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10 Smartphone Photography Tips

10 Smartphone Photography Tips

November 09, 2020



You don't need a professional camera to take great photos if you have a smartphone. These days, mobile photography is all about using your phone to create beautiful, artistic photos. We've got a few smartphone photography tips that will give your everyday photos a professional and pristine look.

Keep Your Lens Clean
Explore Your Camera App
Learn Principles of Composition
Utilize a Tripod
Use Portrait Mode
Capture Images in RAW
Enable the Grid Feature
Use Burst Mode for Action Shots
Avoid Zooming with Camera
Make Nice with Editing Apps

Keep Your Lens Clean

Think of the lens as your eyes. If your lens is dirty, your photos will be blurry. Lenses are one of the most important things when it comes to the clarity of your photos. Before you snap that image, rub the lens with a microfiber cloth to ensure there is no dirt or debris on it. Beware of rubbing it with your fingers because you may leave those dreaded thumbprints which won't look cool in your photos. Sometimes photographers want a set up with blurry photos for an artistic effect. This is the only time in which your lens can be dirty. Otherwise, take a few seconds to ensure the lens is free of any dirt so you won't get those blurry images.


Explore Your Camera App

Explore the default camera app for neat photos. You have all sorts of filters on your default app. Play around with the settings and the different filters for the best effects. If you have a Samsung, LG or Sony, you even have extra scenes to play with your photos. You can tap the Mode button to select Pro mode with all kinds of things to tweak as you take photos. On the later iPhone models, you have everything from Portrait to Panoramic selections. You can take an everyday basic photo and turn it into a work of art using only filters if you feel. You can play with lighting and saturation for the best effects.


Learn Principles of Composition

Composition is one of the most important smartphone camera tips because it's all about arranging the key subjects in your photo. It's important to include a main focal point. This gives your photo its meaning. The Rule of Thirds is an important principle for composition. It relates to the way elements of your scene are arranged. For example, your image will look balanced when you actually position your subject away from the center. If you follow the rule of thirds, the most important part of your photo should be positioned on the top right intersection. If you miss this when taking the photo, you can always crop it to the perfect composition.


Utilize a Tripod

A tripod is an easy, quick way to get steady photos. When your hands move while taking a photo, the quality can easily decrease. They might be dull and blurry with even the slightest movement. A tripod helps you steady the camera to get the perfect photo. You will get clear, sharp images this way.


Use Portrait Mode

Portrait mode is a secret weapon that can be used for some of the best pictures from your smartphone. This feature creates photos that look just like professional pics. This mode uses software to blur out the background of your photos and focus on the subject. The stark contrast is what makes photos in this mode look professional and close to perfect. You also have to be within a particular range to the subject, if you are too far away the photo will not come out properly. Once the photo is taken, you can change the amount of background blur and/or change the lighting effects. You can even use Depth Control to take out the blur all together.


Capture Images in RAW

RAW is a type of file format that captures all of the image data recorded by your camera. A camera usually shoots in a JPEG image format. In that mode, the information is compressed and tossed out. RAW allows you to get the highest level of quality because you're utilizing all data available for the photo. A camera doesn't have a brain to interpret how it sees colors, it simply captures the photo. This means the camera in RAW format cannot change the color in any way. This is great when you want to capture all of the colors in nature. There is no automatic white balance when shooting in this format, so your colors are bright, vibrant and raw.


Enable the Grid Feature

The Grid feature helps you better apply the Rule of Thirds. You get to put the most important pieces of your photo on the intersection of those grid lines. As mentioned before, for a better balanced photo, do not put your subject in the very center. When you open your Camera app and choose this setting, you'll notice your screen will have light grid lines. If you use these lines, your shot will be easier to frame and give it a more professional look. It draws the eye to the subject of the photo instead of the very center. The eye takes in the entire image. You might not notice it as you take the photo, but the grid lines are a tool that bring extra life to your photo.


Use Burst Mode for Action Shots

It's tough to get the perfect photo while in motion. The burst mode is perfect when shooting sports, people running around in the yard or fireworks. You can check out hundreds of images then delete the ones you don't need. You just activate it on the phone by holding down the shutter button. The Live feature on smartphones is great to use, but it won't capture a hundred photos with one hit. When you want to make sure your dad isn't blinking or to catch a bird in perfect flight, burst is the best way to go. It can be tough to capture your son sprinting with the football without a blur even on live, but you'll find the perfect image on burst.


Avoid Zooming with Camera

Knowing how to use Zoom is crucial for taking good photos. Using zoom on a professional camera isn't that big of a deal when you have all of the proper lenses, but using zoom on a smartphone can lead to photo issues. You lose quality when you zoom in on an image. Try zooming from a few yards away. You'll notice the photo looks blurry and pixelated. It's best to move closer to the subject for the perfect picture. If you're going to print these photos on a larger scale, you don't want them to lose quality in the printing process.


Make Nice with Editing Apps

While your default camera app is good, you should also make nice with other editing apps for stellar photos. You can download apps that let you add to your general editing. There's hundreds of different apps available so you can find the ones that work best for you. There's apps like Adobe Photoshop Express and Snapseed that enhance images. Adobe goes a step further and uses artificial intelligence with their photo editing. These types of apps allow you to straighten your images, add more filters and work with the colors. Some apps let you control the shutter speed and white balance so it's like you're working with a professional camera.


You don't need to spend all of your money buying a professional camera when you have a trusty smartphone and follow these simple Smartphone photography tips. When you know the basics of great photography and pair it with Smartphone camera tips, you can shoot like a pro. Play with your images and your apps to figure out the best tips that work for you. Putting your practice into motion, go out and capture some amazing images.

Sources

Popular Science - Smartphone Tips

Instasize Blog - Photo Grids

Photography Concentrate - Shooting in RAW

iPhone Photography School - Composition 

iPhone Photography School - Portrait Mode




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