12 Tips for taking better photos using your camera phone.
Before I became a photographer, I’ve gone traveling with my phone camera which is an Iphone 5 and shoot pretty much everything that I saw. I was eager to have my phone camera in my hand and photograph every waking moment. But then, I returned with way too many photographs and I’ve become overwhelmed with what to do with them all. Since becoming a professional photographer, I’ve learned a few tips along the way. So today, I want to talk about how to strategically take better photographs using your phone camera. A few weeks ago, I travelled to El Nido to be with my tourist clients, so I made sure I brought my phone camera along to document my adventures. What I’ve learned over the years is that, less is more. It’s more important to document a couple of moments that captures the its entirety, rather than shooting tons of photos to merely show where you are. This lead me to the following.
1: Shoot when there’s plenty of light. Camera phones has small sensors and it can only do so much shooting in low light and may possibly create lots of noise and also affect the quality of the image.
Shot when there’s plenty of light.
Taken late in the afternoon when available light was limited and almost getting dark.
Notice how noisy when zoomed in?
2: Try shooting into the light. It can look great and very dramatic.
It looks ok using the ambient light.
But shooting into the light gave the bottle more dramatic effects.
3: See if your phone camera has exposure control so you can choose which part of the image is brighter or darker. It puts you in control. This can be perfect for back lighting specially for portraits to have a high key background.
4: Don’t put the horizon in the middle when shooting a scene or landscape. If the subject is the sky, then have more sky than land or vice versa.
5: Don’t always shoot with the phone camera upright. Some photos like scenery and landscapes look better with the phone on its side.This image looks OK having more sky shooting on upright.
But it looks more pleasing when it’s on its side.
6: Be creative in using the exposure. Most of the new phone cameras can specifically the subject. This is perfect for back lighting to have a high key background specially for portraits, or creating nice silhouettes.
7: Use grid line if it’s available on your phone camera. Not only will this help you level vertical and horizontal lines properly but will also show intersection. Try to put your subject where the line meets, this will also create a better composition.
8: Get closer. Try to get as close as possible to your subject instead of cramming the entire frame with lots of things going on, this would serve as a detail that tells a story. Small detail shots can be quite effective if done right.
9: Edit, Don’t Filter -I’m not anti-Instagram. I think the sharing element is fantastic, but the pre-define “retro” washes are played out. And that goes for every other app giving the same thing. I suggest getting a full-on image editing app like the SnapSeed or Photoshop Express. They’ll let you make amazing adjustments, like contrast, sharpness, and color temperature.
10: Don’t use the flash if you don’t need to. The thing about phone camera flashes is that they don’t actually, well, flash. They’re glorified LED flash-lights. You might end up having a terribly lit image not to mention how close it is to the lens, which makes those horrible red eyes. If you can manage shooting with available natural light this will be more flattering.
- Share your images. There’s tons of ways to share your ramblings online but I’m thrilled to discover Clickasnap which is the world’s first photo hosting site that pays you when someone looks at your photo. You can create different albums for your vacation, random days, build your portfolio etc. Now you can share your beloved images while you earn something from it all in one place.
12: Above all, think before you shoot and make your photos tell a story about where you’ve been, who you met and the impression they left on you. If you use these tips, it will help color and diversify your phone camera photography and you will find that you are not taking
too many photos because you are being a lot more strategic in the photos you are taking, as well as them being a little bit more aesthetically pleasing. While the tips I’ve given here will help you maximize the strengths and minimize weaknesses of a phone camera, it’s ultimately your skill, knowledge and eye that will make photos worth looking at.
With thanks to Melissa Fox