A smartphone versus camera. You might think that a camera is way better for taking pictures since that is the only job it has to do. On the other hand, smartphones are used for so many things. You would be surprised to know that these days, more and more companies are creating smartphones that have a really good camera. After all, the smartphone is the most compact way of taking pictures. Your phone is always with you. A camera requires a lot more effort to carry around, because of the separate bag. Usually, cameras are pretty heavy if they have a better lens with them. Smartphones are compact, they fit in your pocket and everything is easy to use with no additional buttons. You are probably wondering how to take good photos with a phone? These tips will help you with your daily photos.
Table of Content
17 Tips on How to Take Good Photos with Phone
Keep the Lens Clean
It may sound simple but regardless of that, many people forget to clean their lens before taking a picture. The lens of a real camera is usually protected with a cap. A smartphone lens does not have that kind of protection. So, keeping your lens clean will help make your pictures look better.
Now I know what you are thinking, forget about it because cleaning it with your t-shirt will not actually clean it. Clothes will just keep spreading the dirt around. In this case, you should invest in a lens cloth. This way you are removing all the dirt, dust, greasiness and so on. Keep both of your cameras clean this way. The back and front camera will thank you for it.
Possibilities of the Smartphone Camera
Look closely at all the option the phone camera has to offer. Go to the settings option when opening the camera app and read everything. See what the quality is and what features it has. Usually, everything is set in automatic mode just like a real camera. With this, your picture will turn out normal.
But if you want to get more structured photos look around the settings of the camera. Test the full potential of the camera that your smartphone has. This will give you more options to play around and you will get a feeling that you are using an expensive camera.
Knowing the possibilities of your smartphone camera is not enough. You should look at its limits as well. In this case, you should look at how closely you can get with the quality and features to the real camera. One day maybe smartphone photography will be a bigger hit than regular photography.
After you discovered the limits of your camera there is nothing much left to do. You can ask yourself if those limits are enough for you. If they are not, then next time while buying a smartphone maybe only focus on the camera possibilities. If you don’t feel like investing in a real camera this can be a better way for every photo enthusiast.
Of course, these cameras have their ultimate limits. When it comes to lighting, zoom and blur. These situations are still not resolved with the smartphone camera and can only be handled with a professional camera. Always be aware of that when thinking of replacing your DSLR with a smartphone camera. (Click here to find out 5 Reasons Why Some Phone Cameras Are Better Than A DSLR Camera)
The higher the resolution of a photo, the more memory it is going to take. In this case, if you rely on your smartphone as the main resource of taking pictures for a vacation, you need to be sure that you have enough memory to store all the pictures. A solution to this could be to buy a bigger memory card or even a separate one that you will only use for pictures.
Another solution could be to transfer all of your pictures on your computer or a USB after a long day of taking pictures. This way you will have more space for pictures that may come tomorrow. If you don’t want to transfer anything, the easiest option would be to buy a 32 GB card that will probably be more than enough space for all of your pictures.
No Wild Snaps!
If you actually want to use your smartphone as a permanent camera replacement, then think before taking a picture. Don’t just go around snapping everything that you see. This method might work for a camera, but it’s not intended with smartphone photography. It is really simple to avoid this mistake (Read what are the 6 Most Common Phone Camera Mistakes Everyone Does). Think before taking a picture. Make a composition, get the right light and then take the picture.
A smartphone camera actually requires a lot more preparation and thinking than a professional camera since it has its limits. Try to take the picture in an area that will not test the camera’s limits, rather enhance the already existing features. This will give you much better results than just wildly snapping around.
Rule of Third
Also known as the golden rule, this is the secret that makes your picture look like it had a composition that took some time and effort. It is connected to the knowledge of image design. Photographers that use a professional camera need to have this mentally drawn out because when you look through the lens you don’t see any of these lines.
In this case, a smartphone camera can help you much more. Since you are looking at the screen to take a picture there will be an option of putting those lines on your screen. You should use this option until you get it in your head. You put this rule in action by setting the subject that you want to capture on any of the 3 lines. Either horizontal or vertical. This will give off a much more composed picture in the end result.
Align Your Horizon
Probably one of the steps that is always forgotten and done wrong. This is the secret of taking a picture like a professional. How to fix this? You can work on fixing this problem by using the rule of thirds and simply placing the horizon on one of the horizontal lines and aligning them. Always, but always make sure the horizon is straight before taking a picture.
This will really make a drastic change to the way the picture looks. This is one of the situations where you should not only focus on the subject but also the background. Images that have a horizon that is crooked, will always be deleted in the end because they don’t look right to the human eye.
Use the Existing Light
Like I said, the mobile phone camera comes to its limits when the light is questioned. You don’t want to make it even more difficult for yourself and the camera by putting it in conditions that will not give up a good picture. Always look at the lighting conditions and make sure the camera can handle it.
The light is softest at sunrise and dawn so use this to your advantage. Create magical photos in this time of the day. The middle of the day where the sun is the brightest, you should avoid taking pictures then. In this time of the day, the camera has to deal with harsh shadows, strong contrasts and bright light. Smartphone cameras are not made for these conditions so keep that in mind when taking a picture during the middle of the day.
As I said, an important step in how to take good photos with the phone is to look at the settings and possibilities of your camera and to set them up correctly. Setting the best quality will give you the best end result. Of course, this will give you larger image files but if you are prepared and have backup memory, as we talked about, this should not be a problem.
If you want to know how to take professional pictures with the phone, this step is really important, and the picture quality will really show off.
Regardless of what you do, always keep the flash option off. Every smartphone camera comes with a flash option just like every professional camera as well. But just because it comes with it, does not mean you should use it. The flash will only blind the person in front of you and create red eyes, make the person blink or even destroy the perfect nature of a shot. This is something you don’t want when taking pictures.
In the end, it’s not so charming as it would have been if you only kept the flash off.
Possibly the worst option to use on a smartphone camera. A professional camera has optical zoom, so zooming in will adjust the quality, keeping it just as it was taken without any zoom at all. A smartphone camera, on the other hand, has a digital zoom, which means that zooming in will make it lose all the quality. Rather than zooming in on something, just walk closer to it, if it’s possible and safe for you to do so.
In all other means, this is one of the reasons why the smartphone camera will not replace the classic camera, at least not in the near future.
Lens for Your Smartphone Camera
A normal camera will allow you to change the lens on it, a smartphone camera does not have that option. This does not mean that you can’t add lenses to the already existing smartphone camera. One of the most popular and used lens on smartphone cameras would be the fish-eye lens. This lens has a very large angle, this way the image gets an almost 180-degree angle and a look on your environment. These lenses are actually cheap and can be bought in a bundle since they are really small.
If you are willing to experiment with your camera maybe get one of these sets and take a different view on your environment.
How to Take Good Photos with Phone If Phone Is Dead?
Yes, power bank. Just as we mentioned that you should always have a separate memory card, this is nothing other than having an additional battery with you. There is nothing worse than having your phone die because it has no battery anymore. When you were in the middle of the shooting and still have a half a day in front of you but no camera to document it. Be prepared for these kinds of situations and always bring a separate power bank with you that holds one or two charges for your phone battery.
And the answer to this question is resounding NO, you can’t take good photos with the phone if the phone is dead.
If there is a camera tripod, why shouldn’t there be a cellphone one? The same logic is applied when looking at why you should have a smartphone tripod with you. You can take awesome self-portraits without having to bother anyone to help you with it. Yes… of course, you have a front camera, but that camera comes with less of a quality and settings then the back (main) camera has. So why not use a tripod and make your picture taking experience easier.
A selfie stick is also a type of tripod. Though you can’t put it up on the ground, you can give your camera a higher viewpoint with it. This is mostly used for taking selfies in front of a great landscape that you want to show in the picture. For these type of photos, a selfie stick is a perfect solution. Maybe give it a try and see for yourself if it works for you or not.
If you were wondering how to take good photos with phone underwater, with a phone that is not water resistant, the answer is simple. Just buy an underwater case. This type of additional gear can be very useful in the summertime. It will help you take underwater pictures without having to own a waterproof camera. This case can be also useful for taking pictures in areas which can get a camera to be exposed to water and damage it.
Your smartphone is after all precious to you, and you should protect it the best way possible.
What I mean by this is to get gloves that have fingertips which allow you to control your smartphone without having to take them off. Since it is not warm 24/7 all year around these will come in handy. The best use you will get out of them is during the winter time when you want to take those amazing winter photos but not at the cost of having your hands freeze while doing it.
Today you can find these gloves in any fashion store. The reason for this would be that these days everyone is using their smartphones all day long. This can be tricky in the winter time or any colder time of the year. These gloves are not only good for texting but also for controlling your smartphone camera. So, try them out for yourself. I can guarantee that you will get the most use out of them since they are good for all in general when using your phone during colder days.
Smartphones are more and more popular and people use them almost every day. They are the most practical way of taking pictures and the reason for that is because our smartphone is always with us.
Nermin Grahovic is a photography enthusiast and photography blogger based in Europe. His images are fun, creative and exciting and his love for travel makes its way into most of his images. Some of his favorite photography genres are portraits, street, landscape, and industrial photography.
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