Using the iPhone Camera to Create Stunning Landscapes and Cityscapes

By Dave Johnson - Senior Staff Writer
4 Min Read

The camera on your iPhone is a powerful tool for capturing stunning landscapes and cityscapes. With a few simple tips and techniques, you can take your iPhone photography to the next level and create images that are truly breathtaking.

Camera in Photo mode, with other modes to the left and right below the view finder. Buttons for Flash, Camera Controls, and Live Photo appear at the top of the screen. The Photo and Video Viewer button is in the bottom-left corner. The Take Picture button is at the bottom center, and the Camera Chooser Back-Facing button is in the bottom-right corner.  

Here are some tips for using your iPhone camera to capture stunning landscapes and cityscapes:

1. Use the Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds is a compositional guideline that helps you create a balanced and visually appealing image. To use this rule, imagine dividing your image into a grid of nine equal parts, with two vertical and two horizontal lines. The points where the lines intersect are called the “points of interest,” and these are where you should place your subject.

For landscape and cityscape photography, you might place the horizon line along one of the horizontal lines, and place key elements such as buildings or trees along the vertical lines. This will help create a sense of balance and harmony in your image.

2. Experiment with Perspective

Perspective can have a big impact on the mood and feel of your image. By changing your perspective, you can create a sense of depth and dimensionality in your photos.

For example, you might try getting down low to capture a unique angle of a building, or shoot from a high vantage point to show the scale of a cityscape. Experimenting with different perspectives can help you create more interesting and dynamic images.

3. Use the HDR Mode

The HDR (High Dynamic Range) mode on your iPhone camera can help you capture more detail in both the shadows and highlights of your images. This is especially useful for landscape photography, where the contrast between the bright sky and dark landscape can be difficult to capture.

To use HDR mode, simply tap the HDR button in the Camera app. Your iPhone will automatically take multiple photos at different exposures, and then combine them into a single image with more detail and depth.

4. Play with Light and Shadow

Light and shadow can have a dramatic effect on the mood and atmosphere of your photos. For example, the warm glow of sunrise or sunset can create a sense of calm and tranquility, while the harsh shadows of midday sun can create a sense of drama and tension.

Experiment with different lighting conditions to see how they affect your images. You might try shooting at different times of day, or using different techniques such as backlighting or silhouettes to create interesting and dynamic compositions.

5. Use Editing Apps

Editing apps can help you take your iPhone photos to the next level by allowing you to fine-tune your images and create unique effects. There are many editing apps available for iPhone, ranging from simple and easy-to-use apps like VSCO and Snapseed to more advanced apps like Lightroom and Photoshop Express.

With these apps, you can adjust the brightness, contrast, and saturation of your images, as well as apply filters, textures, and other effects. By experimenting with different editing techniques, you can create images that are truly unique and eye-catching.

6. Pay Attention to Detail

When photographing landscapes and cityscapes, it’s important to pay attention to the details. This might mean focusing on small elements like flowers or textures, or capturing the intricate details of a building or street scene.

By paying attention to the details, you can create images that are both visually stunning and emotionally engaging. Look for small details that help tell the story of your subject, and experiment with different angles and perspectives to capture them in unique and interesting ways.

8. Use Composition Techniques

Composition is the arrangement of elements in your image, and it can have a big impact on the visual appeal of your photos. There are many composition techniques that can help you create more dynamic and interesting images.

For example, you might try using leading lines to draw the viewer’s eye into the image, or making use of color. Color can evoke different emotions and moods in an image, and can also be used to create contrast and balance. For example, you might try capturing a landscape with a dramatic contrast between warm and cool colors, or use complementary colors to create a sense of harmony and balance.

Another technique is the use of patterns and textures. This can add depth and interest to an image, especially in landscape photography. For example, you might capture the repeating patterns of waves on a beach or the texture of a rocky cliff face.

Another useful technique is the use of framing. This involves using elements in the foreground of your image to frame and draw attention to the subject in the background. This can create a sense of depth and dimensionality in your image, and can also help create a sense of balance and harmony.

8. Experiment with Different Lenses

The iPhone camera comes with a range of different lenses, including wide-angle and telephoto lenses. Each lens has its own strengths and weaknesses, and can be used to create different effects in your images.

For example, the wide-angle lens is great for capturing expansive landscapes and cityscapes, while the telephoto lens is ideal for capturing close-up details and creating a sense of compression in your images.

Experiment with different lenses to see how they affect your images, and don’t be afraid to switch lenses in the middle of a shoot to capture different perspectives and compositions.

9. Use Tripods and Accessories

To capture truly stunning landscapes and cityscapes, it’s important to have a stable and secure camera setup. Using a tripod can help you keep your camera steady and avoid blur and camera shake.

There are also a range of accessories available for iPhone photography, including lens attachments, filters, and lighting setups. These can help you capture unique and creative images, and can also help you overcome technical challenges such as low light or harsh contrast.

10. Practice and Experiment

Finally, the most important tip for creating stunning landscapes and cityscapes with your iPhone camera is to practice and experiment. Don’t be afraid to try new techniques, switch up your settings, and take risks with your compositions.

The more you practice, the more you’ll learn about the capabilities and limitations of your iPhone camera, and the more confident you’ll become in your ability to create stunning images.

See also: Master Your iPhone Camera: Tips & Tricks for Capturing Stunning Photos


The iPhone camera is a powerful tool for capturing stunning landscapes and cityscapes. By using these tips and techniques, you can take your iPhone photography to the next level and create images that are truly breathtaking.

Remember to use the Rule of Thirds, experiment with perspective, play with light and shadow, use editing apps, pay attention to detail, use composition techniques, experiment with different lenses, use tripods and accessories, and practice and experiment.

With a little patience, practice, and creativity, you can create images that capture the beauty and majesty of the world around you, and share your unique vision with the world.

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By Dave Johnson Senior Staff Writer
Dave Johnson is a staff writer for GeeksChalk based in New Jersey. He covers news, how-tos, and user guides for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.
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