For me, the smartphone is a ready-to-go pocket camera and editor thatís always there to capture every moment of your daily life. However, the smartphones of today can be overwhelming and complicated. So below are some key tips that every user should keep in the back of their mind.
1. Read your manual. All smartphones are slightly different. Take the time to play around with the settings and read your manual to understand what each setting means.
If you have an issue, find out how to resolve it. Ask yourself: have you ever wanted to know why that symbol keeps coming up?
2. Gridlines Before taking any photos, put your gridlines on. Switching on gridlines means that lines can be seen in the photo area, breaking it into nine equal squares. The best focal point for subjects is at the intersection of these lines, with secondary emphasis being seen along the lines themselves. Theyíll help you to take straight images and adhere to the compositional rule of thirds.
3. Donít use your zoom Use your legs instead! The smartphone has the ability to zoom into the subject you wish to photograph. However, it is at the expense of quality. If you want to crop your image, do it afterwards in an editing app, such as Pixlr or Snapseed.
4. Turn off the flash The smartphone flash is not the answer to your lighting difficulties. The Smartphone flash is a bright LED light that leaves your photos looking blurred, overexposed, or simply unflattering. For example, everyone has tried taking a selfie in the mirror with the flash on. I bet you quickly noticed how the flash has bounced onto the mirror, leaving a big white circle.
To become a better photographer, make available lighting work for you. With iPhones, you can actually tap on the area of the screen you want to expose for, and the photo will appear lighter and darker. Itís a great way to overcome tricky indoor lighting.
5. Avoid using filters
Instead of using the filters available in so many editing and sharing apps (especially Instagram), improve your photos after taking them using the basic settings such as brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpening. This way you can enhance your photos without over-editing them.
6. Use new tools to your advantage
Burst Mode is a great example of one of the built-in tools on smartphones that can help you capture better photos. Instead of pressing your shutter button a hundred times in a situation where you want to shoot continuously, and risk missing a moment (and possibly making your photos blurry), turn on Burst Mode, or simply hold the shutter button down, and youíll have a whole collection of photos, taken in mere seconds. Other features, such as the HDR option and the AE/AF lock mode, are worth a try too, to see if they help you with better exposure.
Now itís your turn. With these tips, go out, have some fun and donít forget to experiment!
If youíre interested in learning more about smartphone photography, enroll in one of our classes in your local city: