Nostalgia is a powerful feeling, and you’re bound to feel it when you take a virtual stroll (or scroll) down memory lane through your camera roll. We’re obsessed with using our camera smartphones to try and capture our best moments, whether we end up sharing them on social media or just saving them for later. By now, most of us have our phones within arm’s reach, poised for just the right second to tap the capture button. But if you want to get the most out of your smartphone camera, there’s more to it than just point-and-shoot.
1) Prepare yourself and your phone for photo taking
- Get to know your phone’s camera
Before you get serious about smartphone photography, it’s important to know what you’re working with. Take a look at your phone’s camera settings. Chances are, your phone has a preset resolution and various default options for controlling focus, exposure and so on. Even though it might seem daunting, the more you can control with your phone’s camera, the better.
- Clean your lens
This one might seem like a no-brainier, but making sure your lens is clean is a must. Our phones are constantly being handled and often kept in lint-ridden handbags and pockets, so fingerprints and flecks of dust on phone camera lenses is common. Both of these things can ruin your shot, so be sure to keep a microfiber cloth handy (a sunglasses cloth or face tissue also work).
- Get comfy
Having a steady hand is essential for taking a crisp photo with your phone. If you know you’re going to be taking heaps of photos, make sure you can hold still without getting too tired. Using both arms to hold your phone, or resting your arm on a sturdy piece of furniture might help you do this. It might also be worth considering investing in a tripod with a smartphone attachment or- dare I say it- a selfie stick, for steady wide-shot selfies that won’t make your arms burn.
2) Photography basics
- Learn about composition
The very backbone of a good photo lies in its composition, or how you balance the elements of your picture. There are various “rules” about the positioning of your subject, background, foreground that are definitely worth scratching up on. For example, the rule of thirds, where instead of placing your subject in the centre, you place them towards one of the outer thirds. Another is the rule of odds, which is where odd groupings of objects appear more satisfying than even groupings due to our nature to look for symmetry and consistency.
- Lighting, lighting, lighting
Where there’s leeway in how you might play with composition, lighting can make or break your smartphone photography game. If photographers could control the weather, we’d have bright, diffused light like that on an overcast summer day all the time. But we can’t always be so lucky. Smartphones are becoming more and more capable of taking pictures in less-than-ideal light, with many having night photography features. When in doubt, try to take your photos in daylight or at least have your subjects facing a light source.
3) Don’t zoom!
Hopefully these tips come in handy next time you want to take a really good photo of your brunch for Instagram, or the view from your hike for Facebook. Whether your path to camera phone skill nirvana is through acquiring some smartphone photography accessories, or upgrading phone models altogether, hop down to Technology Traders where we offer a great range of both!