In the days of powerful phone cameras, editing apps and filters, we've all come close to the photography experience. For a pretty, Insta-worthy picture, you really don't need a DSLR anymore. Professional photography is different, of course, but it's simpler to take a shot for your memory bank and social media feed.
If you're thinking about taking your photography skills up a notch, note down these mobile photography tips and you'll make an instant impact on your Insta-feed.
Tips For Landscape Mode
For a Selfie
Tips For Mobile Photography For Landscape Mode
In digital photography, a landscape mode refers to photographs clicked of a scene or scenery and a single object. When taking photos in this mode, the camera will automatically focus on as much of the scene as possible by using a large depth of field i.e. a measurement that represents the range of distances within an image where the focus is acceptably sharp.
- Adjust the exposure manually: Exposure means how dark or bright the image is. When you tap on the subject you want to focus on, the camera will automatically set the exposure in the shot. However, this isn’t always ideal because if the subject is in the dark area of the frame, this could lead to it being over-exposed.
- Don’t zoom: Zooming (pinching in and out) on mobile phones reduces the photo quality. The photograph becomes grainy and loses its charm. You’ll get a better quality shot if you walk ahead and get closer to the subject.
- Rule of the third: This is probably one of the most important and go-to rules when it comes to photography. Divide the image using two vertical and two horizontal lines. The subject or most important element of the image is placed along these lines or where they meet.
- Click from alternative angles: Just so that you have options to choose from, it’s always great to click from different angles. If you don’t like one point of view, there are always others to choose from. Consider getting down to the ground level, or stand on a chair to get the top view, especially if you’re clicking table top images of food.
Tips For Portrait Photography
When you want to click a photograph of someone and capture their personality, key characteristics, and charisma, just snapping a quick picture isn't enough. This is when portrait photography or portraiture comes into play. This basically refers to clicking a single or group of subjects together using exposure, lighting, shutter speed and so much more.
- Making the subject comfortable: One of the key components of portrait photography is that you’ve to make the subject not only comfortable but also look good in front of the camera. This is where the personality of the photographer comes in. The less awkward the experience is, the more authentic emotions will translate onto the screen.
- The setting is everything: A part of the portrait effect is where you’ll be shooting the subject. Get to know the person, be creative and play with their personality. If you want to shoot around a theme, let it be highlighted in your photograph and think of a great setting to pull the entire frame together.
- Lighting is key: Proper lighting can make and break your mobile portrait photography. So, experimenting with it is important. With natural light, you can play around during cloudy and overcast days versus a bright, sunny day to understand the kind of lighting you want. To get great shots, work with light coming from behind you, behind the subject, left and right to get the perfect shot. Yup all of 'em, you never know what works so you've gotta try 'em all. In addition, keep the use of the flash to the minimum.
- Keep in contact with the eyes or go slightly below: Staying at the eye level is important when you want to make the subject’s face the main focus. You know the saying "eyes are windows to the soul", keeping that in mind, your portrait photograph will be much more impactful.
Tips To Take A Selfie
We're pretty sure you know what a selfie is but for those of you living under a rock, a selfie is a self-portrait type of an image typically taken on a smartphone's front camera. This can be held just with the hand or it can be suspended on a selfie stick. So get set and *pout*. Cue lemme take a selfieee!
- Look up straight at the camera: When you’re doing this, slightly raise your eyebrow and your eyes will appear larger and more doe-like. Then make an expression you know works for you, like a fierce pout, or a genuine smile and you’ll be able to translate the feeling on the camera.
- Extend your head away from your neck: We all want that chiseled jawline and long neck appearance, To achieve this, pose with your head away from your neck. You can also put your shoulders back to give a more relaxed look.
- Try angles: Often with selfies, we tend to click with one straight angle. However, a profile shot can also give us an equally (if not more) impressive picture. Hold the camera to the side or even from the top to diversify those pictures.
- Relax your mouth and exhale: Whatever pose you may be going for - loosely open or fully closed lips in your selfie - blowing air through your mouth and exhaling helps in making your lips look less intense. It also makes your pout look super plump, so it’s a win-win!
- Take care of the lighting: Pose with your duck-face and fix your angle, then look for the perfect light source and slowly move towards it. This will make you get the ideal camera positioning and give a flawless, sunkissed glow. Insta fame, here we come!
Tips For Android Users For Photography
- Use a different app: While the camera on your Android phone is already good, to take things up a notch you can download the app Open Camera, where you will find a lot of options and settings you wouldn't otherwise.
- Photo editing software can be used to enhance photos: The plus point about Android phones is that Google Play has a whole host of apps that Apple doesn't- take advantage of that. Apps like Lightroom, Snapseed, VSCO and many more can be used to make a good picture great, just with a few adjustments.
Tips For iPhone Users For Photography
- Use the hardware shutter: If you’re clicking at an awkward angle, use the side volume buttons to click the photograph. This also extends to headphones which can be used to get a more solid grasp on the shutter.
- Use the burst mode: The reason professionals get such a perfectly timed shot is because they take dozens of hundreds of shots to get the one with the setting and the expression. Use the burst mode to snap away, then tap on the one that captured the moment and delete the rest to save space.
- Take shots in HDR but also keep the original: Even if you have space issues with your iPhone (don’t we all?), if it’s capable of taking HDR shots, turn the feature on or leave it on Auto so that the phone can decide when to use it. But also keep the original in Settings > Photos & Camera.
So ready set, snap!
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This story was updated in March 2019.