Simple Mobile Photography Tips Everyone Should Know
We all want to be able to capture life’s special moments. Since we often don’t know when a special moment might happen it’s important to always be ready for a photo opportunity. In addition, we all stay at home and have some extra time to learn new things we always wanted but had no time.
Lucky for us, this is easier than ever with the rapid increase in cell phone camera quality. It’s often said that the best camera is the one you have with you, and most of us always have our phones with us.
So, here are some tips and tricks to help you get the best images with your phone camera.
- Quick Access To The Camera
Great photo opportunities only last a few seconds before they’re gone, so it’s important to have quick access to your phone’s camera. On the iPhone, from the lock screen simply swipe left to access your camera or swipe up and tap the camera icon. Or press and hold the camera icon in the Control Center screen to immediately pull up a multiple-choice option menu with Take a Selfie, record a Video, record Slo-Mo, and take a photo. My children love the Slo-Mo and the Time-Lapse as we take videos, we play with it and make so much fun with funny videos. These videos are precious memories for life.
- Set The Focus To Ensure Your Subject Is Always Sharp
After tapping your finger on the screen and about your photo to set focus, slide your finger up to brighten or down to darken the image. This is great for backlight situations when you would need to brighten your subject. Or you might want to darken the image to create a silhouette. Your camera is simply a tool and so it’s up to you to artistically take control of your overall image exposure.
- Adjust Focus And Exposure
Tapping and holding on your camera’s screen will lock the focus and exposure and enable you to recompose the image without changing your exposure or focus. You can also adjust the locked exposure brighter or darker by sliding your finger up or down as mentioned in the previous tip, and it will stay locked with your new modified exposure as you change your composition. Tap anywhere on the screen again to turn it off.
- Add A Filter
Selecting the icon with three little circles opens your filter choices to change the look of your photo. This filter can also be selected after you take the photo by clicking on Edit. If you change your mind you can also select Revert to remove all edits done to the photo. This is the fun part; you can show some creativity here.
- Activate Burst Mode For Incredible Action Shots
Holding your finger on the shutter button fires the camera in burst mode capturing many images per second. Then tap on Select to be able to view them all. This is great for action shots and for group photos so that hopefully you get a shot with nobody blinking! As a mom of 3(!!!), I know how many photos I need to take until I have the good one.
- Rule Of Thirds
In Settings go to Camera and turn on Grid to help you compose your photo with the Rule of Thirds compositional aid.
- Use HDR For Evenly Lit Photos With Amazing Detail
Use HDR (high dynamic range) mode in difficult lighting situations with a wide range of very bright and dark areas. This mode combines 3 different exposures into one final image. Results vary so go to Settings/Camera and select the option to Keep Normal Photo which saves your original image as well as the HDR version.
- Shoot In Portrait Mode To Create Gorgeous Blurred Backgrounds
Do you want to shoot professional-looking photos with dreamy, blurred backgrounds? You might think this is impossible with mobile phone photography. But you don’t need a professional DSLR camera to blur the background in your photos. If your iPhone camera has Portrait mode, you can easily blur the background when taking pictures.
Portrait mode uses depth-effect software to keep your foreground subject sharp while blurring the background. Compose your shot, making sure your subject is between two and eight feet away. (The depth-effect won’t work if your subject is too close or too far away). When you see the words Natural Light in yellow, you’re ready to take a shot. Press the shutter button to take a stunning photo with a beautifully blurred background!
- Capture Photos With Alternate Solutions
Reduce camera shake by using your headphone volume controls to trigger the camera’s shutter. If you have Bluetooth headphones you can be totally wireless and completely remove camera shake with your phone mounted on a tripod. Other ways to trigger the camera include using the volume controls on the side of the camera or the self-timer. You can also use an Apple Watch to trigger the shutter on your iPhone and to provide a remote viewfinder.
- Use Leading Lines For Powerful Images With Incredible Depth
Do your images often look flat and lifeless? Here’s one of the best mobile photography tips to avoid this: Use leading lines. Leading lines are lines that lead from the foreground to the background of the scene. It could be a fence, a wall, a bridge, or a row of trees. It could even be footprints in the snow or the water’s edge at the beach. The line should either lead into the distance or towards your main subject. This is such a simple composition technique. But it will have a huge impact on your mobile photography. A leading line could be a path, a road, a river, or a railway line. So, whenever you’re out shooting, look for leading lines. Then use them to create incredible depth in your pictures.
- Clean The Lenses For Crystal Clear Photos
Your mobile phone spends a lot of time in your hands, as well as your purse or pocket. And as a result, the camera’s lenses can get covered in dirt, dust, and fingerprints. A dirty lens will leave smudges, blurs, or dust spots on your photos. And that won’t look good! Use a soft cloth (or even your t-shirt) to gently wipe the lens. If you’ve been shooting at the beach or in dusty conditions, blow on the lens first. This will remove any sand or dust that may scratch the lens.
- Edit Your Photos
Finally, improve your photos with photo editing apps such as Snapseed and VSCO. These apps will allow you a wide range of control over your image with adjustments to exposure, white balance, contrast, saturation, cropping, sharpening, adding effects and much more. Of course, the sky is the limit. I can play with it for hours until I create the best version of my photo.
I hope these tips help you master the art of cell phone photography.
What are your best cell phone photography tips?