Macro Photography on your iPhone: How to Lock the Focus

Photo Skitch Document-5Although the iPhone isn’t a replacement for a “real” camera, it can take excellent photos.

In addition to general photography, it can do an amazing job on close-up (macro) photos.

Just hold the iPhone about 4 inches from your subject, and you will be surprised at the detail you can capture.

However, while you are trying to get your subject into focus, you may be frustrated because every time you move a bit to recompose the shot, (even ever so slightly), the iPhone camera adjusts and refocuses. Argh!

There is a way to “lock” the focus in place and solve this problem, but the feature is a little hard to find.

Here is how to lock your macro focus on your iPhone:

Move your iPhone to within about 4 inches from your subject.

Put your finger on the screen on top of the subject of your photo.

You will see a square appear under your finger. Hold your finger in place against the screen and the square will start pulsating. Take your finger off the screen.

As you lift your finger, you will see the words “AE/AF Lock” appear at the bottom of the screen. This means that the focus is now locked and you can make your small adjustments to the photographic composition without the camera shifting out of focus, again.

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The lock is ‘released’ after you take a shot, so if you are going to take more photos, you will have to put your finger on the screen each time to enable the lock.

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Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 7.27.02 PM

Leave a comment


  1. Thank you so much. That is going to be a great help :-)

  2. Great! My camera on my new phone is working. Can’t wait to try this. Thanks!

  3. I am so happy to learn this trick. Thank you so much! :))) Gloria/Granny Gee

  4. My human thanks you for this =^.^=

  5. Gorgeous photos!

  6. Great tip- thanks for sharing. I could have used this one earlier today!

  7. This is a very useful tip – thank you for sharing.

  8. Wow that is cool! I knew you could zoom, but this is way cool. I just found out how to do that on my fancy camera because they do the same thing. Since my eyes are weird it was hard for me to adjust the focus manually, which is what you have to do when you take macro shots. As it turns out, it’s fairly simple. You pick something in a distance, shoot a picture with the automatic focus on. Then you take the auto focus off and adjust the eye piece knob on the top of the camera until the shot looks in focus to your eyes. So easy, and it escaped me for years! :)

  9. gr8 advice, thx

  10. fyi, tried it with my iPad and works but with AE lock only

  1. Macro camera. ♥ | Welcome to misfit dopes ^▽^

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