iPhone 12 Pro Max’s camera can take amazing photos

iPhone 12 Pro Max's camera can take amazing photos

iPhone 12 Pro Max’s camera can take amazing photos

Apple’s iPhones ($600 at Best Buy) have always packed amazing cameras, and

the most recent iPhone 12 ($829 at Amazon) and 12 Pro ($1,099 at Amazon)

 are no exception. But it’s the 12 Pro Max that sits at the top, with its bigger

camera sensor and a variety of upgrades which make it a photography

powerhouse. We’ve been extremely impressed with the shots we’ve been

able to get using Apple’s ProRaw and how well it stacks up against

Samsung’s rival, the Galaxy S21 Ultra.


But having a great camera in your pocket isn’t a guarantee of brilliant images

you need to know the tricks of how to use that gear to take the shots you want.

Here are my top tips for upping your photography game and hopefully getting

the best ever photos from the iPhone 12 Pro Max ($1,099 at Amazon).

Know when to use the different lenses

It’s easy to stand in front of a picturesque scene and flick quickly between

the normal, super wide and zoomed views on the phone, but it’s more difficult

to understand exactly why one might be better than the other for a particular

composition. To figure it out, you need to take an extra moment to look at

what’s important in the scene in front of you.

 iPhone 12 Pro Max's camera can take amazing photos
iPhone 12 Pro Max’s camera can take amazing photos

Is there a particular subject  perhaps a statue or an impressive building

that’s surrounded by lots of other elements like trees, sign posts or street lights?

Using the telephoto zoom here is a great way of isolating your subject and

eliminating all those distractions. You may need to move back a bit and

then zoom in to keep it in frame, but simplifying your scene like this will

really help your subject stand out in the image.

But perhaps it’s those extra surrounding elements that really add to the

scene and provide context for where you are. In that case, using the

standard zoom will allow you to keep those items in the shot. Switching

to the super wide view will capture even more of the surroundings,

so to avoid your subject getting lost in the frame, you might want to

move closer and find interesting foreground objects (a patch of flowers,

a cool-looking rock) to add to the composition.

Revisit at different times of day

The awesome low-light skills of the iPhone 12 Pro Max mean you’re not

limited to only taking photos at midday when the sun is at its highest.

Sunrises and sunsets will typically be darker, but may reward you with

beautiful colors in the sky and great contrast in the light being cast.

Landscape photographers know that getting up before dawn can often

yield the best results and it’s something that’s always worth keeping

in mind, if you can stomach the early rises.

If you’re on a city break (whenever those are allowed again) it’s worth trying

a sunrise shoot at least once, visiting the spots you’ve already found and

seeing how they’re transformed by the different light. It’s this that will

separate your images from the hundreds of others on Instagram who

just took a snap after having had their morning coffee.

Don’t be afraid of the dark

And don’t think that once the light goes altogether you need to stop shooting.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max has one of the best night modes on any phone and

can take astonishing night-time photos. City scenes, with car headlights,

vibrant shop window displays and even festive holiday decorations can

provide superb fodder for night shots. And don’t worry if it pours with rain

those wet streets will now reflect all of those lights, which can look amazing.

Focus on your editing

If you want to create some really eye-catching imagery, editing should be

part of your workflow whether you shoot in raw or JPEG. You need to start

off with a good image, so make sure you’ve followed the above tips,

but good editing can be the biggest step to transforming a

standard snap into award-worthy art.

I use Adobe Lightroom Mobile for most of my phone editing. It’s

a professional tool and has a lot of granular control over color and exposure.

If you don’t fancy the monthly fees, Google’s Snapseed is free and also has

a lot of superb features for getting the best from your shots, including a

variety of film effects that give some beautiful color toning to your photos.

If you want to get a bit more wild and creative, you should check out apps

like Bazaart and PicsArt, which provide a variety of tools and effects for

compositing images to turn them from photos into often bizarre pieces

of modern art. Take a look at my roundup of image editing apps for more ideas.

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