Last Updated on August 29, 2021 by PixelPluck
With the constant evolution of technology, the smartphone cameras are getting on par with an entry-level point and shoot or even outperforming them in some areas. The modern flagship smartphones carry optics that outperform an entry-level camera from 10 years ago. The markets have evolved so much that entry-level point and shoot cameras are now a thing of the past. In this blog post, you will find the 5 Beginner Tips for Phone Photography for both iOS and Android.
Phone photography is just like normal photography. You still need the skills and technical knowledge to make a good photograph. A good brush can not make a great piece of art. It needs a good Artist. Likewise, the phone camera itself won’t shoot better photos. You need to make it happen using your skill and creativity. To be a better photographer you need to improve your vision.
Here are 5 Beginner Tips for Phone Photography.
1. Learn about the basics of Photography
Shooting with a phone does not change the basic rules of Photography viz. composition, framing, perspective, etc. Many online resources may help to get started. As such, there is no hard and fast rule, but following the general guidelines would help you immensely to get better results. Read 10 Basic Rules of photography to understand how to instantly take better photos.
2. Click lots of Photograph
The more you click, the faster you improve. Learn from your mistakes. See what you did wrong in the previous Photo, or what you could have done better. Make clicking a habit. There are lots of things around us in nature as well as objects which can make an interesting subject with a fresh point of view. Creativity is the key. Experimenting and learning by doing is the way forward in Photography. It will help you to discover and build your photographic style.
3. Keep your hands still while taking Photo
Most smartphones don’t come with an inbuilt motion stabilizer. This means even the slightest handshake or vibration may cause blurred images. Look for an object around on which you can put your phone for support. It may act as a tripod alternative. Especially for the macro shots where the depth of field is very small and little shake may result in an out-of-focus subject. Read How to Stabilize the Camera
4. Do not use Digital zoom
Yes, you read it right. Do not use the digital zoom feature. What your phone does is that it just magnifies the pixels, which means there is no additional data in the pixels. You can achieve the same thing by taking a normal photo. Just crop and magnify any portion and it’s the same as digital zoom. Using digital zoom is a negative feature that reduces the amount of information inside a photo. Better take photos without digital zoom and then crop them. That way you will also get a wider field of view.
4. Composition, Background, and Perspective
There are many rules of composition like Rules of Third, Golden Ratio, etc. Rule of thirds is the most popular in photography. Avoid distracting backgrounds behind your subject. This will help to contain the focus of the viewer’s eye on the subject. Get down to the level of the subject to get an interesting perspective. You can be creative with perspective. this is particularly useful in macro photography.
Lighting is one of the most important aspects of photography. Utilize natural and artificial sources of light in the best possible way. Generally, the flash-on phone camera is not balanced. It may overexpose close subjects and be not enough for distant objects. Phone flash may also give a yellow color cast on the subject. One trick which I often use is using the flash of another phone as a primary light source. This improves the quality of Photograph and also help you to be creative by projecting light from different angles to get unconventional results.
Using a light source helps in getting a cleaner image as the noise level is minimum. Higher ISO produces lots of grains/noise in images in a phone camera. When you are shooting a portrait outdoor or say taking a selfie, find the brightest patch of light in the shadow area. Avoid direct light on the subject as well as heavy back-lighting. You can use HDR modes of Camera in back-lit situations to ensure that the subject is not underexposed (dark).
Additional Tips for Phone Photography
- Learn to use manual mode controls in your Camera.
- Use creative modes present in the Camera. eg. Fireworks mode to get slower shutter speed and get light trails.
- Touch focus is very useful for macro shots to get your focus spot on.
- Keep the lens of your phone camera clean and smudge free. A microfiber cloth for cleaning comes handy.
- Use phone macro lens add on for better macro photos.
- Using proper orientation depending upon subject is important. Chose landscape or portrait mode.
- You can take panorama when the angle is not wide enough to include entire subject and then crop it suitably.
- Use smart apps like Snapseed (Android & iOS) for post processing and minor adjustments. Its one of the best apps available for phone.
- Do not destroy the image by over editing and adding stupid filters.
- Megapixels don’t reflect the quality of optics on phone.
These 5 Beginner Tips for Phone Photography will help you improve your phone photography. You don’t essentially need a dedicated DSLR or Mirrorless camera to get better at photography. Some stunning results can be produced using phone cameras when you control the sources and angles of light.