How to Take iPhone Photos with Perfect Focus and Exposure

Posted on February 10, 2017

The number one question I get during workshops is how to take iPhone photos in better focus. The AE/AF (Auto Exposure/Auto Focus) Lock feature on the native iPhone camera app is invaluable for achieving perfect focus and exposure in your photos.

To set the focus point, you simply tap the iPhone’s screen once on part of the scene you’d like to focus on. When you set the focus point, the iPhone camera will also set the exposure level from the same point (how bright the subject appears). If you need to adjust exposure to make the image brighter or darker, just swipe up or down on the screen.

But sometime tapping once to set the focus point is not enough. For example, if something moves within the scene, or you move, the camera’s autofocus system will kick in, and the focus point and exposure level will automatically re-adjust. To ensure this doesn’t happen, I recommend using the AE/AF Lock feature to lock the focus and exposure values.

In the example above, I locked the focus and exposure point, by simply tapping and holding on the middle birch tree. When you see AE/AF Lock in a yellow box at the top of the screen, release your finger. Again, you may need to adjust exposure to make the image brighter or darker by swiping up or down on the screen. To unlock focus and exposure, just tap anywhere on the screen. The AE/AF Lock in the yellow box will disappear to indicate that you no longer have focus and exposure locked.

2 Responses

  1. Greg DeCowsky
    February 11, 2017

    Does this work in ProCamera too? If not, how can you get the same effect?

    • Karen Klinedinst
      February 11, 2017

      Hi Greg, Yes, it does work in ProCamera, as well. Make sure to go into your settings and turn on AE/AF Lock and it works the same way. You can adjust exposure at the bottom of the screen, by sliding left or right. Hope that helps.


Leave a Reply