Smartphone Photography Tips

Published by richard sands on

Smartphone Photography Tips

Whether you are a photography fanatic or are just getting started, there is bound to come a time when the perfect photo opportunity presents itself and you don’t have your trusty digital camera with you. These days, people rarely go out without their phones and most smartphones now come with a built-in camera.

So, rather than blaming your lack of tools when the perfect photo opportunity arises, why not go ahead and learn how to use the camera you (almost) always have on you? Check out our top smartphone photography tips for snapping amazing photos on the go!

Use the grid setting

It goes without saying that the composition of a photo can often take a back seat due to the rushed nature of smartphone photography. But, as anyone who loves photography will tell you, the composition can really make or break the shot. Save yourself an editing task by nailing the composition before you take the photo.

Using your smartphone’s grid setting, you can use the rule of thirds and straight horizons to make your composition more intentional. By doing so, you can see if there something within the frame that compromises the photo and you then adjust your position or play around with different angles until you’re happy with your shot.

Don’t zoom in

When taking a photo, we’re all guilty of zooming in on an object at one time or another in order to get a ‘clear’ shot. The truth is, the closer we zoom in, the fuzzier the image. Smartphones don’t have an optical zoom function, meaning your lens can’t change its focal distance. So you’re not actually getting closer to the object, you’re just cutting away the surrounding scene. If you want to get closer to your subject, take a few steps forward – you’ll be able to make the composition you want and retain as much detail as possible.

Experiment with different angles

Just like any craft, photography is all about experimenting. Perspective is an incredibly powerful tool in photography that shapes the tone of our image. One of the great things about capturing images with your phone is that it is very light, compact and easy to move around. This makes it much easier to capture images from different angles.

By experimenting with different angles, you can completely change the look and feel of your image.

Shooting upwards from low angles will help convey the importance of an object, being or landscape. Whereas shooting downwards from a higher angle can have the opposite effect of making an object, being or landscape look miniscule and lost. You can use these different angles to capture different emotions and emphasise the message of your images.

Take panoramic shots

A panoramic shot really allows you to capture a great landscape or surrounding in it’s (almost) entirety. Whilst taking panoramic shots using a digital camera can be tricky and time-consuming, the ease of taking a great panorama shot using a smartphone is mind-blowing.

The results are instant and you can achieve your shot in a matter of seconds! For the best results, try to limit the length of your shot. Instead of following the arrow all the way to the edge, shoot shorter distances. Not only will you get a sharper image but there will also be less distortion, making for a nicer image overall.

Edit your images

And when we say edit, we don’t just mean cropping the image and applying a filter. One of the great things about using your smartphone as a camera is that there are so many photo editing apps available. Instead of using the preset/built-in filters on your phone, you can sift through the best apps and unlock so many more photo editing features!

For the best results, opt for an app which features manual editing such as Lightroom or Adobe for mobile. These apps allow you to edit a range of different aspects and fine-tune your images, taking your photography skills to the next level.

Create soft shadows using the flash setting

The flash on a smartphone camera doesn’t always yield the best results. In some cases, it can cause contrast and make for really unflattering images – especially when taking photos of people!

However, if you’re shooting in a well-lit area and your subject is casting undesired shadows, turning the flash on can actually help soften or remove these shadows. Embrace the effect that light and shadow can have on your photography and play around with the flash to achieve different perspectives of your subject.

Photography tips to bear in mind

  • Look for the light – Shooting images where there is more light will give you a clearer and sharper image. Utilise natural daylight and avoid backlighting where possible
  • Shoot in bursts – Taking a lot of photos in quick succession gives you much more choice when selecting your favourite image to show off. Plus, you may also capture something in the moment which you could have missed if you had only taken the one money shot
  • Keep your lens clean – If you want clean and clear photos, make sure that you keep your lens clean. If you keep your phone in a bag or pocket, make sure to give it a clean every now and then to avoid smudges or a build-up of dust and dirt
  • Don’t take things too seriously – Photography is all about having fun, experimenting with different techniques and capturing something special. As with most things, the more you practice the better you will become but having fun along the way is much more important!

We hope our list of top smartphone photography tips has left you feeling inspired. For more hints, tips and photography know-how, check out the Pixa Prints blog.