How to Add Grid Lines in iOS 7 Camera

While Apple is improving the iPhone camera and iOS 7 makes it even more useful, there is a technique that really improves iPhone camera photos. This is called the “rule of thirds” and professional photographers use it to compose shots. Using the Rule of Thirds makes our photos look better than typical snapshots.

We’ll show users how to create this effect using the built-in grid lines on the iOS 7 camera on an iPhone or iPad.

Rule of Thirds Explained

In the “Rule of Three” a photographer will imagine the composition consists of four lines drawn one-third of the scene from above and one-third from the bottom. Draw the other two vertically so that one third of the scene is drawn from the right and one third from the left. That’s why they call it the “Rule”.

Demonstrating the “Rule of Three” in photography (Photo, Wikimedia – Cingre)

The picture above illustrates the idea. Notice that the person is standing at the lower right intersection, while the sun hangs in the sky at the upper left. Also, the horizon usually sits along the lower horizontal line. Finally, the person stands along the right vertical line.

You can see an example in the image below.

grid lines in camera app on iphone

Below, one of these two photos follows the rule and the other breaks it. one-third rule shot

Notice how the shot above looks better and feels more balanced, while the shot below looks mundane and less interesting.

breaking the rule of thirds

Adding Grid Lines in the iOS 7 Camera App

Photographers often create these types of shots without gridlines, but the iOS 7 camera includes an option to turn on these gridlines, making it easy to compose such shots.

To turn on the grid lines, open Settings and scroll down and tap it. Scroll to the option labeled and turn it on by tapping the On/Off slider. Some find the grid lines annoying, so repeat the steps above to turn them off. We wish Apple put this option inside the Camera app instead of just putting it in Settings.


Try taking a few shots with the grid lines and don’t forget to apply these suggestions to improve the photos.

place people along vertical lines

Place people along vertical lines left or right depending on which direction they are facing.

Here are a few bonus tips for quickly opening the camera app. Tap the home button from sleep mode to show the lock screen. In iOS 7 there is a camera icon in the lower right corner. Tap this to open the camera without unlocking the screen. With the iPhone already awake, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to show the Control Panel and tap the Camera app icon in the lower right corner to launch the Camera app.

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