You’re on holiday and you see an amazingly lit view. You grab your smartphone to capture the beautiful scene in front of you, only to look down and be underwhelmed by the photo you just captured and wonder how your photos turned out so rubbish, looking nothing like the incredible view you saw with your eyes or from other photos of the same place.
Then you think to yourself: “If I had an expensive DSRL, my photos would be amazing, because smartphones take rubbish photos.”
Well hold on to your hats, as I’m about to tell you the truth, it’s not your smartphone that takes rubbish photos—it’s you.
I have been teaching myself photography by watching every YouTube video on photography and practicing most weekends for the last year. And by understanding and practicing a few simple photography tips, my smartphone photography skills has improved in leaps and bounds.
Also, I realised that you don’t need an expensive DSLR to take a great photo. I’ve seen people with expensive flashy DSLRs take some very unimpressive photos. There are many smartphone-only photographers on Instagram who take the most incredible photos by following these simple photography tips.
So, before you run off to drop thousands of pounds on a DSRL that is comparable to a small computer, why not improve your smartphone photography skills first with the tips below.
Here’s how to improve your smartphone photography skills!
Wipe Your Camera Lens
Wipe your smartphone camera lens off before taking every photo. Yes, I know this tip seems simple and you might even think this is so obvious, but we use our phones all the time and grease from our hands gets on our smartphone camera lens. There’s nothing worse than taking greasy, hazy, smudged photos from your phone. To get a crisp, clean image, always remember to wipe your smartphone lens off before every photo.
Turn on the Grid Feature
I turn on the grid feature so that it appears every time I take a photo. These are the lines that run vertically and horizontally on your smartphone when you are taking a photo.
To access this function on a smartphone, go to settings, photo then grid. But since the new OSI 11 update on the iPhone, you now turn these features on by going to settings, then camera, grid.
You might be thinking: “Why should I enable the grid feature on my phone?” You’ll use the grid to apply the photography tips below.
The Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds refers to the composition of the photo, and is one of the principles of photography. It’s all about positioning the most important elements off-centre in order to create a balanced and harmonious composition.
Basically, putting the subject in your photos off-centre makes your photo more interesting.
If you want to improve your photography, you should master this principle and then put your own spin on it. By improving your smartphone photography skills you’ll be able to create your own style and showcase your best photos.
Find Natural Light
I take all my photos on my smartphone using natural light. I don’t have a studio or reflectors or anything fancy like that. If I’m taking a flat lay for my blog, I find somewhere where I’ll get the most natural light, which is usually next to my windows or on my balcony.
Using natural light to take your photos ensures that you don’t get that yellowish tint you see on a lot of photos taken indoors under fluorescent light. This also makes it easier to edit your photos.
Don’t Zoom in
Never zoom in when taking a photo on your smartphone as this will cause pixel distortion in your photos which in turn, loses clarity in your photos and will reduce your image quality (i.e., it will produces a grainy ass photo). Instead, become a human zoom and move yourself closer to the subject or thing you’re trying to capture.
Shoot from Multiple Angles
Before I really got into photography I would be that person taking 100 photos of the same thing at the same angle and then wonder why my photos looked crappy, or not like what I was seeing on Instagram.
I didn’t realise that you should never just take a million photos of the same thing standing in the same position.