Large congregation of phone enthusiasts started to crawl out of the box. In fact, it is one of the fastest growing trends in history and their versions and usage percentages keep on climbing. On the recent statistics, there are 64% of smartphone users in U.S. alone, 90% of handset sales worldwide come from the devices driven from the Google’s Android Apps and Apple iOS mobile operating system and 20% of the web traffic is caused by mobile browsers. The trends in smartphones changed the way we approach the web development. Modern web applications must adapt all of its current forms to the web rather than creating a one-screen size and single-device type. They should function on phones and tablets just like how it functions on PC screens and monitors. We called it as responsive web design.
What comes unto your mind when you hear the words “smartphone photography”? I will surely add my bet that you think these are about “selfie” photos, Instagram, photo filters as well as camera apps like Camea360 and Retrica. At least we’re clear that it is about taking photos through the use of your mobile phones. Folks are creating state-of-the-art images from their mobile phones and goes up into galleries as well as into prints. Smartphone is a mobile phone with more advanced computing competence and connectivity than the basic features of the phone. Early smartphones classically merged the qualities of mobile phones and touch screen computer with those of another popular consumer device such as personal digital assistant (PDA), a media player, digital camera, web browsing, Wi-Fi, 3rd party apps or a GPS navigation unit.
We all thought that everyone have dedicated camera, but not the mobile phone cameras. We also thought that in order to take great photos, we should provide high quality and expensive camera gears as well as preparing essential photography equipments. However, this could be a big mistake that we can commit in the photography industry. Photos are photos either good or bad. It does not depend on the gear we use, but it is depend on how we capture things with the use of any gear. Camera phones have fundamental strengths and weaknesses, and by highlighting the good and restraining the bad, we could end up into something great.
Here are smartphone photography tips you should bear in mind when firing up the camera in your mobile phones for capturing great cellphone images.
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Learn the basic features of your mobile phone’s camera
Mobile phones (with camera, of course!) have their own functions and settings. Learn the basic features of your mobile phone camera. I guess, it does not take a long time for you to learn it. I do not refer on the ‘Capture’ button but to the settings button.
Educate yourself on how to use the settings you have on your camera as learning its basic feature will help you to discover something on yourself without the use of expensive DSLR cameras. I fathom that you already familiarize with the turning of photo to video mode or turning on and off the camera. In spite of this, did you know that your camera have scene modes, too? How about HDR and panoramas? Don’t be frightened to monkey around with your mobile phone camera apps.
Learn the rules then make your own
As we all know, learning the rules in photography industry will always be a great idea to produce great images. This might sound boring for some people yet learning the basics is truly helpful. You may start at learning the ‘rules of third’ wherein the screens are divided into three horizontally and vertically yielding the grid form.
In fact, most of the mobile phone camera has this feature of displaying the grid. But if it is not available in your phone, try to imagine those lines. With this grid, try to place your subjects along the lines or along the intersection of the lines to make the photo more interesting than being smack dab in the middle of the frame. Once you get the rule of thirds, you will probably have the ability of photo balance. Later on, you will no longer stay in stock on these basic ones and starting to make your own photography rules.
Play with the light
Painting with light is the most common thing that we hear in photography. No matter what gear you are using in photographing, you should still learn on how to play with light. Having good visible light is very significant especially in smartphone photography because you are stuck on one focal length and one aperture. You are using the device not having the same features of a literal camera such as DSLR.
Through the use of good visible light, you can fake the variation of focal lengths and the depth of field. The question might be is when good visible light appears. It commonly appears during or before the sunrise and sunset. Seek for the light with some kind of direction and color. Good light is a kind of light that can give the subject or scene shape, depth and it can make things more interesting. On the other hand, window light is also great because it has some kind of direction and color as well as it is often soft and a little diffuse so it is not harsh on the subjects. Usually, shooting indoors with artificial lights or outdoors during mid-days or overcast days is a bad idea.
Look on a fascinating moment
Let’s just say that you are in a good scene, the light is good as well as the weather. Everything around is falling into good and ripen to take a good photo. When you see photos on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social media, there is nothing but sunset photos, at the park, and so on. Everything is good but don’t you think that it is a little bit common for people’s eye? Don’t you think that it is boring, flat, and non-interesting? If yes then you should definitely look for a fascinating moment that will surely catch the eye of your viewers. If there are no moments and no one’s around, nothing is happening. In short, it is boring, dull, and mind numbing. Therefore, better find something that will certainly complement the pretty good you have.
Without moments, you are still probably shooting of life most of the time. Moments helps you to vary the meaning each of every photo you’ve produced. Maybe that is a person who is peacefully unwinding at the park – sleeping, reading, eating, or even chitchatting with other people. Summon up in keeping your eyes open for the movement and shapes then always try to look for some balance of photo compositionally.
Get into work of strange, odd and uncomfortable positions
When you encounter the word “work” in photography industry, it means literally go on work. Don’t just hang there around while something great and rare moment is happening. Instead, get into work of strange, odd, and uncomfortable positions to snap out something really strange yet a great one photo. Smartphones are light, easy to maneuver and have a large screen having the possible way for you to make awkward positions. Most of the great ones come from the awkward positions of the photographer, so don’t get afraid if people thought you’re crazy.
“You need to look life in other perspective ways to know what the better possibilities” as the quotation goes along our way. They don’t care what you are doing so better continue it because there are many possible interesting moments like taking fake beheading photos. Perhaps your subject is great when it is further closer or maybe not. Maybe it could be on a portrait or on landscape photo, in a higher one or in a lower one. Create with different compositions. Use the smartphone’s exterior quality as an advantage. Start bending your knees, your back or hang upside down and enjoy capturing photos that you could do without the use of heavier cameras.
Capture moments as if you were using photo filters
“It is better to be the original than the edited and copied one”, this quote I’ve read before exactly hits this tip. There is nothing good but to see the original. But sad to say, most of the people I encountered prefer to have filters on their photos. Practice yourself in capturing moments as if you were using photo filters.
The great thing with smartphone is that the ease to capture things will bring you the effect though while sometimes it is not true that photos with filters are better. Definitely, photo filters can add more stories to a photo, which is really great. Through the simple camera features of your phone, you can easily have the output you wanted to have. However, I don’t discourage people especially the photographers to use photo filters on their work.
Third party camera apps is not too bad
There are many camera apps scattered along the web market offering more convenient features in photography. Mobile phone camera has their own built-in functionality, however in most cases, the features presented on the mobile phone cameras are only the basic ones. That is the reason why camera apps are on-sale through web.
Most of the camera apps offered the stability control; good quality photo filters, the ability to pick the focus, and the ability of choosing the exposure for better control of all over the final image. The camera apps are useful especially if you want to make your photos great. Anyway, there’s nothing bad in editing and using filters. Therefore, try to work with camera apps like Camera 360, Retrica, PhotoGrid, Webcam Toy, Camera Awesome and Photoshoot.
As much as possible, ditch the flash
Use of flash can ruin the beautiful image you are composing in just one click, as we all knew. Therefore, as much as possible, ditch the flash. It is a glorified LED flashlight, thrust into the duty they are not prepared for. Yes, they are bright but the temperature makes it gross and loss the grip of the primary duties of strobe.
That is to freeze the action in frame. The actual flash is too much long and actually end up both blurry and terribly ill. If you are on the dark, try to look for other light resources like a small flashlight and glow in the dark stuffs. Sad to say, even if with the advances of Nokia Niffy PureView Technology, there is only so far you can push a smartphone sensor in low light.
Do not stop
Great photos cannot be capture as simple as what you expect. Most of the time, it takes a roll of photos before coming up with the great one especially if you were only shooting once in a blue moon. It will take a long time for you to capture photos that will totally make your friends, relatives and other people, amaze and impress. If you do not have enough time, still try to shoot a little everyday so your photography skills will develop.
If you are out of inspiration, still try to shoot things in front of you even if it will still end up into dreaded one. If you are really hunting for something that will not only make the people around you startle, then go out and take numerous and various photos. For perfect lighting, settings, and great moments, go out and turn mundane and common everyday things into something that will make people’s jaw fall. If you find your subject, don’t stop shooting even if it takes hundreds of photos. Shoot and shoot until your subject is over as what the other photographers said.
Watch your camera lens
Always make sure that your camera lens is clean because it will only result into hazy, dark images that even any retro filters won’t have any effect which will only ruin your photo. Your pocket or even your wallet is not a clean place and there are still filths living there that love to make your smartphone camera lens, filthy. Watch out also for the lens flare when you are shooting. Since tiny lenses are often prone to wacky light effects and drama than their full-sized counterparts, you can play with this one.
If you want to control the flare, move the sun or other light source in the frame. You will see the flare spreading out and become prominent once you reached the closer to the edge. In fact, lens flare costs you detail, color accuracy and contrast. However, beware with the use of lens flare. Sometimes it works yet there are still possibilities that can ruin your images.