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How to take great night sky photos on your iPhone.

December 4, 2020

How many times have you looked up into the night sky or the moon and thought, “Wow, that would make a great picture,” then you shoot the subject with your iPhone only to find it doesn’t look anything like what you were expecting? You’re not alone. While the optics and software associated with new iPhone models have been updated to take a lot of the guesswork out of the equation for you, there are still a few things you can do to take great night sky photos with whatever model iPhone you have.

– Tripod. The biggest key to night sky photography is that you need to keep the phone completely still while shooting. Inexpensive tripods can easily be affixed to your iPhone so you can place it on a stationary object, such as a table. You may also want to opt to also purchase an inexpensive remote switch that works with your phone’s camera, so you can make sure the camera is absolutely still when you are ready to shoot.

– Night Mode. If you have an iPhone 11, 11 Pro, or 11 Pro Max, you already have a “Night Mode” setting that is engineered to take quality photos in low-light atmospheres. It is designed to engage automatically when dark surroundings are observed by the phone, but you can also engage it manually, if needed.

– Flash. If you have an older model iPhone that doesn’t have a “Night Mode” setting, you can still take great photos of the night sky by engaging your flash. In “Automatic” mode, the camera may not engage the flash, opting instead to keep the shutter open for a longer amount of time than normal. When set to “Flash” mode, your phone’s camera is more likely to shoot exactly what you are seeing without producing grainy photos.

– Apps. For a wider array of night sky shooting options, there are some inexpensive apps you can download to help you with your settings. One particular app that gets good ratings is called NightCap.

If you try the above suggestions and you’re still having difficulty taking great night sky photos, there may be a problem with your phone’s camera or processing system. Stop by Cell Phone Zone and let us run a diagnostic scan on your device to see if there are any issues that need to be addressed. To be the best photographer you can be, you need your equipment to be in pristine working order.

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