Basic Smartphone Photography Tips
Struggling to get to grips with your camera phone? Here are some basic smartphone photography tips to help you on your way.
As well as leaving the phone’s autofocus to its own devices, you can intervene and tell the camera where to focus by tapping onto the screen.
Exposure equates to brightness. An underexposed picture will be too dark and an overexposed picture will be too bright. You can control exposure and get it just right by tapping onto darker or lighter areas of the image before taking the picture.
The enemy of sharp shots! Camera shake is really only a problem when shooting in low light. Try to hold the phone as steadily as you can and avoid jolting it when taking the shot. Steady the phone by resting your elbows on a table or wall if necessary.
If your phone’s camera has an HDR mode, you can use this setting to help it capture a wider range of brightness levels in scenes with very contrasty lighting. For example, a sunset against a darkening hillside.
For fast moving action shots, you can keep your finger down on the trigger for a second or so. The camera will shoot several frames in rapid succession. You can then select the best shot(s) to keep.
Switch off the flash. Food (your dinner!), pets, and people often look pretty awful on phone shots taken using flash. Try switching it off and you’ll see how much more natural things look. Just remember to be careful to hold steady if you want to avoid camera shake.
The arty stuff (Composition)
Keep it simple
Try not to fit too much in – get in close and fill the frame with your subject. Pinch to zoom if necessary.
When photographing small children and animals, crouch or even lie down, so you’re not looking down at them from above.
When shooting scenes, try to find a diagonal line like a road or footpath to lead the viewer’s eye from the bottom corner of the frame to your subject.
Symmetry can look great when shooting with the camera in the upright (portrait) orientation, for example, If shooting a headshot. However, if shooting in the landscape orientation, try offsetting your subject to one side. Newsreaders on TV are an example of this.
Rule of thirds
Try offsetting your subject to one third in from the side, and one third in from the top or bottom of the frame. The grid on your phone’s screen will help with this.
Photograph tall things with the camera upright, and wide things with it horizontally!
…And when shooting video ALWAYS HORIZONTALLY!
Need I say more?
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