Most of us now have smartphones in our sack. Almost everywhere we go, we try not to forget bring them to documenting our traveling stories or just hanging out and take pictures with friends. Nowadays, those cameras also getting better and better every years. Of course with all their limitness than using DSLR or others.
To be a good photographer, you also have to know the tools you are using. Not many of us become a professional using smartphone camera, but it doesn’t mean it can’t help your practices.
I have listed 15 tips in this article that provide you ways on using your mobile phone camera to take more better and interesting photos.
Here they are.
1. Clean your lens
This will be the first tips in this section. Your pockets or bag is not as clean as you thought. So, give your times a bit to clean your phone lens so you will produce more clearer images. You can use soft cloth or fabric to do this. It won’t hurt the lens as long as you are also doing it gently.
2. Shot in highest quality
Whether you have iPhone or Android smartphone, most of them have default camera settings. And the factory settings is not that good, even it is often set to normal or lower quality. Open phone camera and find option that allowed you to change the resolution to the highest. I mean, why using the normal or small resolutions when you could get highest one, right?
The best your resolutions are, the better image quality you will achieve.
Keep in mind that the better photograph quality also mean more of your phone storage will be consumed, so you may want to have an extra microSD card. You can also consider to back up your old pictures online or just simply move them to your computer or notebook.
3. Set the focus
Get steady, breath calmly and take a shot.
But, before that, pay attention to what object you are trying to freeze using your phone. So, set a good focus to the main interested object you are trying to catch. It is simple and even just with a single tap on your screen.
Don’t just use the auto focus, instead, play around with manual that you have in your default phone camera or apps you are using.
4. Using portrait and landscape mode
Selfie might interesting to you, right?
I am not saying that you shouldn’t just taking images using portrait mode, but using landscape is also better. Surely, not just for selfie or nature view. Many of images using both of formats. So, if you have seen something interesting, don’t just shot it in one mode. Try both to see which one is better.
5. Using image stabilization to avoid blurred images
If you want to take a clear shot to the object or not having plan to take some random abstract photography concepts with a motion or blurred main object, you may have to get really steady both of your hands.
If that doesn’t work, nowadays, many of smartphone cameras have image stabilizer that you can activate in a one or two taps. There’s still chance to get a blurred object you don’t wanted to, but turning on this option will save a lot of times. You also have more chances to get a clear shot so you can deliver the message of your photographs you are trying to communicate.
6. Avoid digital zooming – get yourself close to the object if possible
One of the challenges of taking pictures using your phone is dealing with object that placed or exist in a distance. If you think and feel that the view or object is too good to be passed through, I recommended you to get closest to the object as long as possible.
Using digital zoom as in your phone available is never been a good decision to make in many cases. You may see the object is getting closer when you are zooming. Things are, your camera just crop the resolution and simply expand the image.
Sometimes, I wonder that does zooming is sort of digital illusion? Who knows.
7. Turn on/off Geotagging
This is optional tip. You have known that geotagging option is one of features available in most of mobile phones to share information about where the photo is taken, location.
If you turning on the feature, taking pictures and directly upload them in social media like Instagram, others will know where exactly your location at the moment. Doing this mean two things to me, the good one and the opposite. This could be your friend or your will hate it.
Your friends might seen your photos are interesting and get excited about where you are, but we never know what other people capable to think and do. So, just be wise. Your safety is your priority. I am not trying to scare you. I’d just try to tell you that it’s better to anticipate anything.
8. Using your camera flash, wisely
Sometimes, using flash is good. Especially, when you are in dark places/rooms or in a low light condition such night. The problems are, when your object located a bit far from where you are standing, you may still lost a major details and when you are too close, the object may contain too much light.
So, take a shot couple of times to find the right light. You can also turn the night mode in your phone to get more light for your pictures.
9. Shot in manual mode if possible
Auto mode is good if you are an amateur. Thing is, when you shot in automatic mode, you set the phone to work for you without any questions. You just get what the application give you and you can’t do anything about that.
Using manual mode will give you more controls and you also tell the camera how you will get the quality as you need.
10. Use the back camera is your priority
I mostly found that using the back camera always being my first priority when taking pictures using smartphone since it is also the main camera from the factory. It is also because it has the highest resolutions than the other one.
11. Don’t use filter, edit them later
It is better to take pictures using your default camera or applications in normal mode. Meaning that if you want your photo look black and white, keep it in its own original colors (reality look), not shot in grayscale or B&W; mode. Also, do not photographing using filter you have had.
In just a few taps ahead, you can edit them using many apps available that give your more controls for enhancing your photos. This also useful in case you change your mine how your pictures will look in other perspectives. You can also edit them using Photoshop as I did like make soft glowing effect or others.
12. Make use of basic photography rules
Photography is one of interesting field that most of us so much love it. Its interesting things also make us want to learn more about rules and techniques.
So, why not using what you have been reading to be applied in your photograph? For example you can get benefit of using the rule of thirds, how to shot using backlight, etc.
13. Use different perspectives
Look, the photo you will take doesn’t need to be straight on. We already have that perspective all the times since the first camera founded. It is not a warning. Not at all.
Instead, try to take pictures using unexpected angle, you may find one or some unique photos there. For example, you can go down on your knee or laying on the floor in order to display the height of your object.
14. Take more pictures as needed
If your eyes catch an interesting view, try not just give a single shot and think that is the best one of the day. NO.
Come on, guys. Even the professional one shot hundreds just to send their photograph to magazine. Not all of them, but it’s worth trying. Doing this also open more chances to produce more amazing photos. You can combine other perspectives as I mentioned before or apply different techniques and approaches.
15. Consider using camera apps
Technologies are really improving so fast. Today, main smartphone cameras not only could produce high quality of images, but also many free third-party apps you can access easily.
If you feel that your phone not support enough to take some kind of pictures, you can download and used other camera apps to fulfill your needs. Than try so hard to tricky your phone limitations, why don’t just use apps that you can grab it now in Google Play Store.
Now, it’s your turn.
All tips above might not applicable in every situations or with every smartphone cameras, so you just need to find which one or two of them that best for you.
To make better pictures, it is not just need a better cameras. It also depending on your skills, knowledges and eyes or your feeling.
If you think that you have tips that I have not mentioned and could benefit others, you may want to share them through the comment form below.
Also share and read my other posts in this blog especially if you are interested in using Adobe Photoshop.