Pine trees with heavy snow

How to Take Better Pictures With Your Phone

Photography to me is catching a moment which is passing, and which is true. – Jacques-Henri Lartigue

Whether you invested a lot of money in a high-end DSLR or not, it doesn’t really matter if you don’t have it with you when you come across something worth capturing. Your cell phone comes to the rescue in many occasions. Remember, the best camera is the one you have on you. Who would bring a DSLR on the ski slopes? Definitely not me!

As I mentioned in one of my older posts and as you probably already know, mobile phone cameras today perform very well. When I tested the camera of my iPhone 5 I was blown away by the quality of the photos. My previous iPhone 3 GS was not too shabby either. I used it to take the photo above.

Here are some tips so your mobile phone pictures come out great, even if you don’t have the smartest smart phone. And even if you do, keep these in mind as the “rules” of photography still apply.

1. Light

Your subject must be well lit. Make sure light comes from behind you, or at least from your left or right. You definitely don’t want a bright light behind the subject, unless you are after shooting silhouettes. There is nothing wrong with silhouettes. I even wrote a article on this subject.

2. Motion

Keep your hands steady to avoid blur. I know it’s a little challenging to balance a mobile phone since it’s so light and small. Try leaning against a tree, wall or anything that helps you keep the phone steady as you are pressing the shutter button.

3. Distance

Get close to your subject. Do not use the digital zoom as it will significantly reduce the quality of your picture. You will be able to crop it later and, depending on the quality of your camera, still end up with a good shot.

4. Flash

Avoid it, unless the subject is within 5-6 feet and you are outdoors. The mobile phone flash is not very powerful but it can help a bit as fill light outdoor. However, it’s powerful enough to ruin a picture taken indoors. That harsh LED light in front of your subject will create an unflattering shot. You can read more about using flash here.

5. Post-processing

Why not? There are many apps out there that can help you adjust your pictures. My favorite is Adobe Photoshop Express. You can find more suggestions here. Some of these apps allow you to add cool effects to your pictures.

I hope next time you see something worth capturing, instead of saying “I wish I had my camera with me”, reach in your pocket and grab “the other camera”. Have fun shooting with your phone and remember to share your best shots with The Balcony!


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