Austin Mann
Melanie Lieberman
January 03, 2018

Apple dominated the marketplace over the holidays this year, making the iPhone the most gifted smartphone across the world. According to the analytics firm Flurry, the new iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X models were responsible for a third of those sales.

While the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are pretty familiar to longtime Apple loyalists, the iPhone X is a significant departure.

Related: How Much the iPhone X Costs in 11 Countries Around the World

Besides facial recognition and the absence of a home button, the iPhone X’s most defining feature is its new camera system. With the iPhone X, users can take selfies in Portrait mode, try expanded portraiture lighting, and experience the fully redesigned rear camera.

To help travelers make the most of their new iPhone, Travel + Leisure asked pro travel photographer Austin Mann his tips and tricks for taking perfect photos with Apple’s latest device.

Austin Mann

You Can Zoom in the Dark

“One of my favorite upgrades on the iPhone X is its better 2x lens, especially in low light,” Mann told T+L. That means you can use both lenses, regardless of the lighting conditions, without sacrificing image quality.

Try Brightening the Scene With Flash

“We typically think of smartphone flashes as cold, harsh, and [unflattering],” Mann said. But the iPhone X’s new technology, called Slow Sync, has made it possible for the camera to “capture beautiful, warm images” while using the device’s cutting-edge Quad-LED True Tone flash. Mann suggests giving this a try in a dim restaurant or outside, after sunset.

Play With New Live Photo Effects

While capturing live photos — or images with a few seconds of video before — is not a new function, the iPhone X came with a trio of effects utilizing this technology. Now, you can blur the action like a DSLR camera with the Long Exposure setting (for smooth waterfalls), create a continuous Loop, or make a Boomerang-like Bounce that plays the action backward and forward.

Austin Mann

Use Portrait Mode on Food

The iPhone X made major advances with the Portrait mode. In addition to capturing beautiful portraits with blurred backgrounds, Mann encourages travelers to try the setting on food photography.

The iPhone X also has five new lighting modes for Portraits, including natural light, studio light, contour light (for dramatic shadows), stage lights (to illuminate subjects against a black background), and mono (to produce stage light-like photos in black and white).

Experiment With Burst Mode

For your best chance at the perfect shot, use the phone’s Burst Mode to shoot 10 pictures per second. To use this feature, simply hold down the shutter button in your Camera app.

“Travel photography is often about capturing a fleeting moment,” Mann said.

Don’t Forget About Video

Mann reminds travelers to play with the iPhone’s various video modes, especially when a moment “has movement or sound.”

“If you see amazing clouds slowly moving across the sky,” for example, “you might use time-lapse mode.” But if the scene features “super fast motion like birds landing in water,” you should try slo-mo.

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