There is no question that our phones have at many times replaced our cameras. For some of us, they are our only cameras. Yet, so often we hate the results because of the camera phone’s limitations. So how do we improve these images until technology perfects them for us? Here are my 6 tips that will help you yield better smartphone photographs.
1) FIND THE LIGHT
Help your images appear sharper and more crisp by using front or side light. This means the light (sun or household bulbs) is directly in front or to the side of your subject. Your photograph will also have nice highlights, mid-tones and shadows, making a richer image.
2) EXPOSE FOR THE SHADOWS
Generally, backlighting for smartphones isn’t ideal because the photograph is often underexposed. But the dreamy look of backlight would be too sad to avoid. If your smartphone allows you to pick your exposure point, touch the shadows to help immediately brighten the exposure.
3) AVOID THE ZOOM
Smartphones have a wide angle lens and many have the ability to zoom in. Avoid, avoid! The quality is far worse zooming in on the phone than if you were to walk closer to the subject (for a closer composition), or crop in an editing program later.
4) TURN OFF THE FLASH
The flash certainly has its place, but consider shooting without it when the ambient (available) light can help create a more realistic and dramatic mood.
5) DON’T MIX LIGHT
Window light, household bulbs and the sun all have different color temperatures which means that when used together, it can create a messy mix of blues and oranges. When indoor and window light is available, turn off the indoor lights and move towards the window. It will also help you control the shadows, making them look more natural when only coming from one light source. (Window light and shade give gorgeous light!)
6) MAKE THOUGHTFUL COMPOSITIONS
Take time to make a thoughtful composition instead of a random snapshot. Explore different angles and perspectives and let color, texture and shapes help you make interesting compositions.