Everyone wants to capture that shot, whether it is for yourself, for your social media or as part of your work. Most of us don’t have a professional camera and even if we do, it’ll more often be our phone camera in our hands. So, how do we manage a perfect photo with our phone’s camera? We have brought in the best tips to do just that. So read on to learn from the experts.
Light Your Subject Well
“Your picture will more likely be clearer if your subject is well lit. Shoot outside if possible, or switching on lights if you’re shooting inside. If you’re adding extra light to a shot by turning on lights in the room, keep in mind that artificial light affects the color cast in your shots, and you might need to play with white balance to fix it. Even if you’re shooting outdoors, some cameras have a built-in flash or light that can really raise and clarify an image (in a sense it becomes a fill flash). If your camera doesn’t have a spotlight or illumination, stop shooting in bright light because you’ll end up with silhouetted subjects.”
Dr. Pooneh Ramezani, CEO, Co-Founder Dr. Brite
Hold Your Breath
“The cleaner your picture would be, as in all digital photography, the more steady your camera phone is when taking your shot. This is particularly important in low-light conditions, where the camera can choose slower shutter speeds to compensate for the lack of light. When taking photos, one trick is to lean your camera phone (or the hand holding it) against a solid object (such as a branch, wall, or ledge). Keep in mind that a lot of camera phones have ‘shutter lag’ (ie the time between when you press the shutter and when the camera takes the shot can be a second or so). This means you’ll need to keep the camera still for a little longer while you lower it away from the subject to avoid taking a picture.”
Matt Weidle, Business Development Manager Buyer’s Guide
It’s Best to Avoid Using Digital Zoom
“While it might be tempting to zoom in on your subject while taking a picture (if your camera phone has a zoom feature), if the zoom is a digital zoom, using it will lower the quality of your shot (you’ll end up with a more pixelated photo). Plus, you can still use photo editing software on your computer to improve your shot later. Of course, ‘optical zooms’ are starting to appear on camera phones, which are fine to use because they don’t enlarge the subject by enlarging pixels.”
Tanya Zhang, Co-founder of Nimble Made
Take a lot of shots and try new things
“The ability to take multiple shots easily and without expense is the beauty of all types of digital photography (including that of camera phones). This means you can try out various modes and compositions before discarding the ones you don’t want to hold. Camera phones are especially good for trying out new angles and perspectives; shoot from low, high, close up, and so on, and you’ll end up with some interesting and fun shots.”
Tony Kelly, CEO at CameraGroove
Take good care of your lenses
“One of the most difficult aspects of many camera phones is keeping them clean and maintained. Cell phones spend a lot of time in pockets, bags, and in all kinds of weather and conditions. As a result, they become dirty, and easily damaged fingerprints are a common issue with camera lenses, particularly if your phone lacks a lens cover. Clean the lens of your camera with a soft cloth from time to time (sunglasses cleaning cloths are great).”
Dusan Stanar, Founder & CEO of VSS Monitoring
Tap to Meter
“Smartphones have a hard time exposing dark, dimly lit subjects in front of light backgrounds (think shaded landscapes in the midday sun). Since there isn’t some smartphone hardware that can handle such a large dynamic range (yet), you’ll have to tell the system where to meter the light from in order to get a clear shot. Manually modifying the automatic exposure settings by clicking on the dark subject to show the shadows can be useful. You can brighten the picture and restore detail in the darker areas of the frame by asking the system where to meter from.”
Shad Elia, CEO of New England Home Buyers
Use the Grid
“Most smartphone cameras have a built-in grid that divides the screen into three parts, and this is based on the rule of thirds, which is perhaps the most well-known rule in photography. The idea here is that placing your subject along with one of these lines, or at one of the intersections, would result in a stronger composition. When painting landscapes, for example, aim for a horizon that is a third of the way down from the top or a third of the way up from the bottom. Also, if you’re photographing someone standing in a beautiful location, place them slightly to the side of the frame rather than in the middle.”
Tanner Arnold, President & CEO of Revelation Machinery
Exposure, Focus and Portrait Mode
“Set the focus to keep your subject in focus at all times:
Even if your lens is spotless, your subject may not appear crisp at times. Because the camera’s autofocus does not always focus where you want it to, this is the case. You’ll need to manually set the focus point to keep your subject in sharp focus at all times. Simply adjust the exposure before taking a photograph for brightness.
“It’s simple to change the exposure with the iPhone Camera app:
Begin by tapping to focus your attention. Then adjust the exposure by swiping up or down. Use HDR to get even lighting and amazing detail in your photos. When it comes to exposure, taking images of high-contrast scenes can be challenging. A scene with high contrast has both dark and light regions, such as a landscape with a bright sky and dark foreground.
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“To get beautifully blurred backgrounds, shoot in portrait mode:
You could believe that photographing with a cell phone is difficult. To blur the backdrop in your images, though, you don’t need a good DSLR camera. You can easily blur the background when shooting images with your iPhone camera if it includes Portrait mode. For incredible action shots, turn on Burst Mode. To zoom in or out, toggle between iPhone lenses. For sharp, shake-free photos, keep your camera steady.”
Alina Clark, Growth Manager and Co-Founder of CocoDoc
….And 1 last Bonus Tip!
Get a Tripod and Remote Release Shutter
“Use a smartphone tripod and remote shutter release for longer exposures When shooting certain things, taking longer exposures can open up new opportunities for what you can capture. For example, smartphone cameras these days are more than capable of capturing brilliant images of the stars and night sky if done right. To do this your phone will need to be completely stable when capturing the image for exposure times ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes. Therefore a tripod and remote shutter release are essential to remove any camera shake when the image is being taken. Luckily, smartphone tripods can be picked up for pretty cheap these days. A Bluetooth shutter release is another great tool to enable you to operate your phone’s camera without physically touching it. A good trick to save some money here though is that often you can use the volume buttons on your phone’s headphones for this purpose. These tools and techniques are not only good for images of starry skies, but also long exposures can allow you to capture movement in different ways, for example, people on the street or waves on the ocean.”
Anthony Robinson runs the astrophotography website Skies & Scopes