Viral TikTok reveals iPhone camera hack to transform your shots

It's one of the biggest frustrations for any Instagrammer or TikTokker. You get to the perfect location for a photo or video, and find that there's just no way to get a shot that isn't ruined by one big inconvenience. No, not the weather. People. 

People seem to be everywhere these days, getting in the way of one's social media content. You can almost guarantee that any pristine natural landmark you've seen in photos will, when you get there, be crawling with people trying to take their own pictures. But one TikTokker has found a neat solution that's going down a storm on the platform. You'll just need an iPhone (see our roundup of the best iPhone 14 prices for that).


♬ original sound - Jessica Wang

Many photographers will know that one way to remove people (or vehicles) from a landscape is to fire off a whole bunch of shots and then stack the images in a photo editing program that can average them out, keeping the elements that remain static through the batch of images and removing everything else. It works well for scenes where the people or vehicles you want to remove are moving but your main subject (and the landscape itself) remains still.

But the fashion influencer and popular TikTokker Jessica Wang has pointed out that you can do something slightly similar using nothing but an iPhone, with no third-party editing app needed. Simply take a portrait shot in Live Mode (look for the circle icon at the top right), and then swipe up and apply the iPhone's native long exposure effect. 

It creates a blurred effect where the crowds were, but that could be preferable over the crowds drawing attention from the main subject of the photo. "I just tried it and it's amazing," one of several thousand commenters responded. It should work in iPhone 7 and above. 

If you need you update your phone, see the best iPhone 14 prices below and our guide to the best iPhone 14 cases. For more photography ideas, see our iPhone Pro camera tips.

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.