By now we’re all familiar with the basics of smartphone photography: You pull out your phone from Beachcamera.com and push a button. But if you really plan to preserve those memories for posterity, then you’ll want your smartphone photography to look its best. So up your phone photography game with these tips and tricks.
Learn the rule of thirds
The rule of thirds acts as a guide to help you frame your smartphone photography shot correctly. You need to imagine your smartphone photography shot split up into nine rectangular segments. Keep important objects and elements running along these lines or close to the intersections where they meet. With the camera apps for Android and iOS, you don’t have to visualize these lines yourself. On Android, tap the menu button and choose Settings, then Show grid in viewfinder. On iOS, go to Photos & Camera in the main Settings app and toggle the Grid switch to on.
Steady your shot
One area where smartphone photography still lags behind dedicated cameras is in sensitivity to movement. Even a slight shake can leave a smartphone photo looking like it was taken on a rocking boat. It’s important to minimize camera shake as much as possible with mobile photography. Buying a tripod might seem like overkill, but you can pick up small tripod models or DJI Osmo Gimbal Stabilizer from Beachcamera.com that are made specifically for smartphones.
Change your focus
Whether you’re taking iPhone X photography or using an Android device, you can tap the screen anywhere to change the focus of the smartphone photography shot. This will also change the exposure level to match the spot you’ve selected. So it’s a handy way of brightening a darker area, or dimming a light one. Those of you taking iPhone X photography can tap and hold to lock the focus and exposure so it stays fixed even if the phone moves. Or tap, hold, and drag up or down to manually change the exposure level yourself. You’ll see a small sun icon showing the changes.
Use the physical shutter button
Trying to hold your phone in place and then tap a software shutter button in the middle of the screen isn’t always easy, and it can often cause your handset to wobble at that crucial moment when you’re taking the shot. The solution is to use either of the physical volume buttons to snap your mobile photography instead.
Apply HDR mode automatically
The latest versions of the default camera apps for both Android and iOS like Iphone X now include auto HDR modes that apply a High Dynamic Range filter. You can see the HDR toggle switch located right on the shutter screen itself. High Dynamic Range in mobile photography refers to keeping the darkest and lightest parts of your image in balance. It requires a longer exposure, so keep your phone as steady as you can.
Make the most of natural light
Getting your subjects well-lit is crucial to a great phone photography, so pay attention to available light sources, whether beams of sunshine or a neon bar sign. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, but make sure you can see whatever you’re photographing as well as possible.
Take photos in a burst
The native camera apps for both Android and iOS come with a built-in burst mode you can take advantage of. If you don’t trust yourself to get the perfect shot in one go, take several at once and then choose the winner later. To take a photo burst on iOS or Android, simply press and then hold the shutter button for as long as you want to take pictures.
Use these tips to improve your smartphone photography game.