Back in the day, it wasn’t easy to take a good photo. Before smartphones you’d need an expensive camera and editing software to stand a chance of taking a great photo. Luckily for us camera technology in smartphones has come on a long way in the last 5 years or so. Although you will still get a better photo from a decent DSLR camera, it is still fairly easy to get a nice picture from a smartphone.
The rule of thirds!
Half the battle with mobile photography is getting the balance right. Most smartphones have the ability to add gridlines. The idea of gridlines is to devide the image into thirds on both the horizontal and vertical. The will give you 9 equal boxes. The rule of thirds suggests keeping the point of focus to the intersects or alone the lines of the grid. This will help the image to look more natural and balanced.
To turn on the grid feature:-
iPhone – Go to “Settings” then “Camera” and switch “Grid” 0n.
Android – Launch the camera app, go to “Settings,” scroll down and switch the “grid lines” option to “on.”
Focus on just one subject.
A lot of the best photo include just one subject! When taking a picture of just one subject, spend time to get it right. Most photographers will tell you, to help help you to keep focus on the subject, 2 thirds of the image should be space.
Tapping on the screen where the subject is will focus the image and lighting on that point.
Make use of filters.
Most smartphone camera apps will have some built in filters. It is amazing how much better an image can look just by applying a different filter to the image. If you want more choice of filters there are plenty of 3rd party apps available for both Apple and Android. I have just (very recently) started using Instagram for sharing images. Instagram has some great filters available, If you don’t know which apps are available Instagram is a great place to start.
Changing the angle (or perspective) that you take the photo can make a big difference. Don’t be afraid to play around with perspective. Try taking a photo laying down straight up at a build, or tree etc for example. Or try taking a photo at an unexpected angle to create depth.
One area when smartphone let you down is the zoom! The majority of smartphones don’t have an optical zoom, even it the do it will be a limited range. Smartphones use digital zoom, which means you compromise quality when zooming. Although not much better you are better taking the image without zooming and then edit the photo after. You will still be compromising on quality, but you have more control. Another option you have are zoom lens attachments for the smartphone. These are physical lens that attach to the phone. Take look at some smartphone lens attachments here
Another weak point of a smartphone is lighting. Use natural lighting! When inside make sure you open curtains and doors to let as much light in as you can. If night time, try to take advantage of any light source like street lights, buildings etc. Once the image has been taken, play around withthe exposure tool in your favourite photo editing app.