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Getting the most from your iPhone this Raya

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — Funny story: a friend’s sister complained about her new iPhone because it was “too big to fit into her jeans pocket”.

You could say that about a compact mirrorless camera too and what both devices have in common is that they’re worth the extra bulk just for the functionality.

If you got an iPhone recently, here are a few tips for you to get some good snaps this Raya season for the ‘Gram or WhatsApp family chats with the default camera app.

Getting that family photo just right

Who better to get advice from than a pro? Photographer Muhd Hidayatullah shared his insights on taking that great Raya pic.

When it came to family photos, Hidayatullah said that sometimes all it takes is a simple adjustment to how your subjects are arranged.

“Familiarise yourself with your subjects, highlighting their best features to achieve the perfect shot,” he said.

For a clean portrait, double-check you’re holding your phone steadily and your subjects are well-framed in the centre for a “clean” portrait.

He also stressed the importance of timing. Be in the right place at the right moment to capture genuine emotions and reactions. Focus on framing these key elements to truly immortalise the moment.”

You can check out his Instagram at @muhdhidayatullah for more inspiration.

Don't be afraid to experiment and play around with your subjects when getting your Raya group photos and wefies. — Picture by Erna Mahyuni
Don't be afraid to experiment and play around with your subjects when getting your Raya group photos and wefies. — Picture by Erna Mahyuni

Don't be afraid to experiment and play around with your subjects when getting your Raya group photos and wefies. — Picture by Erna Mahyuni

Other iPhone-specific features you can experiment with:

  • Try using the timer on your Apple Watch to control your iPhone remotely as well as getting a preview of your photo on the watch screen. Just look for the native Camera app on the watch.

  • Experiment with different camera resolutions (link: https://support.apple.com/en-sg/guide/iphone/iphae1e882a3/ios) to get more out of your picture quality.

  • To quickly crop your photos to put up on social media, use the instant crop feature.

  • For better framing, turn on the grid and level features by going to Settings>Camera and scroll down to Composition options and turn on Grid and Level

Getting that portrait right

If you’re not blessed with an Instagram boyfriend/girlfriend, here’s some tips for you on getting that great looking Raya portrait to show your new baju.

Photojournalist Annice Lyn (@annicelyn on Instagram) knows a thing or two about portraiture.

According to her, “The 2x telephoto lens enhances perspective, facilitating the creation of visually stunning narratives by connecting deeply with subjects, conveying authenticity and emotion in a more intimate and closer manner.”

It's not about the zoom; it's about how you use it. — Picture by Erna Mahyuni
It's not about the zoom; it's about how you use it. — Picture by Erna Mahyuni

It's not about the zoom; it's about how you use it. — Picture by Erna Mahyuni

If you happen to have an iPhone 15 series phone, take advantage of the cool depth of field (or as we oldtimers call it, bokeh) feature that you can use even without going into portrait mode.

It’s made possible by the sensor being able to detect the subject (person or animal) and then saving depth of field information so you can manipulate the background behind the subject.

Here’s how to use the “portrait pics without portrait mode” feature on the iPhone 15 series:

  • Just turn on your camera, point it at a subject, tap lightly to set the focus point, and see the yellow box that marks your focus point

  • You know the portrait mode is working if you see the f stop symbol at the bottom left (it literally is the letter “f” but stylised)

  • Tap on the little triangle symbol on the centre top of your screen that when you press it, replaces the photo/video/cinematic menu with a different menu that also includes the f stop option.

  • Press the f and you’ll see the slider that lets you blur or unblur the background as you see fit

Above all, have fun and remember that you’ll learn about better photo taking by, well, taking photos.