Impress your family this Christmas with 5 innovative iPhone camera tricks

Festive downtime is perfect for photography projects. And you don’t need any special equipment to get creative with your family this Christmas: from double exposures to 3D visuals, the camera tricks below require only the iPhone in your pocket.

  1. Shoot long exposures with Spectre: From vehicle taillights to skies filled with fireworks, long exposures let you paint with light by keeping your camera’s shutter open for an extended length of time. To shoot these on an iPhone, you need an app that lets you manually control shutter speed (or at least gives the impression of doing so). There are several of these, but Spectre is one of the most powerful.

  2. Capture 3D scenes with Luma AI: You no longer need special equipment to capture accurate 3D visuals: just an iPhone and Luma AI. Completely free, the app lets you record objects or scenes in 3D to create lifelike virtual models.

  3. Take Christmas portraits with NeuralCam: NeuralCam offers an instant upgrade for your festive portraits. Priced at $4.99, its AI Bokeh mode allows you to capture subjects with soft backdrops at any distance.

  4. Create double exposures with Snapseed: Several iPhone apps allow you to create a double-exposure effect. Snapseed is one of our favorites. A comprehensive photo editor from Google, it features a built-in double exposure mode that makes it easy to combine images.

  5. Frame the perfect festive sunset with PhotoPills: If you’re celebrating the holiday season somewhere with strong winter sun, a sunset could be the perfect backdrop to a festive family snap. The hard part is knowing exactly where the Sun will be when, and setting up accordingly. That’s where PhotoPills comes in. Yours for $10.99, it’s the most expensive experiment in this list. But it’s also up there with the coolest. Essentially a planning tool for the Sun, Moon and stars, it allows you to prepare for photos by showing you where each celestial body will be at any given time, based on your location.