23 Mobile Photography Tips & Tricks: Take Photos Like a Pro!

Since the day mobile phone companies started including cameras, our lives have changed greatly. There was a time when taking photos was limited to having a good camera. But when mobile phones start having them and as they become smarter day by day, we capture thousands of photos every single day. Now anyone can take great photos with just a touch of their finger.

However, just owning a good camera phone isn’t worthy if you don’t know about proper photography skills. You may own the latest smartphone with a powerful camera, but you always rely on that one friend who clicks the best photos for you. But you can’t do the same when they ask you to take their photos. Then the reason might be that they have techniques for good photography that you are unaware of.
But not to worry. 

23 Mobile Photography Tips & Tricks

Keep reading this blog to learn about 23 mobile photography tips & tricks.

  1. Keep your lens clean

This may seem obvious, but people tend to overlook things they are already aware of. As we keep our mobile phones in our purses or pockets, we often see our mobiles covered in dust after we take it out. So, make sure you wipe your mobile camera before clicking a photo. Otherwise, you won’t get a satisfying picture no matter how high-quality a camera your mobile has.

  1. See the light intensity

Your best shot might end up getting ruined if you didn’t have proper lights when you took the photo. Whether you are taking a portrait, capturing a landscape, or taking an animal photo, light has its importance. So, make sure you always have proper light.

  1. Use the flash only when necessary

Just as I said about the importance of light in the previous point, knowing when to use flash is also crucial. It is best to get a picture in natural light rather than using the flash. When taking portraits of a person, using the flash means ending up with a redeye. More when you have dark eye colour. Also, seeing a sudden flash of light can damage your eyes. Moreover, flashlights may keep the focus of the image on your desired object, but it will make other parts darker.
Most smartphones these days come with a night mode. This feature lets you take better photos in the dark without using the flash.

  1. Stabilization

Try to avoid shaking. One small shake and the photo is blurred. In some cases, you might regret taking a blurred photo if you have got only one shot to click.
And to avoid shaking, you can follow the techniques below:-

  • Use both hands to hold your mobile & keep it close to your body for support.
  • Use a monopod or tripod when you need more stability.
  1. Focusing is the key

Smartphones these days come with an auto-focus system. It works generally to focus on the closest person to the camera when you are clicking pictures of a group. But you can manually focus on other areas of the frame. Just press the point of the screen where your desired item/object is. Your mobile’s system will then blur out other items a bit to keep focusing on the item that you want.

  1. Using grid lines

One of the best and exceptional methods to enhance your mobile pictures is to turn on the camera’s grid lines. That superimposes a collection of lines on the display of your smartphone’s camera that is based on the “rule of thirds”. It means a photographic composition principle that says a picture has to be broken down into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. So you get a total of nine parts.

According to this theory, if you put points of interest in these intersections or along the lines, your picture will be more balanced, level, and enable viewers to engage with it more naturally.

 

  1. Just one photo isn’t enough

If you think that just a single click is all you need to get the desired photo, you are definitely wrong. Take a picture, critique it, then take another one. Change your angle, change your distance to the subject. Do these things, and you will have multiple photos to choose the best among them. It might get tricky to choose if you get more than one good photo. In such cases, listen to your heart and keep the one it says is best. You can delete the other ones unless you think that you can make them better by editing.

  1. Burst shot

When taking images of a moving object, use the burst shot. By doing that, you can at least get one photo which is least blurry. Or if you are lucky, that one photo can be the one which isn’t blurry at all. Rather, it is just the way you wanted it to be.
Burst shot can also be helpful when you are in a rush. Suppose, you have been on the beach the whole afternoon, waiting to click the amazing sunset. However, you might find yourself in a situation where you want to hurry back home. But you don’t want your waiting to go in vain. In such circumstances, burst shot is beneficial. You don’t have the time to click a photo, see it, and then click another one. So, burst shots will get you multiple photos with a single click.

Almost all mobile phone cameras have this. It’s really easy to use. Just tap & hold the shutter icon, and you will have 10-60 photos in a single second.

  1. Magic of perspective

Click photos of the same object of the person from multiple angles. Don’t just stick to taking close-up or straight-on photos. Even just a few degrees can make the difference between a regular photo or an extra-ordinary one. You can click the first photo of the object in a straight angle then move around the object to get further shots. And if you are taking pictures of a person, you can even ask them to give multiple poses. This way, you can stay in your position and that person will change their posing angles. Or both of you can move from position to position to have photos from multiple angles and poses.

  1. Power of negative space

“Negative space” actually refers to the areas around and between the subjects of a picture — and it can make an image go from “good” to “great.”

When you consist of a lot of empty space in a photo, your subject will stand out more and evoke a better response from your viewer. And what does negative space appear like? It’s usually a large expanse of open sky, an empty field, a big wall, or water.

  1. Simple background

The simple method is normally the best in photography. You have to figure out what you need in the shot. While also not including anything that can cause a distraction.

If possible, select a plain background – in other words, neutral colours and simple patterns. You prefer the eye to be drawn to the focal point of the photo rather than a patch of colour or an odd structure in the background. This is especially crucial in a shot where the subject of the photo is placed off-centre.

 

  1. Don’t zoom

If you want the best possible photo from your phone, forget about using the digital zoom. The solution is simple: simply zoom with your feet. The added effect of doing this is that it certainly improves your compositional skills. 

When you are taking pictures of a bird, or other wild animals, it is safe to take the photos from a bit of distance. Because you know that if you try to get close, it will fly away. In such conditions, you can be tempted to zoom. But doing so means being ended up with pixilated or blurred photos. However, if your phone has multiple cameras, surely one of them is a telephoto lens. Which basically means that 2x zoom is still usable at most. But, zooming more than that can cause your photo to get blurred.

Take the shots from a distance, then crop out the unnecessary parts after you come back home.

  1. Candid clicks

Posed pictures can be extremely good for the sake of memories — blissful moments with friends, family, or the occasional run-in with a celebrity. But sometimes, candid clicks of people doing things, or people with people, can be a way more interesting.

That’s due to the fact candid images are better capable to successfully seize the emotion and essence of a moment. One of the great approaches to capture this type of shot is to simply take as many pictures as possible. You’ll have more to pick from, and the great pictures often occur when the “stars align,” so to speak, in a split second. For example, when everyone’s eyes are open, one individual is tilting their head simply so, and you eventually got a shot of your chronically closed-lip buddy smiling with his teeth.

 

  1. Photograph what you love

Focusing on what you love will make photography more fun for you. If you are passionate about pets, nature, people, or something else entirely, begin learning by taking photos of it.

This will maintain your interest in photography as well as enable you to overcome learning obstacles without breaking a big effort.

 

  1. ‘Golden Hour’ photography

Lighting is paramount considering the fact that it dictates the shape, texture, contrast, and shadows in your images. The golden hour is about a one-hour window briefly after dawn or before sunset.

The long shadows and particularly the extra diffused light during these periods grant much greater flattering light. Since the light is diffused, you’re much less likely to ‘blow out’ highlights or lose elements in the shadows that are hard to avoid during the strong light available during most of the day. 

If you want to know the golden hour in your location, this online tool can help.

  1. Abstract photos

Abstract pictures are intended to capture the essence of an object, or a collection of them, without revealing the entire landscape as a whole. In other words, they serve the purpose of developing unique, stunning photos from regular subjects.

This appearance can be done by cropping an abstract portion of an otherwise ordinary photo, or by taking close-up shots of objects. It can leave the viewer wondering — in admiration, of course — what the subject would possibly be. And subjects with patterns or repetition are top-notch candidates for abstract photography. 

  1. Use smartphone camera lens

Yes, smartphone cameras are indeed getting upgraded day by day as people take more photos by them rather than a DSLR or digital camera. But it is also a fact that photos taken by smartphone cameras can’t compare with ones shot by DSLR or digital cameras.

Moreover, there is also the issue that the cameras on your average smartphone aren’t made to take care of all the different sorts of pictures you might desire to take. Thankfully, some manufacturers realized this and began making lenses to supply people with higher choices for taking high-quality photos.

 

  1. Making use of ‘leading lines’

In some photos, there’s a line that draws the viewer’s eye toward a certain part of the frame. Those are called leading lines. They can be straight or circulinear — think staircases, building facades, train tracks, roads, or even a path through the woods.

An image with a weak composition will leave viewers confused about what they need to focus on. Making use of leading lines in images can help you to manipulate the place a viewer’s eyes move, particularly with strong, obvious lines.

Lines that converge create depth and draw the viewer in whilst curved lines can take you around the frame and ultimately land on the main subject. 

  1. Playing with reflection

There are lots of unique possibilities if you pay attention to the places most people don’t. One of the things to look out for is reflections.

You can find them after (or even during) wet days, in puddles, in lakes and even in swimming pools. Water isn’t the only source, try mirrors, large glass windows, and chromed out fixtures.

 

  1. Pay attention to the depth of field

To add another dimension to your composition, be aware of the depth of field. Depth of field in photography is the relation of how sharp the normal of the centre of attention is in contrast to everything away from that plane.

Depth of field is mostly decided by the aperture measurement you set and your distance to the subject. Wider apertures emphasize the depth of field, and so does getting nearer to your subject.

  1. Using lens flare for creative photography

Lens flare is one of the things that spoil a photograph. During the golden hour, when the sun is at its lowest is when you are the most prone to this vivid light.

It is something that can occur both when using a DSLR camera or a smartphone.

Even if the sun isn’t in your image, the angle can still hit the glass of your lens and bounce around inside. This is one of the faults that you would possibly notice afterwards, but not immediately.

But lens flare can lead to innovative artsy pictures if you can use it properly. Many photo styles can gain advantages from having the sun-blasted at you and your mobile.

  1. Get a good mobile for photography

All of the above tips might not always come in handy if you own an old smartphone. If you are not satisfied with the images you take with your current mobile, then it might be the time for an upgrade. Maybe you can’t afford an above-average camera. Or even if you do, chances are you may not always get to take it wherever you go. In such cases, you really need a smartphone with a better camera. I bought my mobile, a Samsung Galaxy S9+, with a particular look on the camera. In 2018, it used to be a smartphone for great photography. If you are serious about mobile photography then you need to have good gadgets for the job.

  1. Edit to get the best possible version of images

Last but not least, edit your pictures before sharing them online. There are great apps out there to help you with editing. If you want to edit on your phone, Adobe Lightroom, Picsart & Snapseed are few of the best options. And if you prefer to edit on a computer, then you can use Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Note that, it is better to edit the RAW file on a computer rather the JPEG version. Many smartphones offer to save a RAW version of images along with JPEG one.

Closing notes

Now that you have learned about a few photography tips & tricks, it’s time to apply them. But if you are still confused about whether you have understood every point, then this Mobile photography course can help you. The videos in the course are designed in such ways that they will practically show you how to do those particular techniques. And when you are done, you can use the things you learned not just for mobile photography, but for DSLR or digital camera photography as well.

February 1, 2021

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