Photography, as we all know, is not real at all. It is an illusion of reality with which we create our own world. -Arnold Newman
Your camera phone’s capabilities can be stretched much further than you may have tried. A good photographer with a smartphone can get a far better picture than an ignorant one with a Canon in his hands… After all, photography did exist way before SLR cameras came into the market!
A good photo is a good photo, no matter what it’s taken with. Keeping that in mind, here are a few smartphone photography tips for getting super creative photos with your phone!
1. Always Clean Your Camera Lens
It is safe to say that our phones are literally glued to our palms and just the way we dust ourselves off at the end of the day, a quick wipe of the camera lens with a clean soft cloth should do the trick and remove any dust that may have settled on your phone camera while you were travelling in that bus or walking through the crowd at the train station. A cleaner lens will be able to focus on objects better and provide a vivid result!
Image courtesy : Leslie St. John
2. Take Control, Get Out Of Auto Mode!
All phones come to you in a default setting to shoot pictures in ‘ideal’ conditions. But when has life ever put us in ideal conditions?
Make sure you turn auto mode off, make sure your camera shoots at the highest quality possible.
Play around with the white balance and exposure and figure out which lighting calls for which amount. Get to know your device! Only then will it be able to provide you with what you need.
Image courtesy : Leslie St. John
3. Learn To Focus…
…more on how you’re capturing, instead of only focusing on what you’re capturing. It is important to understand that unlike professional cameras, our phones react to light much differently and therefore, by shifting focus on the right object you can end up with a well balanced image.
Image courtesy : Evelyne Sieber
4. Run Away From The Flash!
If possible, never use flash.
Always look for external light sources, preferably natural light, to illuminate your subject.
Using flash will make the image two dimensional, cause unwanted reflection and tamper with the colours of the subject among many other things which will definitely not deliver you the pizza you ordered.
Image courtesy : Val Vasylkevych
5. Zooming In Is Code Red
The camera’s digital zoom works on taking a part of the picture and literally guessing what the rest of it looks like, which explains why your zoomed in image has a lot of primary coloured grains in it… This is unavoidable as we do have physical limitations with camera phones but there is hope if we’re desperate:
Cropping and expanding does significantly less damage to the quality of the image as opposed to capturing the image while zoomed in.
The best alternative though, would be to get closer to the subject ourselves.
Image courtesy : Caity Lindskoog
6. Edit, Don’t Filter
Post processing is definitely not a crime, contrary to popular belief. As long as it is done right, retouching images can make a good photo an even better photo. Using filters may seem tempting on the social media scale but filters take away important elements from pictures and wash them in colour gradients that do harm when not used wisely. Avoid overexposing and pushing the saturation off the charts as these tend to make the image less realistic and more graphic.
Image courtesy : Michael Kestin
It is best to get your hands on a good photo editing application that has a large array of organic tools which can be used individually.
7. Switch Perspectives & Stay Patient
Since one does not bear the burden of protecting a precious camera from physical damage, take the liberty to move about and shoot your subject from different angles, get up close and personal, lay down on the ground, shoot through the bushes!
Just remember to use the volume button as a shutter to add stability.
When capturing a moving subject, stand in a stable position, and use a steady hand; if you’re nervous, portable tripods are easily available too!
Image courtesy : Firdaus Omar
We are also quite conditioned to the 16:9 frame of our selfies, try shooting in landscape mode more often.
It offers larger area coverage and can be retouched and cropped with ease! Panorama shots are a boon to this world, while it sure is tricky getting the perfect panorama shot the first time, it is an option unavailable to DSLR users who would have to sit through hours of photo stitching and post processing.
Image courtesy : Paul via Flickr
8. Don’t Take Just One Shot!
We are always looking for second chances, except in photography – where most great photos are either accidents or the hundredth shot – one cannot stop at one. Take multiple shots and don’t be afraid of taking a bad picture because you can always delete it in just two taps of your screen.
Invest in a good SD card though, one cannot land up with a phone that’s too slow to react to the opportunity of a good photo.
Image courtesy : Anita Meis
9. Share Your Work!
With a DSLR, one would need to transport files from the camera to a device. Once on the device, one would require a good amount of blood sweat and tears to process the raw files. Only after one is done processing, you’d need to wait through the upload process and finally, you would find your image in the void called the world wide web. But with your smartphone, you would be able to upload your image withing a minute of capturing it!
Image courtesy : Darja Bilyk
Photography is all about sharing your stories and your experiences. By acquainting yourself with the limits and capabilities of your device, you can share wonders, inspire people and tell people the story you want you want to tell them rather than just another automatic setting telling them the same old one…