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Mobile Photography Tips Every Photographer Should Know

Smartphone photography is an ever-changing landscape with the constant release of new technology and apps. This guide will help you harness what’s available, get the best out of your smartphone and learn to take better pictures. We will cover everything from composition and effects to photo editing and social media. The word camera is used in this guide to refer to the camera of your phone, so keep that in mind as you read.

Keep your lens clean

A simple but important point: As we tend to keep our phone in our jeans pockets or handbags, give your lens a quick wipe before you shoot. It is a lint and dust magnet in there!There’s no point trying to take great photos if the glass of the lens is dirty. It will block light from entering the camera’s sensor and will leave smudges, blurs or dust spots on your images. A clean lens will ensure you get sharp, clear images with your Phone.

Set The Focus

The most important thing to look out for when taking a photo is to make sure that your subject is in sharp focus. To focus your object you have to top on your object on phone screen.A small yellow/white square will appear to confirm the focus point.
If your subject is moving around, make sure you tap the screen just before you take the shot to ensure that they are in focus.Once you’re happy that you have gotten a sharp photo of your subject, you can draw more attention to them if you wish by using one of the many apps available to blur the background as part of your editing process.

Don’t Use The Zoom

Unfortunately this is a digital zoom and not an optical zoom. In essence what happens with a digital zoom is that the image is cropped as you zoom in. This results in a noticeable loss in image quality the more you zoom in.Instant of zoom use your legs to zoom mean to go forward to zoom in backward to zoom out or you can also use any App/software to crop your photos.You can do this yourself later while you’re editing the photos so you don’t lose valuable resolution; you might need it later!  

Don’t Over-Process Your Photos

You should resist the urge to use too many apps or overly strong effects when editing your photos. A lot of beginners make the mistake of thinking that using photo editing apps will turn a bad photo into a good one. It won’t. 
Before using any apps you should concentrate on getting a sharp, well composed shot. Apps can work well to enhance a good photo, but not a bad one.
The most common mistake is the overuse of HDR apps. HDR can be useful for bringing out lost detail in dark photos but it needs to be used with restraint.In this case we used the HDR tool from Snapseed on its maximum setting. Don't over edit your picture.

Know when the shutter clicks


If the shutter lags, you'll need to account for that. Some phones have a surprising delay after you press the shutter release. And if the shutter release is on a touchscreen (as it is on the Apple iPhone), the shutter probably trips after you lift your finger, not when you press down. Either way, hold the camera steady while the picture is being exposed. And don't jab at the screen, or the shake will blur your photo.

Know when (not) to use flash

Unless there’s no other option for light, you should usually avoid using your phone’s flash. While newer phones have color-balanced flashes that do a pretty good job, using existing light almost always a better option. I leave my flash off by default and only turn it on when I know I’ll need it. If you leave it in Auto, it’s only a matter of time until it goes off when you don’t want it to.

Use The Rule Of Thirds


Even if these shots are just “on your phone,” that doesn’t mean that the standard rules of composition don’t apply. You can even turn on a grid so you can more accurately use the rule of thirds if you want. Symmetry, leading lines, colors, textures, and all of the other standard composition techniques still apply for mobile phone photography. And remember: it’s not always about what you include in the image, but rather what you leave out!

The rule of thirds involves mentally dividing up your image using two horizontal lines and two vertical lines, as shown below. You then position the important elements in your scene along those lines, or at the points where they meet.

Adjust the exposure manually

This is more important than you might think. Most people just point the phone at the subject, tap to focus, and hit the shutter. They don’t usually think about adjusting the exposure of their phone images. Just like with a larger camera, the exposure is one of the most critical elements of a successful image. It’s usually pretty easy. I can’t speak for Android, but on an iPhone, once you tap and focus, you can just slide up or down on the image and it adjusts the exposure accordingly. There’s no histogram to help you, and hopefully your screen brightness is set properly, but doing this should help get you going in the right direction and give you more control over your images.
Exposure this is the length of time your camera’s sensor is exposed to the light/scene you are photographing. The main thing to understand here is that the longer your shutter is open, the more light the sensor in your camera is exposed to. As an example, let’s say the proper exposure of a scene is a shutter speed of 1/30th of a second with an aperture of F2.8 and an ISO of 100, now let’s say you shoot that same scene at 1/60th of a second and leave the other parameters unchanged, you will cut the light in half, underexposing the image by one stop, meaning it will be darker. The creative effect of shutter speed is that it is used to freeze motion or blur an object in motion. If you have ever seen a picture where water is smooth and ghostly, it’s because the photographer used a long shutter speed. When you see a sports photo where all the action is frozen perfectly, it’s because the photographer used a very fast shutter speed.

Use the whole sensor

Some phones always default to a 16:9 image capture ratio even if the sensor itself is not 16:9. Check to see what your sensor actually is. You won’t have to do anything if you have a smartphone with a 16:9 sensor like the Galaxy S5 or HTC One M8, but if you don’t, switching back to standard 4:3 can be beneficial. Shooting in 4:3 on a 4:3 sensor not only gives you access to the full resolution of the camera, but it still allows you to crop down to 16:9 after the fact with more pixels to play with. Didn’t frame the shot perfectly the first time? If you were shooting in 4:3 and using the whole sensor, you might be able to get a better photo out of your shot.

Keep Your Camera Steady

Keeping your camera still is particularly important when taking photos in low lightor at night. When you take a photo in these conditions, the iPhone camera will need to use a slow shutter speed to allow more light to hit the sensor. The problem with this is that any movement of the camera will result in a blurred image.To avoid blurry  photos you should hold the phone with both hands or rest it on a solid surface to keep it steady. You could also use a tripod. There are a number of tripods designed specifically for the Phone.When using a tripod, you can be extra careful by using the timer button on the left-hand side of the camera screen. Place the camera on the tripod and set the timer to 3 seconds.When the photo is taken you won’t be touching the phone at all which means the camera will be perfectly still when you take the shot. This is taking things to extremes but could be useful in some very low light situations.


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