Do you want to improve your smartphone photography skills, but you’ve got no idea where to start? Well, we’re here to help you harness the power of your smartphone to get smarter camera results. Simply by following our essential phone camera tips and tricks below, you’ll be able to learn how to dramatically elevate your photography skills and take the most stunning photos.
1. Clean Your Lenses
So many potentially amazing photos are ruined because the phone’s camera lenses are smudged with dirty and greasy fingerprints. So, obviously the first thing you need to do is clean your lenses. While using cleaning fluid with a soft microfibre cloth or glasses wipes is the most effective way to remove any residual dirt, you can always just breathe on your lens and give it a wipe with your shirt.
2. Ensure Focus Is Sharp
The sensors in most mobile phones are set to focus automatically. Either the camera will focus on everything within the frame of an average shot, or on the most obvious object in the foreground. Unfortunately, that means sometimes the camera sensor isn’t automatically focused where you need. To ensure your main subject is in focus, simply touch your screen and move the yellow square over your subject area. By using your phone’s set focus feature, you can ensure your photo is in sharp focus wherever you want it to be.
3. Adjust The Exposure Levels
The technology in smartphone cameras has become so good that most photos you snap will be exposed correctly. But when you’re photographing scenes with more complex dark shadows and bright lights, it can sometimes confuse the camera sensors. Simply touch the screen above your subject so the sensors can automatically balance the exposure of your picture to suit. Alternatively, you can manually adjust exposure levels by dragging the little slider beside the yellow box up or down as needed.
4. Utilise HDR For High Contrast
HDR or High Dynamic Range was created so more details can be captured when a scene has a large range in the difference between dark and bright areas. When you select the HDR setting on your phone, the camera will take a series of three photos, each with different exposures of normal, light, and dark. The camera then combines all three photos using HDR to blend together the detailed highlights and shadows from each one to create one single final image.
5. Keep The Camera Steady
One of the most common problems with camera phones is taking blurry photos. This blur is usually caused by camera-shake, which happens whenever the camera is moved at the moment the shot is taken. Therefore, if you really want to start improving the quality of your pictures, it’s important to keep the camera steady and stable. If you’re standing up, hold onto your mobile phone camera with both hands, with your feet at shoulder width and your elbows tucked into your body. You can also use a tripod to stabilise your camera phone, or by bracing yourself against something solid and stationary like walls, cars, trees, and more.
6. Blur Backgrounds With Portrait Mode
While it’s called Portrait Mode, this function on most camera phones can be used to isolate any subject to help them stand out from the scenery in the background. The reason Portrait Mode works so well is because it uses depth-aware software to ensure foreground subjects are in sharp focus while blurring whatever is behind them. Whenever you want to blur the area behind your subject, simply change the camera mode at the bottom of the screen. Just be aware that the Portrait Mode filter can sometimes struggle with busy backgrounds.
7. Click Away With Burst Mode
Most smartphones these days will have burst mode included. By holding down the shutter button, this feature allows you to take photos continuously in rapid succession. It just keeps clicking away and taking photos every split second until you decide to stop by releasing the button. While this versatile tool is primarily used for taking action shots, burst mode can be used in any other situation to capture that perfect moment in time. Because you should always have at least one or two good shots within each burst of captured photos.
8. Switch Between Zoom Lenses
Whenever you’re taking long distance photos, you might want to use the digital zoom to get a closer shot of your subject. But using digital zoom isn’t the best idea as the zoomed images will usually lack sharpness and appear quite blurry, grainy, or pixelated. That being said, this won’t be an issue if your smartphone has a dual or triple-lens, because these cameras use optical zoom by switching between each lens. To change between them, simply choose from the available lenses in yellow at the bottom of your screen. If you don’t know which lens suits best for your composition, just take a shot with each lens and choose the best one!
It’s always a great idea to think outside the box before framing and capturing each picture you take. Because at the end of the day, photography is ultimately all about having fun, experimenting, and enjoying the creativity.