How to Use Portrait Lighting on iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X

The iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X are two of Apple’s flagship smartphones that were unveiled last month. While one of them has received a radical redesign featuring an all-new bezel-less display, the other one still sticks to a three years old design that the company has been using in their predecessors, starting with the iPhone 6 Plus. Nevertheless, both of these cameras pack improved dual-camera setups that let you take some stunning photos with shallow depth of field, using Portrait mode. In fact, Apple has introduced an all-new AI-based software trick to take the Portrait mode to a whole new level. It’s called “Portrait Lighting”, and it was made possible by making use of sophisticated algorithms to calculate how facial features interact with light. Interested in trying this out on your new iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X? Without further ado, let’s take a look at how to use Portrait Lighting on the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X:

Use Portrait Lighting on iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X

NoteAlthough the Portrait Lighting in a software trick, the feature is only made available for the new iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. Hence, even if you’re an iPhone 7 Plus user, you won’t be able to take advantage of Portrait Lighting. Having said that, the feature is still in beta, and it will only improve with further software updates.

The Portrait Lighting mode basically provides the user with four new AI-based lighting effects, namely Studio Light, Contour Light, Stage Light and Stage Light Mono, in addition to the default Portrait photo which is now called “Natural Light”. Simply follow the steps below to make use of these new effects in a jiffy:

  • Open up the stock Camera app on your new iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X and swipe left to select the Portrait Mode. All you need to do is simply click a picture with a shallow depth of field, dubbed as the “bokeh effect”. With a simple swipe to the left at the bottom of the frame, you can switch between various effects that Portrait Lighting has to offer, including the default Natural Light, Studio Light, Contour Light, Stage Light and Stage Light Mono.



  • Well, apart from directly taking pictures, you can also edit and change the lighting effect for a Portrait mode photo that you’ve previously taken on the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. In order to do this, head over to the Photos app and select the portrait photo that you want to edit. Now, simply tap on “Edit”. By default, all the Portrait photos have the “Natural Light” effect. In order to change the effect, you can simply swipe left nearby the tiny icons located at the bottom of the picture.

  • Swipe continuously to switch and try out all the four lighting effects that this new “Portrait Lighting” feature has to offer.

The Portrait Lighting Effects

Now that you’ve learned how to use Portrait Lighting, let’s talk about how all these lighting effects exactly work. The “Studio Light” effect adds an even soft spread of light over the subject to replicate the lighting you might get in a studio. “Contour Light” manages to add shadows and highlights to contour the face of the subject, which looks pretty neat in my opinion. The next two modes called “Stage Light” and “Stage Light Mono” are quite similar as both of these effects literally darkens the background according to contours of your face and body. However, these two modes are quite tricky to work with and you’ll have to make multiple attempts before you manage to get the perfect shot for these effects.

SEE MORE: How to Create an Apple Music Profile in iOS 11

Ready to Take Advantage of Portrait Lighting?

Although Portrait Lighting is a software-based trick that’s still in beta stage, Apple has managed to check most of the important boxes that’s required to get the feature right in their smartphones. As of now, it’s pretty hard to get the perfect shot that works well with “Stage Light” and “Stage light Mono” lighting effects, and most of the time, they do feel like a gimmick. That being said, if you do manage to get the perfect shot, the results are quite impressive to say the least. Nevertheless, Apple could certainly improve and fine-tune Portrait Lighting with future software updates, so this should not be a major concern. So, are you guys ready to try out Portrait Lighting on your new iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X? Do let us know how much you guys enjoyed the feature, by dropping your valuable opinions in the comments section down below.

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