Smartphones have taken the world by storm. In just a few short years, cell phone technology has gone from basic telephony devices to all singing all dancing palm sized computers. One of the most useful features of today’s cell phones is their ability to take high quality photographs. Often, the cameras on modern smartphones far outstrip the capabilities of even the most advanced cameras of just a few years ago. It’s no wonder, then, that as long ago as 2013, it was discovered that 90% of people had only ever taken photos with their phone and never with a camera during their lifetime!
Yet, while we all know how to take a basic photo with a cell phone, we don’t all know the finer points of taking really impressive images using this technology. If you’re keen to take images that will provide a lifetime’s worth of memories, you’ll need to have a considered approach to your photography.
Protecting Your Smartphone
Before anything else, one of the problems associated with using a smartphone to take your photos is that you may drop your precious cell phone while you try to get the best possible shot. Whether you’re balancing your phone on a wall to try to get the perfect group image or lose your balance while struggling to achieve the ideal selfie, the risks of your screen getting broken or scratched are high. SPARIN is widely considered the best screen protector and will ensure that your screen, cell phone and camera are all kept safe from damage, should the worst happen.
Adjusting Your Exposure And Focus
Cell phone cameras have advanced considerably over just a couple of years. Most smartphones now offer an element of control over the exposure and focus of each shot. Some have a manual focus function while others can only be adjusted via the camera app of the phone itself. Many cameras have a face recognition function to focus on faces and to avoid blurring. They also have exposure adjustments which ensure that the right amount of light is able to get into each frame. Identify the settings for your own phone and make sure to use them every time you take a shot.
Using HDR Mode
HDR mode (or high dynamic range) is one common feature found on virtually all camera apps. This mode ensures that maximum detail can be brought out in the lightest and darkest areas of the photo to ensure a good color balance. This is an ideal mode for portraits and landscapes, particularly if there is a lot of range between light and dark in your shot.
Using Natural Daylight
Whenever you can, you should try to use as much natural daylight as possible when taking shots. This means you won’t need to rely on the inbuilt flash which often produces poor images. Ensure your subjects are positioned so they will be lit well from their front with no strong light sources behind. If you’re taking photos at night, try to get the subject as close to the artificial light as possible.
Steadying Your Shots
Unfortunately, smartphone cameras are still prone to hand shake, so finding ways of minimizing this is vital if you want great images. Buying a tripod will resolve this problem easily, and there are models which have been specifically designed for use with smartphones.
Applying The Rules
One of the oldest photography tricks in the book is the rule of thirds, and it applies equally to smartphones as to standard cameras. This rule dictates that you split your image up into 9 equal blocks in a 3 x 3 grid. You then aim to place the focal points of the shot close to these segments’ corners. This will allow you to greatly improve the composition of your shots, whether you’re shooting landscapes or action shots. Some smartphone camera apps actually display a grid that makes putting this rule into effect a breeze.
Taking Bursts Of Photos
Now that there’s no longer any need to have film developed and processed, you can take advantage of new technology by taking lots of shots. The more photos the better to get the shot you’ve been hoping for. Lots of smartphones today have a dedicated burst mode which takes several shots of the same subject in rapid succession. This mode is usually activated by holding the shutter button down while in photograph mode.
Editing Shots On The Move
Of course, getting a perfect shot from your smartphone won’t stop the moment you snap the image. Editing apps can then be added into the mix which will tweak the shots before you share them. There are many different apps out there which can be downloaded to your cell phone and then used to tweak the colors, fix red eye, add filters and straighten the images. Some even have single touch fixes which enhance photos quickly with virtually no personal effort.