Anyone can pick up a phone and take a photo, but it takes a more skilled photographer to create a truly great image. Before the days of smartphones, taking a great photo was a work-intense process. You’d have to buy a fancy camera and editing software for your desktop, and invest some serious time and energy into learning how to use them. Ever since the release of smartphones, taking pictures has become easier using phones – mobile photography.
But thanks to the invention of cameras on smartphones, and the editing apps (iOS and Android) that come with them, we can now take high-quality photos and edit them without doing any efforts –all from the same device that we make phone calls with.
Back in 2007, when iPhone was released, smartphone cameras have improved vividly. We’ve got from basic 2-megapixel cameras to the great 12-megapixel cameras that are on par with the high-end point and shoot cameras. It’s never been easier to capture amazing, candid shots with your smartphone. But having a great camera doesn’t automatically make you a great photographer.
What’s the secret to taking great pictures with your smartphone then? As it turns out, there are a few of them. If you’re just starting out with mobile photography, master these techniques before anything else. Check out these simple rules for mobile photography. Improve your mobile photography game.
So let’s get started with everything you need to know about mobile photography.
Simple Rules for Mobile Photography
Much of the time, when you’re taking pictures with your phone, you have to work with whatever lighting is available to you at the time. Although this is fine or inevitable most of the time, you should try to optimize the lighting you have. If possible, move your subject to eliminate any hard shadows that form around the eyes, nose, and neck. If this isn’t possible, using the flash, even in some daytime situations, can help to smooth the shadows out.
When people look at a picture, the first thing they tend to see is whatever is brightest. So if you want them to focus on the left side of your subject’s face, you should adjust your shot so that the light shines brightest there.
Set the Focus
Many of the best photos include just one, interesting subject. The most important thing to look out for when taking a photo is to make sure that your subject is in sharp focus. To set the focus on your smartphone, simply tap the screen where your subject is in the frame.
If your subject is moving around, make sure you tap the screen just before you take the shot to ensure that they are in focus.
Don’t Zoom, Crop it
Many smartphone cameras offer a digital zoom function, but people almost always best served pretending it doesn’t exist. If you want to take a photo of a faraway subject, don’t use the zoom. Walk closer instead and use the camera as normal without any zoom. You’ll end up with a far better quality shot.
Alternatively, you can crop the image yourself in the editing process to bring the viewer closer to your subject. Cropping afterward gives you more control over how much of the image you want to remove.
If you ever have a picture that looks very orange inside or very blue outside, that means that your white balance is not set properly. Many smartphones have a way to color balance or eliminate blue or orange casts that lights give off.
Make sure you set the white balance to your situation. If you’re not sure how to do this, many phones have preset options to best suit different types of environments.
Use the Rules of Thirds
The rule of thirds is a principle for taking shots where the subject isn’t centered. It suggests that you should divide the screen into a 3-by-3 grid with two horizontal lines and two vertical lines and then place important compositional elements on the lines or at their intersections. By doing this, you’ll create more interesting shots than a traditional centered shot.
Most smartphones let you lay this grid on top of your frame so it’s easy to line up your shots with the rule of thirds. If you’re shooting in portrait, use the vertical lines for alignment. But if you’re shooting in the landscape, use the horizontal lines for alignment instead.
Once you understand the rule of thirds, it won’t sound strange and illogical and it’ll become intuitive and you’ll immediately start applying it to every photo you take.
Don’t be afraid to take pictures with your phone. Instead, learn how to take better pictures by treating it like the camera it is and have fun.
These tips will help you learn some of the basics of mobile photography. What tips do you have for taking photos with smartphones? Let us know in the comments below.