Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Night mode photography on recent phones, including the iPhone 13 Pro, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and a wide variety of others, allows you to take stunning, bright photos, even in the middle of the night. And the best part is, you don’t need to bother with long exposures, tripods, or flashes, like you’d have to do with a DSLR. In fact, you don’t need any extra equipment at all.

You can see just how well the iPhone 13 Pro stacks up against the 12 Pro Max in our recent shootout.

But getting an image you’re truly proud of isn’t just a case of waiting for darkness and whipping out your phone. You’ll still need to put in some work to take shots that’ll rack up those Instagram likes. 

Here are my top tips on how to get great images at night on your phone. 


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Isaac West, “Untitled”, from IN LOVE, 2021. © Isaac West. Brad Ogbonna, “Paul & Peter”, 2021. © Brad Ogbonna.

There’s a moment in everyone’s Instagram journey when they ask themselves,Wait… am I a photographer?” Not exactly. But iPhone camera rolls have made us witnesses to pivotal moments that, when democratised, have altered the course of cultural discourse, tangible policy and social justice as a whole. This was the impetus for the International Center of Photography’s latest show, curated by Isolde Brielmaier. “Our awareness of the fight for Black Lives, racial justice, the election at large — all of that really is mediated through images generated by a very public tool: the iPhone,” Isolde says. “I wanted to see what would happen if we took what I would argue is one of the most extroverted mediums and flipped the lens on itself.” What resulted

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a close up of a horse

Winners of the annual iPhone Photography Awards (IPPA) have been announced for this year. From among thousands of entries into the competition across a total of 18 categories, Sharan Shetty from India has bagged the first place for the Photographer of the Year award.

The 2021 edition marked the 14th iteration of the photography competition held each year exclusively for iPhone and iPad users. Sharan’s image titled “Bonding” managed to grab him the top place among all the winners across categories this year.

Shot on an iPhone X, Sharan’s award-winning black and white photo depicts a man and his horse in the middle of an empty landscape. It feels as if the two are supporting or consoling each other. Sharan clicked the photo at Yanar Dag, Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.

Each year, thousands of such entries by iPad and iPhone users compete for the top prize – IPPA Photographer

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Angela Lang/CNET

The iPhone 12 is one of the best-rated phones of all time on CNET thanks to its solid all-round performance and its 5G connectivity. It’s more “affordable” than the iPhone 12 Pro Max, lacking as it does some of the camera pizzazz, like the telephoto lens and lidar sensor. But its powerful photography software means this phone is still more than capable of taking some absolutely stunning photos.

If you’ve just gotten your hands on the iPhone 12 — perhaps a new purple model? — here are my tips on how to capture great photos. You don’t need to follow all of them, but keeping these ideas in mind will help you think more about your photography and turn otherwise forgettable snaps into memorable pieces of art. 


For this shot, I paid attention to the leaves in the foreground and the way the alleyway leads

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