Setting and Locking Focus and Exposure

In this lesson for Photography with the Camera app on the iPhone we look at how we set where your iPhone focus and sets its exposure for a photo as well as how and why we’d want to lock the focus and set the exposure.

Setting Focus and Exposure
This is pretty simple, to focus on anything in your preview in the Camera app, you just tap on it. When you do this, the iPhone will set it’s focus on what you tapped on. It will also set the exposure. The Camera app will put a yellow square around what you are focusing and setting your exposure on. To change what the camera is focusing on, you just tap in a different area. again, this will also set the exposure on that you tapped on. You will see that yellow square move depending on where you tap. That’s all there is to it.

Setting the Exposure Manually
Once you set the focus and exposure, you’ll see to the right of the yellow square a thin vertical line with the ‘sun’ in the middle. To change the exposure you just drag this sun up and down. Drag it up to make it lighter, drag it down to make it darker. To reset it, just tap anywhere on the screen again. We cannot adjust the focus in the Camera app, you’ll need a third party app do do this.

Locking the Focus and Exposure
When you move your iPhone around, the camera will constantly be setting the focus and exposure. If you want to lock it, then what you do is tap and hold for a second or so on the screen. When you do this, you’ll see a new icon at the top indicating the focus and exposure is locked.

Why would you want to do this? In the example above in the video, I am trying to focus on a bird feeder outside my window. Unfortunately my iPhone keeps focusing on the screen in the window and not the bird feeder. So what I do is focus on another object in my house that is about the same distance as the bird feeder. I lock the focus and then aim my camera back at the bird feeder, the iPhone will now be focusing on the bird feeder. I can then adjust the exposure as well.

So that’s how you set the focus and exposure as well as lock the focus and exposure in the camera app on the iPhone.

See this lesson in Action
If you want to see this lesson in action, I show you how this all works in the video above.

Download Tutorial
If you’d like to download this tutorial, you can find it in the iBook Store. You can also join the site and download the tutorial.

Lesson tags: iPhone Tutorials
Back to: Tutor for Photography with the Camera App on the iPhone > Lessons