iPhone Focus Lock (Yay!)

iPhone Focus Lock (Yay!)

So, in my signature “stumble upon” style, the other day (while trying to capture Christmas tree light bokeh) I totally stumbled upon this little gem of an iPhone camera trick. Until that moment, I had no idea that there was a way to lock in the focus using my iPhone camera! And when you’re trying to shoot something out of focus, on purpose, an auto lock makes all the difference because your camera really wants to focus on your main subject, even if you don’t want it to. If you’re looking to shoot some lovely light in “bokeh” fashion, shooting out of focus can help you achieve that end result.

If you haven’t heard, bokeh is what they call it when light is photographed out of focus. It’s actually the small (or large) circles that the lights make when they’re out of focus that make it magic. In many instances, you’ll see the bokeh in the background of an image but when you shoot your main subject out of focus (like a Christmas tree) then the bokeh is the star of the shot. I love using this technique in my images, especially this time of year.

I figured I was the only one on the planet who didn’t know about the auto focus lock option on my iPhone camera because I’m not usually one to read manuals or instructions for my gadgets. It took me by surprise when I realized that a lot of people on Instagram let on that they didn’t know about the focus lock option either. And so, I figured why not share a quick video about using my new found trick to capture out of focus shots. As I mention in the video, when you lock the focus, you also lock the exposure (you can’t do one OR the other unfortunately) so you’ll have to play with this technique to get the results you’re after. I am a firm believe that they more you experiment with tricks like this, the better you get at it so give yourself plenty of trial and error time.

Alrighty, here’s me, playing with the auto focus lock.

iPhone Focus Lock (yay!) from traceyclark on Vimeo.

So, tell me…what tips and tricks have you discovered using the auto lock? What works? What doesn’t? And feel free to share links to your favorite out of focus shots!

  • Melanie
    Posted at 20:59h, 22 December Reply

    Thank you so much for this! I have been trying to figure out forever how people were able to blur on purpose with their phones & now I know! This is awesome.

    You can also get the bokeh effect by using the macro lens on the olloclip, which is what I did here … http://instagram.com/p/h9nJU6FRol/

  • Klaudia
    Posted at 03:25h, 27 December Reply

    Groovy tiny tip and very useful! Thank you for sharing.

  • Jill B
    Posted at 10:17h, 27 December Reply

    Thank you. I am taking fun pics as we speak. Hope your holidays were wonderful.

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    Posted at 07:04h, 04 January Reply

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  • sharon stanley
    Posted at 10:43h, 18 May Reply

    yep! tried it and it worked great on my iPhone 5. also, to give you an idea of how LITTLE i know about cameras and taking pics, i also didn’t know how to take a pic of something up close and have the background blurred. now i know….tap for the little focus box, shoot the pic, and the background is blurred…i never noticed the little focus box before…duh. worth the price of admission already and i’m on day four of class!! i really need this!!!

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