The other day I was sitting in a restaurant preparing to take a pic of my excellent looking food, and it occurred to me that I can’t remember the last time I carried a camera that wasn’t part of my smartphone. Can you?
The improvements the smartphone companies have made to their cameras over the past few years have made carrying a separate camera a thing of the past for most of us. Unless you are a photographer by trade or a camera enthusiast, why would you want to lug one around when you have a pretty decent one in the palm of your hand?
Since I love to take pics with my phone cam and they sometimes come out less than stellar I thought I’d put together this list of tips on how to use your smartphone to capture poster worthy images.
It’s All About the Light
It isn’t always possible to catch the light just right when you are taking pics of the family get together in the park, and that’s okay. Bad family photos make some of the best stories, and they are certainly good for a laugh.
However, for those times when you want to capture a breathtaking image be sure you plan to take it about an hour after the sun rises or an hour before sunset because these are considered the golden hours for lighting by pro photographers.
Ditch the Flash
Avoid using the flash on your phone’s camera. A little-known fact about photography is that if you take a pic in low light, you can use editing software to add the light back into the image. However, when you overexpose the image the details are obliterated by the excess light. The image below from The Next Web is an excellent example of how your flash can wash out the details:
The camera flash can also discolor your image (for example, turning your skin yellow) and add that all too familiar red eye that is almost impossible to edit out.
So take your pics without the flash in low light and then use a photo editing tool to brighten it up. Check out this article for more tips on how to get the best from your low light pics.
Edit Like a Pro
Speaking of photo editing tools, I’m sure most of you know that the majority of professional photos are edited to look their best using Photoshop or some other image editing software. But did you know that there are apps for your phone that can help you edit like a pro photographer—without spending 100’s of hours learning how? With apps like Snapseed, you can edit your pics right on your phone. This is especially handy when you want to share awesome pics to social media during an event because you can snap, edit, and upload high-quality pics directly from your phone.
Just imagine zapping away that awful zit, cropping out an old bae from your fave shot, or getting rid of zombie red eye with a couple of taps on your phone! You can do all this and more with photo editing apps.
Pay Attention to Composition
Composition in photography simply means that all of the elements you include in your image. When you are using your phone screen to decide where to focus or what to add you are choosing the composition of the photo. For example, if you are taking a pic of your friends in front of the Eiffel Tower and you move the camera to the left to get more of the tower in the shot, you are determining the composition of that particular pic.
Check this awesome list by Digital Photo Secrets for more detailed info about composition in photos.
Do Something with Your Pics
How many photos do you have on your phone that are just sitting there collecting virtual dust? I know that many of the photos I take on my phone just sit in the memory and never get shared and I have some really awesome travel pics in there.
If you’re like me then why not do something really cool with some of your favorite images, like turn them into canvas prints or holiday ornaments today?