7 Tips For Better Smartphone Photos

We love our smartphone cameras but we’re not always pleased by the results. In some cases we might still be able to blame the equipment, but more often than not it’s a combination of poor photographic technique and a lack of familiarity with how the camera works.

However, it doesn’t take too much to rectify this situation. A little research and a few pointers on how to go about the business of shooting smartphone photos can make a huge difference to the end result. Here are 7 tips that might help:

1. Get to know your camera

While we may be able to muddle our way through most smartphone functions, the camera settings require a little more patience. Find out what all those icons mean and get to know all the different shooting modes that are available. The sensors on smartphone cameras are usually much smaller than regular cameras, so it’s very important to control how much light gets into the shot. It’s great to play around with all those filters but only after you have mastered the art of producing sharp, well-balanced photos without them.

2. Fill the viewfinder

While we tend to get up close and personal with a regular camera, the opposite is true when it comes to smartphones. The result is a tiny, unrecognizable subject and far too much background. Instead, make sure you get close and fill the viewfinder. (And avoid zoom, which invariably reduces the image quality.)

3. Experiment

The beauty of a smartphone camera is that we can take it anywhere and produce it at a moment’s notice. Take advantage of that flexibility. Change shooting angles, take pictures you wouldn’t normally take, and look for the unexpected. Once you have bought the smartphone, all your photos are free. The more pictures you take, the better chance of coming up with a masterpiece!

4. Get your pictures out of your smartphone

It’s hard for you – or anyone else – to fully appreciate photos if they remain stuck on your smartphone. Make a habit of uploading your photos every week and deciding which ones to keep and which ones to delete. You can get a much better idea of the value of a photo – and the editing potential – once you see it on a bigger screen. (If you are uploading lots of photos, make sure you use Wi-Fi so they don’t eat in to your data allowance too much.)

5. Shoot video of people, not scenery

If you’re shooting video, make it more interesting by adding a human element, otherwise when you play it back it will seem disconnected and uninteresting. Whether you’re at the Grand Canyon or shooting a setting sun at the beach, make it a personal memory by including a friend or loved one.

6. Use editing software

While some newer smartphones come with built-in editing tools, making adjustments on your computer will usually produce much better results. Photo-editing software like Photoshop or Picasa can work wonders for your pictures and can be a lot of fun to use. Make sure you take your shots in color and high resolution to keep your options open on how best to deal with them later.

7. Have a plan for sharing

If you have a newborn and your parents are anxiously awaiting the first baby photos, have a plan on how you are going to get share them. It can be Facebook, Flickr, Instagram or just plain old e-mail, but learn how to get your pictures where they need to be – and looking their best!

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