Smartphones are ubiquitous and there are billions of images clicked every day using these handy devices.
With the availability of computational photography and AI capabilities, smartphones are becoming closer to DSLRs when it comes to picture quality.
The best camera is the camera that you have most of the time.
Smartphones are handy and easy to carry and they are non-intrusive.
I have been called out by security guards and policemen several times when I am using my DSLR, but when I am using a mobile, nobody really cares.
Smartphone Photography is improving every year with phones like Google Pixel 3XL or even 3a using the AI at its best to optimize background blur, colors, the dynamic range and overall picture quality things are really moving ahead.
The trend for 2019-20 is going to have triple or even Quad Rear cameras where you can get the versatility of a DSLR in a tiny mobile. (Read – DSLR Vs Smartphone – Which is Better?).
The major benefit of having 3-4 lenses in mobiles is the ability to click wide-angle photos, Zoom Photos, or having a better bokeh effect using depth of field.
12 Tip to Take Better Photos With Your Mobile Phone
- Keep your lens clean – if your lens is dirty, your images will have noise. Not too many people bother about cleaning the lens before taking images.
- Stand Still & hold the camera phone with a strong grip – Try to keep your hands still and take the support of elbows and your body to reduce the shake. Your images will have less blur and most of the photos will come out better.
- Avoid Digital ZOOM – Digitial Zoom is not useful in most scenarios. If you need to get closer to a subject, you’re much better by stepping closer to them. Or in case you have a phone like Oppo Reno 10x Zoom or Huawei P30 Pro with optical zoom then you can use it. Also, sometimes it is important to crop the pictures for better framing using a photo editing App.
- Use camera FLASH wisely – The LED flash is a useful feature. Some photographers tend to use them often and others avoid them altogether. If you don’t have enough light to work with, they can at least ensure that you take a usable picture. The Auto flash feature on mobiles uses flash more often than required. And that white LED light can be really harsh in your photographs. Using an aftermarket diffuser with mobile is a great idea for flash photography. You may find, even in some lower light situations, that turning off the flash will give you better results. So snap one photo with, and one without flash and compare them to get a better picture.
- Get a good camera app if you are having trouble with the stock app you can use apps like Camera Google Camera App (GCAM), or ZOOM FX for Android or Camera+ for the iPhone. Moreover, there are tons of other free apps to try. I mostly use the stock camera App and Google Camera App to take better images.
- Keep your phone pictures saving ability at highest resolution: Most camera apps have a setting that allows you to take pictures at differing resolutions. Low resolutions may help you take small size images but will impact the quality so check your camera app to use the highest resolution. Also, these days many phones are coming with 48MP camera which I don’t think adds more detail to images. Can check my comparison of 48 MP camera Vs standard 12MP Camera.
- Adjust Your White Balance: Usually, camera phones are pretty good at detecting the white balance, but when you get into low light they can have trouble. If you are clicking in the low light open camera app and let it adjust to low light for 2-3 seconds so it manages the white exposure well. You can even switch to PRO mode on your phone to select the white balance if you think the colors are not coming correctly. White Balance is a complex subject and you may want to explore it in more detail to get a hold on to it.
- Lighting is Most Important – Your camera matters, but lighting is more important. Lighting can give a mood, life and a theme to your photos. The biggest problem with smartphones is their inability to manage exposure. The exposure is one of the best settings to play with in dim or backlit situations. Both in the low light and very bright scenes camera tends to either overexpose or underexpose in auto settings. You can at times take better pictures using the manual mode.
- Go Black & White in post processing– If minor color edits aren’t helping at all, you can always go full black and white or cross-process your image. At times a bit of oversaturated or B&W image looks far better than a natural looking image. This will get rid of any major color issues your picture has and can make your picture look great.
- Take Your Time and treat your phone as a real Camera: Smartphone photos on Flickr, Facebook, and Instagram get a bad reputation for being terrible. It is because most of the photos on these sites are taken not as photographs, but as a way of sharing moments – they’re snapshots. Real Photographers take time to adjust lighting, framing, and other several tiny details. Take your time make adjustments get into position, stay still & try to click better pictures, not snapshots.
- Focusing: Many phones have basic cameras that use a focus-free system (which means pretty much everything stays in focus all the time). However, more and more phones are starting to have high-quality cameras that require focusing. When you touch on the screen, camera focuses on the subject you are trying to photograph, let it focus completely before clicking.
- Use editing software: While you may be able to perform a certain amount of editing and add effects right there on your smartphone, editing pictures on your computer can produce much better results. Free Photo-editing software like Picasa, Gimp or Paint.net can make pictures way better than the stock images. You can also use Apps like SnapSeed from Google On your mobile to make your pictures even better. Post Processing is more important than you think. A good image can be made better by little touch-up.
So here are some of the tips to take better images using your phone camera. This is not an exhaustive list there are tons of other things that you need to understand for taking better images.
I will try to add more mobile photography tips to this list in the coming days.
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