Thanks to the high quality cameras that are now a part of most smartphones, we no longer have to worry about lugging a digital camera around with us at all times. Having easy access to your camera is perfect for capturing those candid moments that you never want to forget! Embrace your inner photographer with the following tips:
Pay Attention to Orientation
It's important to consider the orientation of your subject before snapping a picture. Technically, there isn't a right or wrong way to do this, but you want to make sure to frame the subject properly without cutting out anything important. A general rule of thumb is to use portrait when photographing a vertical subject, such as a building or a tree. This way, you can attempt to capture the entire length of your subject and it remains the primary focus. When taking shots of groups of people, sceneries and other horizontal subjects, landscape will always work perfectly. This lets you capture a wider view of your subject and allows for a few different focuses.
Take Advantage of Lighting
Lighting has the ability to make or break a photo opportunity. In order to get the best out of your smartphone photography, take advantage of daylight. If your subject is a person, try having them sit facing towards the light source and you with your back to it. This will usually result in a more flattering photo, as it eliminates any dark shadows that might show up. For all other subjects, try circling your subject with your camera until you find the lighting best suited to the situation. This will help you to see all of the possible lighting choices and to choose the exact look that you're going for.
Lighting can make or break a photo.
The above photo is an example of how the sun can be used to your advantage when taking outdoor photos. Although shooting the sun straight on can cause lens flare and may wash out the subject, finding different angles can add contrast and depth to your image.
Zooming in before taking a photo generally results in a lower quality shot. In order to avoid this, get closer to your subject and take your photo without zoom. Remember that you can always use the crop feature afterwards! This will maintain the quality of your photo and still allow you to focus in closer on whatever your chosen subject is.
Tap for Exposure
You might notice that at times your photos can turn out too dark, or even too light. Most smartphone cameras have several manual exposure settings that can be used to fix this problem. Simply tap different areas of your screen before snapping a photo, and this will help out with the balancing of light and allow you to choose the best exposure setting for the moment.
Preloaded filters (with the exception of black and white) tend to drastically change the look of a photo and are pretty obvious to your audience. In order to avoid this issue, try your best not to radically change the way your photo looks. Instead, try investing in a good photo editing app and make some smaller tweaks to your photos. Afterlight and VSCO Cam are camera apps that are available on both Android and iOs that allow you to adjust the contrast, brightness and sharpness of a photo. They offer other features as well that help to eliminate the need for adding harsh filters that may ruin a photo. Remember that natural photos tend to look best!
Which photo looks better?
The above photo compares the original shot with another version of the same picture, with a set filter from Afterlight. On the left, the colours are quite vibrant and there is some contrast to the photo. However, the yellow-tinge is pretty distracting and doesn't truly represent the subject. On the right, you can see how the natural colours reflect on how the car actually looks in real life. Although it isn't the most exciting photo, it's an accurate representation of that moment in time. Neither photo is bad per se, but it's a safe bet to say that the original shot has the most visual appeal.
When you experience a moment that needs to be captured, make sure to capture it in as many ways as possible! Change your approach and angle to the subject and keep in mind the aforementioned tips. Doing so will result in a bunch of awesome photos, and maybe even the "perfect" shot.