It’s true that a lowly cell phone camera is not a replacement for a powerful and feature-packed DSLR. However, being armed with only a cell phone doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to come up with winning snapshots.
The fact is coming up with stellar photos using your trusted mobile phone can be very rewarding knowing that you’re wielding something with limited features and capabilities. So if you’re looking to accept the challenge, read on. Below are some very simple tips on how you can employ a cell phone camera to take snapshots that can leave everyone breathless.
Tip #1: Know Your Device
It’s for certain that your cell phone’s camera has limitations. Find out what they are so that you may no longer strive to come up with photos that your chosen device isn’t capable of producing. For instance, you can’t expect your mobile phone’s camera to produce snapshots boasting of light trails or an impressive depth of field like a DSLR can.
Tip #2: Take Advantage of Apps
Dealing with the limitations of a cell phone camera can be easily done with the help of apps. Many of them allow a mobile phone photographer like you to tweak certain elements such as the focus and exposure level. While there are plenty of decent apps that are offered by their developers at no cost, many really good ones do not come free of charge.
Tip #3: Compose Very Well
No matter if you’re using a cell phone camera, compact point-and-shoot or DSLR, good composition is vital. Before you head out, it’s a good idea to know some of the things that can help make your snapshots really eye-catching such as rule of thirds, leading lines and negative space. Practice until you get the hang of things.
Tip #4: See Things in Different Perspectives
Want to make a really interesting photo of, say, a bunch of grapes or a dead leaf on the pavement? Think out of the box and capture your subject in an entirely different perspective. Get really close to highlight the details or go far away to emphasize context or space. Even the most boring subject can look fantastic if seen in a whole new perspective.
Tip #5: Mind Your Lighting
The small sensors of mobile phone cameras make proper or sufficient lighting a very important matter. Otherwise, your photos will only end up noisy or blurry. It’s a good idea to shoot outdoors while the sun is still up. When photographing subjects indoors, open the blinds or drapes or make sure that there’s ample artificial lighting.
Tip #6: Steer Clear of Direct Sunlight
Just because sufficient lighting is necessary doesn’t mean you should choose to photograph your subjects in direct sunlight. This will only result in harsh and unflattering shadows especially when taking portraits. Shoot in the brightest spot in a shaded area. It’s also a good idea to shoot when the sun is at an angle to create long and interesting shadows.
Tip #7: Edit Photos Later
By the time you have activated that tilt-shift of fish-eye effect, a really exciting moment may have long been gone. It’s a better idea to simply keep on shooting and resist the urge to make use of the integrated fancy filters or effects. Editing is best done later on when you get back home and it’s time to share some of your best snapshots.
Tip #8: Ditch that Digital Zoom
Most of today’s mobile phones have digital zoom, a manufacturer’s fancy way of saying cropping and stretching the photo several times. It is best to skip using your gadget’s digital zoom unless you have a thing for pixelated snapshots. What if you want to zoom in on the subject? Check out the next tip.
Tip #9: Crop to Zoom In or Improve Composition
Rather than employ your phone camera’s digital zoom, it’s a better idea to simply crop the photo afterwards to zoom in on the subject sans unwanted pixelation. Cropping a photo is also a wonderful way to enhance the composition, removing unnecessary elements as well as to achieve the desired aspect ratio of the photograph.
Tip #10: Don’t Forget to Accessorize
Due to the current popularity of mobile photography, you can find all sorts of accessories designed to make your cell phone’s camera produce stellar photos. The use of a tripod helps steady the device so you don’t end up with blurry images. There are also all sorts of clip-on and magnetic lenses — macros, telephotos and fish-eyes!
The nicest thing about a mobile phone camera is you get to take it with you no matter where you go. This gives you the opportunity to constantly take photos and hone your mobile photography skills. Keep shooting!