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Better iPhone Photos: Understanding the Impact of Light

Adapted from Capturing Better Photos and Video with your iPhone (Wiley)

J. Dennis Thomas

Light is a fundamental element of photography. Understanding the impact that light has on your subject and overall scene is pivotal to your ability to create excellent pictures.

Light has different qualities that play important roles in the presentation of your photo to viewers. The quality of light in an image impacts what a viewer sees and it guides how they perceive the visual you’re presenting. Likewise, the direction of light, as it illuminates a subject, also has a huge impact on how the subject looks. This also matters a great deal to the quality of your images.

With a sharp eye and a little planning, you’ll be able to find the right light in almost any situation, and this will help you make the best images possible with your iPhone camera.


For this night shot of Dirty Martin’s hamburger joint in Austin, Texas, I used an adapter that allowed me to attach the iPhone to a standard tripod.

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