There’s nothing more annoying than a steady stream of cars or other tourists tracking across the foreground of your beautifully framed travel photo. Of course, they have every right to be there, they’re just going about their daily business, that is all. But it can still be infuriating none-the-less. 

But wait! Here’s a trick I learned that will solve this age old problem once and for all. Here’s a before and after shot I took using this hack.

Cape Town - iPhone Photo Hack Example Before
Cape Town iPhone Photo Hack Example - After

Anyone can achieve this affect. All you need is an iPhone X or newer with a recent version of iOS installed.

It’s a trick that everyone should know. It’s so simple to achieve and the results so astonishing, you’ll kick yourself for not knowing it before. 

What’s even better is you don’t need any specialist photography skills or even any editing software to achieve an instant impact.

Here’s a quick summary, in three simple steps, of how I discovered the trick, so you can use it too.

iPhone Photo hack - Step 1

Open Your iPhone Camera & Frame Your Subject

Here’s a scene in Cape Town that I wanted to capture. I was standing outside the main entrance to the Victoria & Albert Waterfront apartment complex we were staying at. Our Uber was on its way to pick us up and take us for a day exploring the gorgeous Kirstenbosch Tropical Gardens. I noticed that Table Mountain was displaying its famous “table cloth”, when the clouds stream over its rim before evaporating. I knew it would make a great photo, and I also wanted to capture this memorable moment.

Table Mountain Table Cloth with Cars

Alas, the very fact I was standing by a main-road, next to a roundabout junction, meant I could not get a photo without annoying cars in the frame. I could have waited for a gap in the traffic, but I was time limited. The table-cloth doesn’t last forever and, besides, our taxi was on its way.

Not to panic, I moved onto Step Two of this amazing iPhone photo hack.

iPhone Photo Hack - Step 2

Turn On the Live Photos Feature

Using the iPhone Camera App, I turned on the Live Photos feature by tapping the concentric circles logo at the top right of the screen, like this.

How to turn on Live Photos on iPhone
Live Photo Turned On

iPhone Photo Hack - Step 3

Fix the Focus & Take the Photo

I reframed my image, only this time I could simply ignore the cars streaming by. I knew my iPhone hack would fix that for me.

Happy with my framing, I pressed and held the screen to ensure the focus locked on the background, and not the passing cars.


Now all I had to do was tap the shutter button and take the photo.

But wait! The cars were still there… No need to panic. Step 4 sorted that for me.

Table Mountain Table Cloth with Cars

iPhone Photo Hack - SteP 4

Change The Live Photos Mode

Once I’d captured the photo, I opened the iPhone Photos app and selected my brand new photo of Table Mountain and its table-cloth. At the top left of the screen was a button labelled Live, with the same concentric circles icon as before.

Live Photos Menu For Changing the Live Photos Mode

I clicked on his to open the Live Photos mode selection menu.  From the drop down list I selected Long Exposure.

Changing the Live Photos Mode to Long Exposure

After a second or so something magical happened. All of the cars simply disappeared from the foreground of my Table Mountain photo. All I was left with was a perfectly framed photo of Table Mountain, its mystical table cloth and no distractions.


Table Mountain Table Cloth Cars Magically Removed

I hope you find this iPhone Photo Hack as useful and as amazing as I did. Enjoy.


After travelling internationally on business for multiple decades, I have decided to take early retirement. I am now fulfilling two dreams. To travel more slowly and to write my own thriller novels.