Whether you’re starting out as a blogger or simply want a better-looking Instagram page, then you’ll probably want to be able to take great photos. No one wants to carry a camera and equipment everywhere with them ready to take in-the-moment snaps. You probably don’t want to be spending the money on professional cameras or editing apps either, so here we have some tips to get the best out of your phone’s camera for that 10/10 shot.
When you open your camera, you need to know the automatic shooting mode of your camera. Learn when it uses high ISOs (sensitivity to light) and when it decides to use longer shutter speeds. This will help you adjust accordingly to how you take photos. If you know what situations your auto mode struggles in e.g. certain light, then you can override the default settings.
If you’re moving around, your photos are likely to come out blurry. For example, outstretching your arms as much as possible will make them sway more. By moving your elbows into your sides, you’re creating extra stability, much like if you are able to actually rest the smartphone on a stable object as you take pictures.
If this is something you are planning on doing long term, it may be worth investing in a tripod for smartphones, and they’re often not too big to carry around with you!
Don’t Digitally Zoom
Digital zooming is when you pinch the screen to zoom in or swipe to zoom. All this does is simply enlarges and crops the output from the sensor before the photo is taken instead of providing an optical zoom. New smartphones such as the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 do have 2x optical zoom on them which is great!
If you digitally zoom before you capture an image, it doesn’t allow you to reframe the image after. It is better to take an image at a longer distance without zooming, and then crop it afterwards.
Smartphones have more storage than people will ever need these days, so if you want to get a good shot, fill that storage with plenty of pictures. Taking them quickly will allow you to choose the best shot later.
Many smartphones offer burst photography features which you attain by holding down the button that takes the photo. You can then choose whichever photo you want from the burst as your favourite.
You’ve chosen your best shot, now it’s time to edit. You’ve done the best you can but the photo might not look as bright, sharp or just not as perfect as you’d like.
When we say edit, we don’t mean distort and completely change images- highlight what’s already there. Move sliders such as brightness, saturation, sharpness, shadows and more until you like what you see.
Having good lighting is crucial when taking a good photo. The better the lighting, the less grainy your photos will look.
Getting strong, artificial lights will instantly achieve better lighting on your phone, however this isn’t exactly practical. However, natural light will always be our favourite lighting for photos!
Here are some pointers for shooting in the natural light:
- Make sure the sun is behind the camera lens.
- If it is a group photo use the sun as your source of light, even indoors. Let the photographer stand in front of the window whilst the subjects face the window.
- Practice to see where the lighting works best.
- Use a piece of paper if you want to reflect light in a certain way.
On a smartphone, portrait mode simulates the blur of the background keeping the focus on the main close up image.
These are great on actual cameras, but be wary on smartphones as the camera isn’t always so good at detecting where the edge of the image you want to capture is, leaving areas blurred that shouldn’t be and vice versa. Sometimes the blur doesn’t look natural at all and will look too edited.
Practice to see when portrait mode works best on your phone, we’ve found that this tends to be in less detailed scenes as the camera doesn’t get as confused then.
We hope to see you put these new smartphone photography tips into actions, if you have a go, tag us on Instagram at @htblogger or use the hashtag #htblogger so we can have a look!