible. A tripod or a wall to stabilize is helpful.
On the right is a picture at a Paul McCartney outdoor concert holding the iPhone over my head. With no flash, the camera tries to collect enough light for a picture. Most hand-held pictures are too blurry due to movement of the camera. If you take several pictures, you may get lucky.
Manual light adjustment when there is more light
There will be times when using the smartphone that the resulting picture is too bright or too dark. The camera has a manual adjustment you can use to change the brightness of the picture. In the iPhone photos below, the left picture is what the camera thinks is the correct light, but is too dark.
Tapping the screen on the focal point of the picture creates a yellow frame telling the camera which area of light you want to measure. (The center picture below and call-out picture bubble.) To adjust brightness, there is a yellow “sun” next to the yellow box. (The black arrow points to the “sun”.) Slide the “sun” up to make the picture lighter or down to make it darker. In the example below, making the picture lighter resulted in the picture on the right below.
This is very helpful if there is a bright background (like sunshine or water) and the subject is too dark or against a dark background causing the camera to make the subject too light.