Most of us learned to snap with our smart phone cameras by default. You pull out your phone and push a button. But if you really plan to preserve those memories for posterity, then you’ll want your phone snaps to look their best. So up your phone photo game with these nine tips and tricks with this “Smartphone Photography Masterclass”.
Camera settings, lighting, scene modes, composition and the human effort can all play in taking awesome photos. And when you’ve got your photos looking suitably fantastic, make sure you also take the time to back them up somewhere safe.
Adjust focus and exposure:
Smartphone cameras now give you some control over the focus and exposure of your shot. If manual focus is available, it’s usually activated with a tap on the screen, on the point where you want the camera to focus. Also check settings for your phone’s a face recognition option, it’ll automatically zero in on faces, helping you avoid shots where the subject’s face is blurred. Then there’s the exposure, or how much light is allowed into the frame. Adjust this to your preference.
Use High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode:
HDR is now a staple feature for smartphone camera apps. It brings the detail out of the darkest and lightest parts of your picture and creates a better balance of color overall. The HDR mode only takes a little longer to process while your smartphone works all this out. So when in this mode, don’t be in a rush. It’s particularly suitable for landscapes and portrait shots, especially when there’s a wide range between the darkest and lightest parts of your photo. Don’t use it on fast objects. Hold your phone for a steady shot. Whatever your make and model of phone, you should see “HDR mode” in a prominent place somewhere on screen and can be turned on and off manually.
Use natural light as often possible:
Light is in fact the most needed element in photography. If you can make use of the available natural light, then you don’t have to resort to your phone’s built-in flash which may give you less-than-ideal results, particularly when the subject is far. Position your subject so it is well-lit from the front and not silhouetted by a strong light from behind.
Steady your shot:
This is one part that a lot of people take for granted because these smart phone cameras are sensitive to movement. Even a slight shake can leave a smartphone photo looking like it was taken while struggling. It’s therefore important to minimize camera shake as much as possible. You can buy a small tripod if you don’t trust your hands enough.
Apply the rule of thirds:
This is an old photography trick that’s been around for years, but you can still apply it to smartphones. According to the rule of thirds, an image is split into nine equal blocks that form a three-by-three grid (like in the image below). Put your subject either to the left or right corner of these segments, where the gridlines meet. There should be more space towards where the subject is facing.
Edit images right on your phone:
Well, you can call them filters if you want to. Getting good pictures from your phone doesn’t start and end with your camera app of choice. You can also add a photo editing app to the mix to tweak your shots before sharing them with the wider world.
From Snapseed to Adobe Photoshop Express VSCO, CARBON (for black and white) and inbuilt editing tools on iPhone and Samsung smart phone cameras these apps can do wonders to your pictures.
You can add filters, tweak colors, straighten images, and more.
Stop under utilizing that smart phone of yours. Try these tips and get awesome pictures from your camera. After all if you don’t make your self look good for the ‘gram’ who will?