Shoot Better Images at iLight 2022

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With the easing of COVID restrictions, we are now seeing the resurgence of public space activities and the first major one is the Singapore iLight 2022. Started way back in 2010, the festival showcases light art installations by Singaporean and international artists. This year’s instalment will last until 26 June.


If you are an avid smartphone shooter, here are some tips for creating some ‘jazz’ to your images.



Make Full Use of the Night Mode

The new smartphones these days have Night Mode that will automatically enhance your photos by brightening very dark areas while dimming the brighter parts of the image.


While the AI in your smartphone is pretty smart these days, using the Night Mode ensures the images are captured beautifully.


Point the smartphone from a higher position gives a different perspective. Capture the different lighting effects too! PHOTO: Wilson Wong


Look For Lights, Shadows, Shapes and Different Angles

A lot of good shots are taken from a different angle rather than your eye level. Push the phone way above your head or go right to your feet level to give your shot a different perspective of the installation.


Being sensitive to how light affects your images is another sure-fire way to make your pictures unique. Look at how the light casts shadows on the art installation and the people enjoying it.


There are different blurring effects you can apply to your portraits so try them all out. PHOTO: Wilson Wong


Impressive Portraits

The pockets of light from the iLight installations also allow snappers to capture mesmerising portraits of your loved ones.


Just switch on the Portrait Mode on your phone, choose the bokeh (or blur) effects behind and see how the special effects improve the portraits. Just don’t make it too blurred.


Tripod is essential when it comes to low light photography even though there is a night mode for smartphones. Make use of the Portrait mode to blur the background and accentuate the subject PHOTO: Wilson Wong


Tripods Are Essential Tool for Night Photography

Using tripods with smartphones seems odd when the convenience of a smartphone is affected by tripods. The tripod helps the smartphone capture low-light subjects better and opens up more creative effects for your photography, as shared below.


Using the night mode with the tripod gave the snapper more opportunities to capture sharper pictures and more dramatic scenes. PHOTO: Wilson Wong


Long Exposure Effects

Long exposure means the camera opens up its shutter longer to record streaks of light in the scene. That creates an off-worldly look to your images that our eyes would not see. 

If paired with neutral density filters, you can even capture fireworks, usually captured with DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras.

A properly levelled tripod will help to stitch better panoramas PHOTO: Wilson Wong



Some installations of iLight are pretty big, even covering basketball court-sized exhibition areas. Smartphones have ultrawide-angle lenses these days but may not be wide enough to cover the whole installation.


Your next best option is to use the Panorama mode. It is like shooting a video with your phone, but the result is a stitched image of the scene. 


While you can do it handheld without needing a tripod, the tripod’s stability helps the phone stitch the image better. It also prevents the camera from shaking too much.


You can try vertical panoramas for an alternative view of the scene!