How to use Halide to take phenomenal photos

If you're someone who loves snapping pictures with your iPhone, then you've probably heard of Halide, a brand new, state-of-the-art iPhone camera app that was designed by an ex-Twitter engineer and former Apple employee (so you know it's gotta be good!).

The app essentially turns your iPhone into a mini sort of DSLR camera, giving users full control of focus, RAW image capture, and so, so much more.

Craig Grannell, Stuff:

Halide wants to marry the elegance Apple is known for with a more thoughtful kind of iPhone photography… It therefore follows that there are no modes in Halide. There's no HDR, no video, and no square cropping for Instagram. (There's also no burst shot mode nor a timer, which may be a couple of steps too far for some photographers.) What you instead get is a camera that encourages you to think a little more about whatever you're shooting.

Manual focus is a must

If you've ever shot with a DSLR camera before, then you know how important manual focus can be. Depending on autofocus for tricky little specifics and details is kind of like flying blind, while manual focus allows you full control over the subject you're shooting – and more importantly which parts of the subject are shown clearly on camera.

With the manual focus feature from Halide, you can effortlessly use your iPhone to focus and pick up smaller details and focus points in the photo you're snapping!

Halide also takes it one step further with a sort of "focus indicator" feature where red lines will outline what you're trying to take a picture of and will fade/adjust depending on whether you're in focus or not. It's super helpful if what you're trying to capture is incredibly small and precise!

BONUS: Pair your favorite mobile macro lens with Halide, start experimenting, and I can guarantee your macro shots will rival those of a professional photographer!

This photo is RAW!

You've probably heard of people shooting RAW photos. If you're not sure what it means, here's a great description from Photography Concentrate:

First off, what is RAW? RAW is a file format that captures all image data recorded by the sensor when you take a photo. When shooting in a format like JPEG image information is compressed and lost. Because no information is compressed with RAW you're able to produce higher quality images, as well as correct problem images that would be unrecoverable if shot in the JPEG format. [sic]

Halide allows users to effortlessly shoot and edit in a RAW photo format. This means a couple of things, including that if you're shooting RAW images all the time, you're going to run out of room a lot quicker than if you were just shooting compressed images.

It also means that the photos you shoot through Halide will be clearer, sharper, and easier to edit/markup than most other pictures you'll take through other third-party camera apps.

Play with the ISO

When it comes to digital photography, ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor AKA how much light is flooding your photographs.

With a DSLR camera, you can easily adjust and get specific with ISO settings, but typically with an iPhone camera app, you're SOL – that is, until Halide appeared on the mobile photography scene!

Halide is great because you can play with the ISO and the brightness of your mobile photography with just a few easy swipes, so whether you're capturing the beauty of a dramatic sunset or want to adjust the shadows for the perfect selfie in a nightclub with friends, then Halide's got your back!

White balance your life!

White balancing and adjustments are typically reserved for filmmaking and professional DSLR-level photography, but to quote Stuff, Halide "encourages you to think a little more about whatever you're shooting", which is why the white balancing features exist!

When you use white balance with your photography, you eliminate the need for time-consuming editing afterwards.

White balancing can get rid of any ugly yellow tones or discolored accents in a photo, and with Halide, you can adjust the white balance for an especially sunny day, more of a cloudy day, a day with low light, or a day that's a bit brighter. You can also just the auto white balance option.

Selfie game strong

While there are plenty of camera features that only work with your front-facing camera (AHEMPORTRAITMODEFORSELFIESAHEMMMM), Halide understands that taking a stellar selfie with your third-party camera app is a must.

Using Halide, you can effortlessly adjust white balance, ISO, exposure, the grid, and so much more on your selfies, guaranteeing that they look top-notch every single time!

The only thing you can't do in selfie mode with Halide is manual focus, so if you're looking to snap a super clear selfie of your intricate makeup or the freckles on your nose, you're pretty much out of luck.

The user manual is your BFF

Sometimes with apps like this that are laid out in a very minimal, simple way, it gets insanely confusing and complicated to know what each and every little icon does.

Halide is fantastic because in the settings menu, in the upper right corner, there's an option to delve into the User Manual. While it may not seem like a big deal to some, the animation on the manual actually makes you feel like you're flipping pages in an actual instruction booklet!

With this manual, you can figure out how to adjust exposure, how to access menus, and so, so much more; although, I do wish it would go into more detail about what each feature does for people who aren't as confident with formal camera technology and terminology.

What do you think of Halide?

Are you a big fan of playing around with third-party camera apps like Halide to snap your iPhone photography, or would you rather just stick to the standard Camera app?

If you could set Halide to be your standard camera app that you could easily swipe to, would that encourage you to use it more?

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Cella Lao Rousseau

Cella writes for iMore on social and photography. She's a true crime enthusiast, bestselling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellorousseau