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How to use Portrait Lightning on an iPhone

Portrait Lighting on the iPhone Xr, iPhone Xs Max, iPhone Xr, iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone 7 Plus allows you to control lighting effects with shadows, spotlights, and more. It uses the dual cameras on these Apple smartphones to o create a depth-of-field effect. 

This lets you compose a photo that keeps your subject sharp while creating a blurred background. With your iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X, you can also add lighting effects to your image. And the TrueDepth camera in some modes lets you take a selfie in Portrait mode.

To take a photo in Portrait mode, swipe to Portrait and take the picture. The Camera app even gives you tips in real time. So if you’re too close, too far away, or the area is too dark, the camera lets you know. 

You can also use True Tone flash, set a timer, and apply camera filters. Open the Camera app. Swipe to Portrait Mode. Look for the yellow Portrait box. Tap the camera button.After you take your Portrait photo, you can edit your photos.

You can use the Portrait Lighting feature to apply four studio-quality lighting effects to your Portrait mode images. Choose from Studio Light to brighten facial features, Contour Light for more dramatic directional lighting, Stage Light to isolate your subject in the spotlight, or Stage Mono for stage light in a classic black and white.

Select the photo that you want to change. Tap Edit. Swipe to choose your Lighting effect. Tap Done.

If you take a photo in Portrait mode and then decide that you don’t want the blurred effect anymore, you can remove it in a few quick steps. Select the photo that you want to change. Tap Edit. Tap Portrait at the top of your screen. 

If you change your mind and want to re-add the Portrait mode effect, go back to Edit and tap Portrait again.

(This how-to is based on my experiences and info on Apple’s support pages — where the images sometimes come from.)

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.