How To Use The Water-Resistant iPhone XS Like A Pro

Taking photos or videos at festivals such as Songkran or upcoming Ultra Singapore 2019 can be a tall order especially when it’s going to be wet, or sweaty, or both. You don’t want to risk coming home with a bricked phone because of that, right? So what can you do?

Grab a water-resistant phone? OK check. Have the know-how to shoot in wet conditions? Maybe not all of us. But don’t you worry, you’ve come to the right place and if you own an iPhone XS/XR, you’re in even better luck. The iPhone XR and XS’s water resistant ratings (IP67 & IP68 respectively) and its excellent video and photo capabilities, makes it the perfect phone to capture those wet, crazy festival moments. Make your photos pop even more with these tips & tricks straight from experienced iPhone photographers themselves.

Yais Yusman, Singapore


  • Don’t be afraid to explore the different functions on iPhone like Time-lapse and Slo-mo.
  • Capture longer videos because you just might need extra moments which can be used for your videos – I edit using InShot because it’s user-friendly.
  • Ensure Live Photos is switched on, just in case you miss a moment before or after the shot.
  • Don’t be afraid to point the camera at the subject because they just might react and give you an emotion to shoot – and if not, they might spray some water on you!
  • Shooting in Portrait Mode is really good because you can capture a great bokeh effect on the subject with Depth Control on iPhone.

Check out his Instagram page here.

Yafiq Yusman, Singapore


  • Capturing slow-mo videos during Songkran is a must! I love using the 1080p at 240 fps setting as it gives a nice Slo-mo effect with sharpness in my video!
  • In order to get good shots at Songkran, you need to get wet!
  • The Sun is your best friend to get nice rays – paired together with water droplets, you’ll get an interesting effect!
  • Turn on Smart HDR as it highlights more detail on your photos. Say goodbye to overexposed photos!

Check out his Instagram page here.

Smashpop, Malaysia


  • Try to shoot vertically as it fits perfectly on mobile devices. It’s also a refreshing ratio as audiences are used to watching horizontal videos. Give them something other than what they would normally expect.
  • Record many short clips instead of a few long clips. It’s easier for you to go through as you know which clip represents what content. Also, in your final video, you only need to show a scene for just a few seconds before the next one anyway.
  • Go close and show details. Normally, people would video the whole scene to capture the subject, action and background, but if you go close and focus on the details, your video will look stunning instantly.
  • Editing is key. Music is also important in order to bring out emotions and to show the pace of the video to audiences. Splice, Quik and LumaFusion are some of the apps that I use for video editing. HypeType is a great app for inserting ANY music from iTunes into your videos.
  • Always capture from an angle that is not at eye-level. This gives the audience a new perspective and a refreshing view of something that they wouldn’t normally expect.
  • Use the ‘Rule of Thirds’. The grid can be switched on in-camera settings. Always try to place the subjects on either of the four cross-junctions or at least on any of the vertical or horizontal lines.
  • Editing is key. You might have an ordinary photo, but with editing.. you can do wonders. My favourite editing apps on iPhone are Snapseed and VSCO.

Check out his Instagram page here.

Sufian Gaffar, Malaysia


  • To produce unique framing, I frequently capture my subjects through the reflection from water/mirrors, or by including other objects in the frame (eg: leaves, people , etc.)
  • Time-lapse: By moving my iPhone camera during shooting, I’m able to create time-lapse videos
  • I use Slo-mo to highlight details during water splashing, crowd dancing
  • Move closer to your subjects to ensure better image quality
  • I love using the app Quik, because it’s easier and more convenient for beginners. Transitions in your video will automatically change according to the beat of the music.

Check out his Instagram page here.

Zarnizar, Malaysia


  • If you’re a beginner at mobile photography, I recommend using the auto setting for taking photos and 4K 60 fps setting for video.
  • Try to wake up as early as you can – perhaps shoot from dawn at the streets or temples, until evening – go in close, take Panorama, and everything in-between.
  • Shoot everything – shoot non-stop from setup at the main road where the Songkran parade is about to take place, to the live acts among the participants, dancers, local vendors selling sausages, monks giving their blessings, the crowd when they shoot water guns at each other, your surrounding landscape, behind the scenes, people in the audience, small details, when people are packing up or pouring water into buckets, all the way to what’s left behind.
  • Capture events, acts, and people which give a sense of what is going on at the festival, including the reactions of dancers, monks, families gathering, tourists, and other small details which create a sense of really being there. A street that doesn’t look like much during a normal hour could be lit up beautifully during the celebration where people are splashing water here and there.
  • Photographing people during Songkran is what I love to do there. It can be pretty intimidating approaching strangers, but most people don’t really mind, and are often flattered.
  • Keep an eye out for special moments, rather than just pressing the shutter on your iPhone XR. Look for different angles and interesting colour compositions.
  • In order to have a great time taking photos and videos at Songkran, and snapping a couple of images you are really happy with, you don’t need anything more than your mobile phone. My iPhone XR is already more than enough as it has an IP67 rating meaning it is designed to be resistant to water.
  • The best tip I can give to you during Songkran is to have fun. Enjoy the festivities, and enjoy photographing it. There are so many photographic scenes in one place, which often includes traditional performances, local customs, good food and music!

Check out his Instagram page here.

Yudhi Aristan, Singapore


  • First things first, get yourself a cool waterproof pouch for your personal belongings and get ready to get soaked from head to toe!
  • Remember, Your iPhone XS Max is now splash, water and dust resistant and rated IP68 so you donʼt have to worry about getting it wet.
  • While shooting in wet conditions, make sure you have your silicone case or leather case for a better grip.
  • Timing the right shot of water splashing and Slow-mo video can be quite tricky sometimes. Thanks to the super fast response from iPhone, I can quickly launch the photo or video function when i see some water splashing action happening.
  • When shooting still images in wet conditions, instead of tapping the shutter button on the screen, you can also use the volume up/down button to the left of your screen to release the shutter.
  • One thing that I really like is that you can take photos while shooting videos by clicking the round white button on the left side of the red colour recording button (if you are shooting vertically).
  • In order to get nice water droplets or water splash shots, make sure that the area is well lit and avoid shooting under shaded area as you might lose a lot of glistening details.
  • Donʼt be shy to ask someone to throw a bucket of water at you! Turn on Live Photos so you can pick the perfect moment right before the water hits the camera. Shooting a slow-mo video of this is pretty cool too.
  • A backlit water splash shot can be quite dramatic. The apps I use for photo editing quite often are VSCO and Lightroom, which I love because I’ll have more control of the editing process and can create my own filters and mood.
  • For video editing, I use Quik and Splice to stitch videos together and add music or text.

Check out his Instagram page here.

There’ve been so many amazing #ShotOniPhone photographs out there and if you need some inspiration, just check out the hashtag on Instagram. Let nothing stop you from being creative, especially not some rain or wetness!