Photo sharing site, Flickr, has released its most popular camera models for 2016 and once again the iPhone tops the list. In fact, the iPhone claimed eight places in the top 10 with Canon claiming the remaining two.

In time for the season when most families get together, here are some iPhone photography tips. Some will only be relevant for the iPhone; others will be general tips.

iPhone camera

TECHNOLOGICAL MARVEL: Alan Taylor outlines how you can get more our of your iPhone. PICTURE: Ian Robinson/www.unsplash.com

BURST MODE
What it does:
 Hold down the shutter button, and the iPhone will take a burst of 10 images per second.
Why you'd use it: Burst mode is great if you photograph a group. There's always one person who blinks in the group and burst mode will lessen the chance of a bad photo. It's also good for a child who won't sit still. Once you've taken the photo, you can select the best one from the burst.
How to (view other photos in the Burst): a. Open the Photos app, go to the 'Bursts' album, and you'll see a single photo that the iPhone has decided is the best. If you agree, then great. If not, then continue following these instructions. b. Tap on the photo and press 'Select'. c. You can scroll through and decide which images you'd like to keep by tapping it. Press 'Done' when you've finished and the phone will ask if you'd like to keep everything or only the photos you've selected.

MANUAL FOCUS
What it does: Overrides the auto focus.
Why you'd use it: The phone can focus on the wrong object when you are taking a picture, and your subject will be blurry when the focus is on something else in the frame. Manual focus will make your subject sharp. 
How to use manual focus: Touch your subject on the screen. The focus will shift to your subject.

LOCKING THE FOCUS
What it does: Locks the focus on your subject when taking several shots.
Why you'd use it: Sometimes, setting the focus once isn't enough. You'll need to manually focus if you take another photo of the same subject. And as things move fast in this world, so you may not have time to wait for the phone to adjust the focus. So, lock the focus and be ready for your next shot.
How to lock the focus: Press and hold on your subject. You'll see 'AE/AF LOCK' appear on the screen, which means 'Auto Exposure/Auto Focus Lock'. Tap the screen to turn off the lock.

EXPOSURE
What it does: Lightens or darkens the photo before you take it.
Why you'd use it: Sometimes the light isn't suitable for taking a great shot. Exposure allows you to adjust the light level of your photos to make them lighter or darker. Don't make them too light because parts of the image may turn white and you won't be able to edit them beyond that. White areas don't contain data, so you won't see texture if you attempt to darken them.
How to adjust the exposure: Touch on your subject, as if you are manually focusing, then remove your finger. You'll see a small sun to the right of the focus square. Touch and swipe up or down anywhere on the screen, and you see the exposure change. Let go when it looks right and take your photo.

THE RULE OF THIRDS
What is it? The rule of thirds is a photography standard. It assists with photo composition by helping you balance your photos.
Why you'd use it: The idea is that your photo is more pleasing to the eye when your subject is off centre. See this article for examples.
How to turn on the 'rule of thirds' grid: The iPhone camera has the 'Rule of Thirds grid' turned off by default. To turn it on, go to 'Settings > Photos & Camera', scroll down and slide the 'Grid' option to 'On'.

QUICK ACCESS TO CAMERA
What it does: Puts the camera at your fingertips.
Why you'd need it: As mentioned, this world moves quickly and unlocking your iPhone and tapping the camera icon means you could miss a crucial moment. Having instant access to the camera means you'll have a better chance of capturing the moment.
How to get quick access: a. Swipe from the lock screen. iOS10, the latest operating system available for the iPhone, allows you to swipe left from the lock screen to access the camera, no unlocking required. For those phones using iOS 9 or earlier, you need to swipe up to from the lock screen to access the camera. b. Put the camera app in dock. By default, Apple puts the camera app on the first page of your apps. And while it's fine there, it's not accessible if you're on your 5th page of apps. It'll be more accessible if you put it in the dock (the bottom row of your apps) next to the phone icon. Tap and hold on the icon until it jiggles. Then drag it to where you want it. Press your 'Home' button to stop the icons from jiggling. c. Access the camera via the 'Control Centre'. The 'Control Centre' was introduced to provide quick access to common functions. Simply swipe up to access the 'Control Centre' from any screen. The camera icon is at the bottom far right.

PANORAMIC PICTURES
What does it do?: The panoramic mode allows you to take a wide shot.
Why would you want it?: Sometimes you come upon a scene that is too large for a normal photo. Sure, you could move further back and fit it in. But you'll miss a lot of the detail. And sometimes there's no room to move further back. The panorama mode allows you to take in the whole scene with detail. The trick is to keep the phone steady as you move it and avoid moving it too quickly.
How to take a panoramic shot: a. Open the camera app and swipe left till you get to 'Pano'. Do a preview before you press the shutter button and watch the screen. The light may change as you move the camera and some parts of the image will be overexposed. To avoid this, lock the exposure and focus by pressing an object on the screen for a few seconds. b. Press the shutter button and slowly move your phone to the right. Follow the line on the screen. The iPhone will tell you if you're moving too fast. c. Press the shutter button again to end the capture, or reverse the direction of your movement. d. The phone sets the direction of the capture from left to right by default, but you can reverse the direction by pressing the arrow.