Mobile phone photography

How To Take Perfect Phone Photos

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How to Take Perfect Phone Photos

Our phones are often glued to the palm of our hands, so it’s no surprise that they are our camera of choice whilst we’re on the go. In fact, they’re the camera of choice for many above the more professional choices on the market – and for good reason too.

The quality of phone cameras rival the biggest of brand names when it comes to snapping away, and with our phone in our bag or pockets at all times we’re ready to capture a moment in an instant.

Taking perfect photos is an art form, and not something which can be learnt overnight. We’ve spoken to the experts at USB4Photographers and put together some top tips to help you make your phone photos picture perfect…who knows you could be the next Annie Lebovitz or Rankin!

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Use the Phone Grid Setting

Our phones are on our side when it comes to making our pictures look amazing, so use their settings to help you make your photos look incredible. Turn on the grid setting in your phone settings to bring up a grid every time you take a photo.

Now you need to get your heard round the rule of thirds – which if you’re a budding photographer you’ll likely already know all about this. The idea is you then have nine parts to the photo in the grid. You should be aiming to place the focus or points of interest in the four intersection points of the middle square. The aim is you then use the negative space more creatively, than just plonking your subject in the middle of the frame.

Burst Mode

Natural frames often make for the best photos, but capturing them isn’t always easy. As soon as you tell someone to ‘act natural’ things always seem to become incredibly forced. Taking photos in burst mode in quick succession can aid in capturing action shots, which take on that ‘I’m posing, but not posing’ element.

Burst mode is best used when taking moving shots. Whether your subject is walking across a street in New York, snowboarding in the Alps or walking down the aisle, burst mode can allow you to capture natural shots that you could never possibly stage.

Focus, Focus, Focus

Sometimes photos need to be posed within an inch of their life, or you want a crisp looking photo with everything in focus. Phone cameras have improved greatly over the past few years, so try tapping the screen to help improve the focus.

You don’t necessarily need to focus the camera on the middle point of the photo either, much like the rule of thirds you can tap your focus so that it sits slightly off centre. Tapping the screen can also improve the lighting in the photo, so play around and see what works best for your frame.

Crop, Don’t Zoom

Sometimes the subject of your photos isn’t always straight in front of you, but quit the temptation to zoom in on the matter and instead crop your photo afterwards. When you zoom on a smartphone there’s no lens to magnify your desired focal point, leading to a pixelated photo.

The best way to stop pixilation? Move closer to your subject. Whilst this isn’t always possible, you can alternatively crop your image after you’ve taken it to avoid zooming in, however cropping can change the perspective the photo was taken from so try not to alter things too much post-photo.

Get Your Angles Right

We’ve just talked about perspective, so it’s probably best we talk about how to get your angles right too. Every time you move the camera, your angle and perspective of what you’re shooting changes so play around and see what works best.

Shooting from a low angle can allow other people and subjects stand out against a backdrop, whilst you should try to photograph children and low objects at their level to avoid a bird’s eye view.

Use Your Headphones

Yes really! Your headphones can be used as a mini remote to take photos too. All you need to do is plug in your headphones and press the volume up button. Particularly handy if you’re taking a selfie or you’re using a tripod.

Tripods can be found relatively cheaply online these days and can help to keep your shots steady, and with zero shake. Tripods are useful if you want to take close up or group shots, whilst keeping the photo clear.

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Don’t filter

We’re all obsessed with a filter, and many of us turn to them to edit out any imperfections and add a layer of fantasy to our photos, but they shouldn’t always be the first port of call when trying to create the perfect image.

Play around with the brightness and saturation settings on your image before you reach for your favourite filter. The basic photo editing apps can often do a lot more for making your image more improved than a filter ever will.

If You Do Filter…

Like I said, we can’t all resist a filter so if you do choose to use them then these are some of the best photo editing apps out there. Snapseed, VSCO and TouchRetouch are some of the most popular filtering apps on the market.

If you’re going to use your photos on Instagram, many often choose to stick to a few favourite filters to keep a consistent theme. VSCO allows you to edit your photo and copy previous edits across to new photos, saving you the hassle of editing your photos each time – providing the edits don’t look out of place on different photos.

Swot up on your photography knowledge with our tips and try getting creative with your phone next time you get snap happy. We bet your pictures will look just as good as some of those taken with all singing and dancing cameras!

 

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Michel
    December 12, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    I was going to say ‘for great photos use the phone to call a friend’ but the don’t zoom is great advice.

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