A cool camera in a smartphone is a tool for creating photos, but it is not a guarantee of their perfection. Undoubtedly, today there are a lot of programs designed for high-quality shooting, resizer apps, and tools for further editing the result. But it is better to learn how to shoot correctly and efficiently than then spend time editing photos.
Do you want to get the most out of it and collect a lot of likes on social networks? This is not a problem. Everyone can shoot well, and the tips below will help you do this.
1. Wipe the lens of your smartphone before taking each shot
A greasy finger-splattered front lens is a sure way to get muddy and blurry photos. The problem is solved elementary: before you start taking photos, gently wipe the smartphone camera with a soft cloth. Even better, if you have a special microfiber cloth for cleaning glasses.
2. Hold your smartphone firmly and do not rush anywhere
When taking photos on your smartphone, try not to rush. The more calmly and thoughtfully you do everything, the better the result will be. A reportage SLR camera with full-fledged stabilization will be able to smooth out the consequences of sudden hand movements. And the smartphone will probably not be able to cope with this task.
That is why it is very important to first understand what exactly you want to photograph. Then stand straight and firmly on the selected point of shooting. After that, hold your smartphone firmly and confidently. You must do it with both hands. The fewer unnecessary movements, the sharper, and the better the finished photo will be.
Remember that when shooting, you can lean on something or even press your smartphone against any solid objects – tables, walls, railings. This will help compensate for hand tremors.
3. Take a few pictures of the same story and check the result
Feel free to take multiple takes of the same photo. If the first one has a blurry image, and the second one is accidentally highlighted, then the third one will almost certainly be more or less normal. Fortunately, the days of film are long gone – defective frames can simply be deleted.
And don’t forget to view the finished photos at maximum magnification immediately after shooting. This way you can see the errors in the autofocus system and immediately re-shoot everything, getting an acceptable result.
4. Thoroughly line up each frame
The fewer extra items get into the camera lens, the less you will then crop. This operation inevitably reduces the resolution of the finished photo – low detail and noise become even more noticeable. So it’s better to build a composition that you want to see in the end at the stage of shooting. If, of course, time and the plot allow.
5. Consider the lighting features
Lighting is the most important thing for any photographer, including a mobile one. The more light around, the better. If you want to make good portraits of friends, do not be too lazy to leave the darkroom on the street or at least go to the window. The window should be behind the photographer, not the models, otherwise, their faces will be black.
In no case do not miss the Mode time – precious minutes before sunsets and sunrises, as well as immediately after them. At these moments, the brightness of the sky is approximately comparable to the brightness of all other subjects. As a result, the frame shows soft transitions between light and bright areas, warm colors, and beautifully emphasized landscape reliefs.
6. Take pictures from non-standard angles
Everyone mostly sees the world from the height of human growth. That’s why shots from non-standard angles look so spectacular. Shoot the landscape through a slot in a beautiful fence, raise the camera high above your head, or lower the lens to floor level. These simple steps will help you show seemingly ordinary stories from a completely new perspective.
7. Master the manual settings of your smartphone camera
Many smartphones, like cameras, can also adjust exposure, set shutter speed, ISO, and white balance. The first time such words sound scary, but there’s nothing complicated about it. Once you’ve got it all figured out, you can get a lot better results out of your mobile camera when shooting in dark or difficult lighting conditions. Where automatics can’t do it, you’ll do it all for yourself. And much better.
8. Turn on the flash only if necessary
The built-in flash in your smartphone is the last line of defense. You should activate it only when you can’t make a decent frame in any other way. Hard light in the forehead makes the photos flat, adds ugly highlights to the face, and the background is black.
9. Forget about the digital zoom and pay attention to two-camera smartphones
If your smartphone camera has one lens, you should forget about the digital zoom. This only spoils the frame. The zoom is completely artificial because it’s achieved by program magnification.
However, if your smartphone has a double camera, then there are options. Modern smartphones can double the frame without significant loss of quality. For this, a second lens is just what you need.
However, there are two things to keep in mind. The first is that the worse the lighting, the worse the result of the increase. The second – two lenses are not a guarantee of optical zoom. For example, some smartphones do not know how to zoom in on subjects but can make quite spectacular ultra-wide-angle images.
10. Don’t neglect portrait modes in the flagship
Manufacturers of flagship smartphones have recently put a lot of emphasis on taking pictures of people. Apple was particularly good at this: the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X have a very cool Portrait lighting mode. It allows you to add Studio light effects to pre-made photos.
Don’t forget the software background blur feature, which is no longer just on your iPhone, but also on Android smartphones with dual cameras. If you don’t look at the details, photos with this effect look as if they were taken on a mirror with a portrait lens. This, by the way, can be used not only when photographing people, but also, for example, in macro photography.
11. Learn how to improve your existing photos
Naturalness and realism are good, but even a good photo can be made better after shooting. And you don’t have to load it to your computer for this – Google Play and the App Store are full of apps for editing images.
VSCO and Snapseed are considered to be among the best mobile photo editors. And if you are too lazy to bother with programs, then the built-in tools on Instagram will be enough.
12. Shoot as often as possible and look for inspiration
Photography is a combination of art and craft. If you want to achieve good results, you need to develop in two directions. Firstly, look at photographs of recognized masters in search of inspiration. Secondly, shoot as often as possible. The more practice, the better the result.