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How to take better pictures with your phone’s camera

RISMEDIA, Nov. 1, 2008-Camera phones are increasingly becoming the picture-taking device of choice. According to a recently published study, about one in 5 consumers already use a camera phone as their primary camera.

Mark Asnes, vice president and COO of Wireless Zone, shares some wireless wisdom that can help you take camera phone pictures like a pro.

1. Good lighting is key. The ideal is natural light, but you can still get good results inside by turning on a few lights.

2. Adjust the white balance. Select your setting based on the type of lighting. If the lighting is mixed, stick with the auto setting.

3. Just say no to digital zoom. The picture quality will be reduced drastically. Optical zoom is ok if your phone has it.

4. Get ready for your close up. In place of digital zoom, get the camera phone closer to whatever you’re taking a picture of.

5. Stay very, very still. To prevent blurring, hold the camera phone with both hands and brace your arms against your sides or lean your elbows on a stable object.

6. Get accustomed to the shutter lag. For better timing, get a feel for how long it takes between the moment you press the button and the moment the picture is captured.

7. Don’t get trigger-happy with the delete button. An image that looks grainy on your phone could look just fine on your computer screen.

8. A clean lens takes clean pictures. Use a glasses cleaning cloth to avoid scratching the lens.

9. Turn up the resolution unless the sole purpose is for picture messaging.

10. If at first you don’t succeed…just keep experimenting with different angles, lighting and settings.

“Camera phones have improved significantly in quality over the years. Increased megapixels, better lenses and higher capacity storage are now available to consumers,” said Asnes. “Finding the best camera phone for your needs can be a daunting task, so it’s best to seek expert advice.”

How to take better pictures with your phone’s camera

It is no secret to anyone that cameras are being displaced by the cameras of our smartphones; and it is that every day phone companies offer mobile devices to the market that meet all expectations.

Generally, when we go to buy a mobile phone, what is the first thing we look for ?: memory, processor and something that is very important for our days, a camera that performs up to the task.

The camera is one of the most useful and important tools on the cell phone. Today I want to teach you some tricks so that you can learn to be professional photos from your mobile.

What you must keep in mind to take quality photographs

We leave you 3 functions of your camera that you should review so that little by little you become a professional with the camera of your cell phone.

How to take better pictures with your phone’s camera

It is the sensitivity of the cameras to light, the higher the ISO, the more sensitive it will be and vice versa, the lower the ISO the less sensitive it will be, so what is the recommendation if the ISO is raised to the maximum your image will lose quality in the picture and that's not what we want.

The light sensor is so important that some cameras base their price on the quality of the light sensor, a simple camera can reach a maximum of 1600 ISO and from this value the image begins to lose quality, while a camera more Pro, they can raise their ISO to more than 6400 while maintaining the quality and sharpness of the photo.

So if you are going out on a nice day, but the natural light is very intense, you can use the minimum ISO value which is equal to 100.

If you are going to take photos inside a house or building you should already raise your ISO to about 400, all this will depend on the light available.

Opening

How to take better pictures with your phone’s camera

Aperture refers to how open or closed the diaphragm of the camera lens will be, determining the amount of light that passes through the lens.

When the lens diaphragm is more open, more light will enter and will result in brighter photos, otherwise if the diaphragm is very closed, less light will enter and the images will be darker.

The opening is also going to define something very important for us, which is the depth of the image.

This refers to how focused everything behind or in front of the object of interest is, so the more open this diaphragm is, the less depth you will have.

In other words, the object of interest will be very focused and the rest will be out of focus and the less the diaphragm is open, all the elements of the photo will be very well focused.

Speed

How to take better pictures with your phone’s camera

Controlling the duration speed of the camera is to control the creative part of your camera and I could make a boring photograph become something very interesting, this consists of controlling the time it takes for the shutter to open and close the sensor to the action of the light.

Having manual control is something we can do from the Pro settings of the camera, each smartphone is different, but most of the cases the manual settings are from a section called Pro photography.

From the application of our phones, this section allows us to manually adjust different values of the camera, ISO, shutter speed, white balance, focuses.

We can capture the movement of people or cars simply by setting a shutter speed from half a second, even so we must bear in mind that if we use slower shutter speeds there is much more light enters the sensor and this can damage photography.

Phones with the best cameras to take professional photos:

Most mid-range smartphones take photos in very good quality, but if your thing is to go for everything, I leave you these 3 recommendations from 3 different brands.

iPhone 13 Pro: This smartphone offers a much more powerful camera system, they bring night mode on all sensors, it has a triple 12MP rear lens with LiDAR camera.

Huawei Mate 40 Pro: The Chinese technology giant presents this smartphone that has a rear configuration of the main sensor of 50MP ultra Vision, an ultra-wide 20MP and a 12MP telephoto lens.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: In this smartphone we get 3 sensors placed in a vertical line that provide the user with a powerful 108MP camera, giving this camera an excellent response when taking a photograph.

As you will see, a good mobile can also help you find professional photos.

Non devi avere un dispositivo mobile troppo costoso per essere creativo nello scattare foto. Ad esempio, uno degli effetti più ricercati da ogni utente amante della fotografia è quello di poter congelare gli oggetti in un’immagine, cosa per cui non è necessario essere dei professionisti, ma bisogna solo tenere in considerazione due chiavi punti. Ma oggi non vedremo come scattare istantanee migliori di oggetti o persone in movimento, ma è tempo di scoprire come si scattano le immagini quando siamo noi che ci muoviamo.

Molti cellulari ci promettono un incredibile autofocus che è capace di congelare le immagini e i suoi principali protagonisti, non importa quanto ci muoviamo, nonché una stabilizzazione di un altro mondo. Ma, nella maggior parte dei casi, ciò che accade è che queste foto sono ugualmente sfocate, non importa quanto fermiamo le mani quando teniamo il telefono. Fortunatamente, ci sono una serie di suggerimenti e impostazioni che possiamo provare a regolare nella fotocamera del nostro dispositivo mobile per assicurarci che quando realizziamo immagini in movimento, risultino il più perfette possibile.

Tieni il cellulare il più fermo possibile

Anche se non è molto tipico tra tutti gli utenti, sicuramente in più di un’occasione hai visto o provato a scattare una fotografia mentre eri in treno, in macchina o anche in moto. Tuttavia, non è sempre così facile ottenere l’immagine perfetta quando siamo noi in movimento . Per fortuna, non solo avremo le impostazioni che ci aiuteranno a scattare istantanee nel modo migliore, ma ci sono anche dei piccoli accorgimenti che ci aiuteranno molto.

How to take better pictures with your phone’s camera

Ed è che, in molte occasioni, il movimento di essere in un’auto o in un altro mezzo di trasporto sembra impedirci di scattare la foto perfetta del cielo o di qualsiasi oggetto. Tuttavia, c’è un fattore chiave quando si scattano istantanee, ed è che prima di premere il pulsante per scattare lo scatto, è importante essere chiari su cosa vogliamo catturare e, soprattutto, che avremo una o poche opportunità per realizzarne uno buono. Immagine.

Per questo motivo, è molto positivo che la fotocamera del nostro dispositivo mobile sia, se non riusciamo a mantenere le mani il più rigide possibile durante lo scatto, l’immagine finale sarà inutile. Ecco perché uno dei suggerimenti che consigliano di più è che usiamo entrambe le mani nel momento in cui scatteremo l’istantanea. E non solo questo, ma la posizione è il più naturale possibile. Inoltre, sarà importante portare i gomiti al corpo per ottenere la massima rigidità, in modo da non avere alcun tipo di movimento durante lo scatto.

Inoltre, dobbiamo tenere a mente che dovremo tieni bene lo smartphone prima di scattare qualsiasi tipo di istantanea. Soprattutto, quegli utenti che decidono di scattare foto quando vanno in bici, moto o anche scooter, poiché corriamo il rischio di far cadere il cellulare, quindi potremmo farlo rompersi completamente o, nel peggiore dei casi, perderlo .

Acquista uno stabilizzatore

Gli stessi smartphone di solito hanno il proprio stabilizzatore, anche se per la maggior parte è solitamente focalizzato sulla registrazione video. Tuttavia, possiamo ricorrere a questo tipo di accessori per ottenere la massima rigidità nello smartphone, oltre al fatto che anche l’impugnatura sarà semplice. In questo modo, se siamo in un trasporto o in un veicolo che si muove troppo, lo stabilizzatore ci renderà più facile . E come abbiamo detto, anche se è focalizzato per il video, ci aiuterà a fare lo scatto perfetto quando siamo in movimento.

Configura l’app della fotocamera

Sebbene otteniamo una tenuta perfetta del nostro dispositivo mobile, dipenderà anche da ciò che vogliamo fotografare. Fondamentalmente perché se anche l’oggetto o il soggetto è in movimento, come noi, dovremo effettuare una serie di aggiustamenti.

Ciò non significa che non possiamo configura la fotocamera del nostro smartphone se ciò che vogliamo fotografare è fermo mentre ci muoviamo, poiché possiamo anche provare a regolarlo per ottenere l’immagine ideale. Per fare ciò, dobbiamo prendere in considerazione i seguenti aspetti chiave.

Modalità burst

Questa modalità può offrirci ottimi risultati, poiché, quando usiamo il burst , possiamo scattare più immagini in un solo secondo. Inoltre, questa modalità viene normalmente utilizzata quando vogliamo scattare istantanee con una velocità dell’otturatore più elevata, in modo che l’azione davanti alla fotocamera sia congelata. Pertanto, sarà una buona opzione se siamo in movimento e vogliamo provare a fare un buon tiro.

Velocità otturatore

Questo sarà un altro dei punti fondamentali quando si riprende l’immagine di un oggetto in movimento, come se fossimo noi a muoverci. Normalmente, le fotografie vengono solitamente scattate a una velocità di 1/50 o 1/100 , quindi più aumentiamo quel numero, meno tempo resterà aperto l’otturatore. Con questo, quindi, faremo apparire più “congelati” i protagonisti dell’immagine che vogliamo riprendere.

Per questo, dovremo accedere alle impostazioni manuali della fotocamera del nostro dispositivo mobile e provare ad aumentarlo, ad esempio, fino a 1/250. Il problema con l’aumento di questa velocità è che viene catturata meno luce. Anche se non sarà un problema se scattiamo una foto in pieno sole. Ma se l’illuminazione inizia a scarseggiare, noteremo subito che l’immagine è molto più scura di quanto dovrebbe essere.

Fai spazzate

Per fotografare, ad esempio, un ciclista che ci passa davanti mentre guidiamo, è meglio seguirne il percorso piuttosto che aspettare che passi davanti alla telecamera. Più che altro, perché se rimaniamo fermi, la cosa più normale è che lo sfondo dell’immagine sia nitido e il ciclista sfocato. Ma, se riusciamo a seguirne direttamente la traiettoria, possiamo ottenere l’effetto opposto, mettendo a fuoco il soggetto in movimento con un’elevata velocità dell’otturatore.

Gioca con l’ISO

Un altro punto chiave per poter compensare quella mancanza di luce , una volta che abbiamo regolato la velocità dell’otturatore su un’impostazione più veloce, sarà anche quello che dovremo regolare l’ISO nei controlli manuali della fotocamera del nostro dispositivo mobile. In questo modo andremo a regolare la luminosità che catturerà il sensore del nostro smartphone, ovviamente bisogna tenere conto che il rumore dell’immagine non è troppo elevato. Per lo stesso motivo, dovremo giocare con questi due parametri, fino a trovare l’equilibrio ideale tra velocità e illuminazione.

Follow this advice to better your photography skills and express your creative vision.

How to take better pictures with your phone’s camera

How to improve your photos.

Everyone has different ideas about what makes a great photo. Is the image meant to be beautiful? Is it meant to be thought provoking? Is it meant to surprise or startle your viewer? Whatever the intent of your image, if it communicates your message or idea, it’s a good photo. But to convey ideas successfully, you need to master the technical side of photography. Understand how your camera works, how to compose a shot, and how to work with changing light. Follow these insights and tips from professionals to improve your photographic abilities.

Understand the ins and outs of exposure.

Every great photo starts with a good exposure. Learn how your shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings relate to each other. For example, if you shoot in low light with a small aperture and a fast shutter speed, you’ll end up with an underexposed image. When you understand that relationship, you can use these tools to experiment and capture the exact image you want. Try longer shutter speeds to create motion blur. Or use wider apertures to get a shallow depth of field. When one setting changes, all the others must adjust to compensate for it. Remember, if your image is over- or underexposed, it will distract your viewer from the composition, color, or content of your photograph.

How to take better pictures with your phone’s camera

Learn your equipment.

“The more you know about a camera, the more you can take advantage of it, and you can change things on the fly,” explains photographer Jeff Carlson. If you take a picture of a sunset with a DSLR camera, you need to know how to quickly adjust your aperture and shutter speed to work with changing light. It’s important to get to know your camera, so you don’t miss that perfect shot of the sun slanting through trees and clouds.

“It’s not all about the equipment, it’s how you use it. Learn how to use what you have. Even if you just have an iPhone, you can still get creative with that,” says photography Sarah Marcella. Smartphone cameras and digital cameras of all kinds have come a long way, and with post-processing photo editing tools like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, you can easily, and professionally, edit your photos anytime.

Take lots of pictures.

“My number one piece of advice is to practice. I learn something new every time I shoot. Every environment and every photoshoot is unique,” says photographer Jenn Byrne. Practice doesn’t just mean you go to a photo studio and take lots of photos. You also have to capture images in the moment and hone your artistic vision. Bring your camera with you when you’re out in the world and take photos of the things that interest you. Take close-up pictures of plants while on a walk, or take candid portraits of your family.

“Shoot a lot of photos and recognize that you’re going to make a lot of really bad photos and that’s okay,” says Carlson. Every image you capture won’t be beautiful. Even professional photographers take bad photos. It’s through trial and error that you get better and find the style and approach that interests you. Try, fail, and try again.

How to take better pictures with your phone’s camera

Find the light that works for you.

Good light is crucial for good photos. It can set the mood, create a successful exposure, and highlight what’s important in the composition. Experiment with both studio lighting and natural light to see which approach is right for your photos. With studio lighting, you have complete control of the color, brightness, and position of lights. It can take time to learn how to light scenes and people naturally with studio lights, but once you know how to set up key lights, you can get just the look you’re going for.

Natural light can be a little easier to work with, since it doesn’t require lots of extra equipment. But if you shoot outdoors with natural light, don’t take photos at noon when the sun is directly above. This can make your images flat and overly bright. Instead, shoot during the last hour before sunset and the first hour after sunrise, otherwise known as the golden hour. The light at these times is softer and easier to work with.

Want to take better smartphone photography? Here are 10 smartphone photography tips to get you snapping like a pro.

These days, everyone has a camera on them via their phone. Smartphone cameras may not be up there with DSLRs when it comes to quality photography, but they are getting better and better – and for many people, they’re the only cameras they use.

So here we’ll show you how to take professional photos with your phone with our 10 top tips!

Take this guide with you wherever you go! Download our guide for free below. You could even keep it on your phone 😊.

1. Capture Multiple Shots

One of the best things about smartphone photography is that you can take as many photos as you want and there is no need to print them off to see the results. This makes it much easier to learn and improve from your results. Burst photos are good to use when using your smartphone for photography they allow you to capture multiple shots as your subject moves. Once you’ve taken a set of burst photos, you can then select the best shots.

2. Learn What Your Camera Can Do

Start by taking some time to find out exactly what your phone’s camera is capable of. Analyse the auto mode and look at how it focuses and takes an exposure to light, this is normally done by touching the screen where you want the focus point to be, but it’s good to check.

Has the camera phone got the manual settings? If so, get to know them. Some cameras allow you to use more manual settings like white balance and shutter speed. These can help you to take even better photos when you know how to use them. To learn more about these parts of photography click here.

3. Stick to Outdoors and use natural light where possible

Very few smartphones can produce excellent indoor shots due to their small sensors. As such, it’s best to take photos outdoors in the proper lighting conditions to get better results. Lighting determines not only brightness and darkness, but also mood, tone and the atmosphere of the photo. Therefore, try and use natural light when taking photos on a smartphone.

Want 10% off your first course? Click here

4. Avoid Digital Zoom

Digital zoom nearly always produces poor results as it reduces the resolution of the image. Avoiding it is one of the basic photography tips for taking better photos. Optical zooms however are fine as they do not affect the quality of the photo and these are becoming more common on smartphones. If you only have a digital zoom then instead of using it, simply move closer to maintain the image quality.

5. Use HDR

HDR mode stands for High Dynamic Range, and it is increasingly common on many smartphones. It adds detail from the dark and light areas to provide better balanced exposure. In other words, it will stop the sky being too bright or the ground being too dark and really suits landscape photography. If there’s a big difference between the lightest and darkest parts of your scene, using the camera phone’s HDR function it’s a good option.

6. Use Editing Tools

You have easy access to editing tools, whether in the camera phones built in editor, or by using more advanced phone apps like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. Using these apps you can crop and touch up your photos in seconds. And don’t forget here at The School of Photography we teach Lightroom, Photoshop and much more in our membership option. Become a member of TSOP today.

7. Apply the rule of thirds

In the rule of thirds, an image is split into nine equal blocks that form a three-by-three grid. You should aim to get the most interesting parts of your image near the corners of these segments, where the imaginary gridlines meet. Using the rule of thirds give a more natural feeling to the image and allows the eye to flow around the picture with ease. In contrast to this, placing things symmetrical in your frame will give a clean and clinical feeling (which can also be a good look).

Give the rule of thirds a try. Whether you’re taking pictures of friends at a bar or working on a landscape shot, you’ll find it simple and effective. Learn more composition tips and how to take better pictures in our course the Complete Guide to Photography.

8. If dark, rest the phone on a flat surface

In dark conditions you can sometimes get camera shake, leading to blurred results. The camera will also push up the ISO which will lead to noise in your pictures. To reduce this simply lean your phone on a flat surface like a wall, table, ledge. This is a great bit of advice if you want to take pictures in a concert, music venue, bar or anywhere that has dark conditions.

9. Download Better Apps

The standard apps are pretty good on most smartphones, but there are others to try out. Editing apps offer more features, settings and filters to take your photos to the next level. Some good editing apps for phones are:

If you’re like a lot of people, you’re taking more pictures than ever before, but not with a traditional camera. You’re probably using your smartphone, and those built-in cameras, lenses, and editing tools are more sophisticated than ever. But like many things in life, the latest and greatest features aren’t that great if you don’t know how to use them properly. That’s where Consumer Reports comes in with some handy tips to maximize the camera you take everywhere.

Portrait mode is a popular feature offered on many phones. What does it really do? It uses the bokeh effect to blur the background, which really makes your subject pop. To use it, tap the word “portrait” under the viewfinder, then tap on your subject so the camera knows what to focus on. Some phones even let you add this effect after you’ve taken the picture.

Another great feature is Night Mode, which keeps your camera’s shutter open longer to let in more light. But you’ll need a steady hand to get the best results. To hold the camera still while the shutter is open, try locking your elbows at your side. Or better yet, use a tripod.

Another tip from CR is to avoid pinching on your screen to zoom in and instead use your camera’s optical zoom if you’ve got it. That’s the telephoto lens labeled as 2x or 3x on your screen. If you don’t have it, get closer to the action or take a wider shot and crop the photo later so you don’t lose any resolution.

And if you’re in the market for a new phone, the good news is you don’t have to spend a lot to get a quality camera. There are pricey top-rated models, like the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max for $1,100 (Canada $1,550) and the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G for $1,300 (Canada $1,820). But there are also more budget-friendly models with cameras that did well in CR’s ratings. The Apple iPhone XR for $500 (Canada $700) and the OnePlus 8 for $450 (Canada $700) are good options.

Taking good selfies can be tough. It’s hard to hold your phone up high to get a good angle and press the button at the same time. But CR says there’s an easier way: Activate the shutter remotely—with your smartwatch, for example. Or most phones have a timer that gives you 3 or 10 seconds before the picture is snapped for you, so you can focus on striking a pose instead of hitting the shutter button.

With the ongoing advancement of mobile phone technology, capturing high quality images using cell phones has become easier.

Here we look at some iPhone features and photography tips that can help you take better photos and optimize the use of your camera .

Add depth to portraits

Taking a picture using the phone’s Portrait mode “creates a depth-of-field effect,” which keeps your subject sharp while blurring the background, according to Apple.

“To use Portrait mode, open the Camera app and swipe to Portrait mode. Move farther away from your subject if the app suggests it. When the Depth Effect box turns yellow, take the picture,” Apple advises.

. and studio quality lighting

Users with an iPhone X and later as well as an iPhone 8 Plus, can add “studio-quality lighting effects” to make their portrait mode images even more captivating. “After you take your photo, tap Edit and choose from Studio Light, Contour Light, Stage Light, or Stage Light Mono,” Apple says.

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Appear more natural

When the Lens Correction feature is on, any selfies taken with the front-facing camera or photos taken with the Ultra Wide (0.5x) lens are automatically enhanced “to make them appear more natural,” according to Apple.

“To turn this off, go to Settings > Camera, and turn off Lens Correction. Lens Correction is available on iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max,” the company advises.

Tailor images for social media

Using the phone’s Square mode to take pictures “limits the frame of your camera screen to a square—the optimal photo size for many social media apps,” according to Apple.

“So when you take a photo, you can quickly share it on your favorite social platforms,” the company says.

Look outside the box

The camera interface on iPhone models that have the Ultra Wide (0.5x) lens shows you what’s happening outside of the shot you’re framing. “This can help you decide if you need to reframe your shot or switch to a different camera lens on your iPhone for a better photo,” Apple explains.

Set the scene

Using its Scene Detection feature, your camera “intelligently detects what you’re taking a photo of and applies a tailored look to bring out the best qualities in the scene,” according to Apple. Scene Detection is available on iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. This feature can also be turned off within the settings option.

Optimize photos in low lighting

Users of iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models can take pictures in Night mode to capture “more detail and brightens your shots in low-light situations,” according to Apple.

“The length of the exposure in Night mode is determined automatically, but you can experiment with the manual controls,” the company adds.

Use two hands for enhanced stability

Cotton Coulson, a contributing photographer to National Geographic Traveler and nationalgeographic.com, told the magazine: “Whether I’m shooting in portrait or landscape mode, I like to hold the iPhone with my left hand and release the shutter with my right thumb.

“I recently learned that the camera shutter isn’t released until you take your thumb off the shutter button on the touch screen. Try gently releasing the button and see for yourself if that doesn’t work for you. For me, it’s made all the difference, especially when shooting indoors in low and mixed lighting conditions,” he explained.

Control the exposure

When taking a photo, the camera automatically sets the focus and exposure and face detection balances the exposure across several faces. But you can use the Exposure Compensation Control feature “to precisely set and lock the exposure for upcoming shots,” Apple says.

To manually adjust the focus and exposure, tap the screen to show the automatic focus area and exposure setting and then tap where you want to move the focus area. Next to the focus area, drag the exposure icon (which looks like the shape of a sun) up or down to control the exposure.

“To lock your manual focus and exposure settings for upcoming shots, touch and hold the focus area until you see AE/AF Lock; tap the screen to unlock settings,” Apple explains.

The Exposure Compensation Control is available on iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and later models.

Capture wide landscapes

Users can take pictures in Pano mode to capture the full width of incredible landscapes.

“Pano mode gives you a guide bar in the middle of the screen to help you take your photo. If you want to start the photo from the left, make sure the arrow is pointing to the right. If you want to start from the right, tap the arrow and change its direction.

“Tap the shutter button and slowly move your camera in a straight line from one side of your shot to the next. Try to keep the arrow on the yellow guide bar,” Apple advises.

“To pan vertically, rotate iPhone to landscape orientation. You can reverse the direction of a vertical pan, too,” the company adds.

Make your pictures come alive

Live Photos “come alive when you touch them,” Apple describes. These images capture what happens just before and after you take your photo, including the audio.

The Live Photo feature is switched on by tapping the icon featuring concentric circles in Photo mode.

Avoid digital zoom

Coulson explains: “I really don’t like to use the digital zoom feature, which activates when you tap the screen to focus, bringing a blue square onto the display that also adjusts the exposure and white balance. Sometimes I’ll use it for capturing text or a reference shot, but for fine photography on the iPhone I tend to shoot with the lens at its widest angle of view.

“This helps me think more about composition and keeps the camera steady. The greater the zoom, the more likely that camera shake will cause your photos to lack sharpness,” he told National Geographic.

. and sunny lighting for portraits

Avoid sunny and direct light on faces when taking portrait shots as they “can create harsh shadows (and a lot of squinting),” Coulson said.

“Shooting in bad storms can always give interesting results, but my favorite light is bright overcast, open shadow, or even a bit of fog. For technical reasons, the small sensor in the iPhone will handle this light best,” he added.

Seek soft light

Coulson noted: “Keep in mind that, for portraits, light from a window will provide a soft and pleasing look. Rembrandt lighting—using the light streaming in from a window as the main source—creates a natural look and a more comfortable subject.”

Don’t shoot high-speed action, sports and wildlife

“Let’s face it, camera phones were never designed to compete with higher-end DSLR cameras. Use it for what it’s good for—capturing the details of your life. And don’t be afraid to get in close,” Coulson said.

Smartphone cameras have come a long way. While it’s now possible to capture professional-looking shots with any of the most popular models, they have one flaw: low light. Most smartphones simply aren’t big enough to hold camera sensors large enough to help with low lighting, or night photography.

Some of the best phones for taking low-light pictures include the newest, largest models, such as Apple’s XS Max, and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9. Their bigger size means they can squeeze in slightly larger sensors than previous versions.

No matter what smartphone you have, there are some photography tricks and features you can use to get better images in those hard-to-shoot, low-light situations, such as concert photography and firework displays. Try these tips to learn how to take good pictures in low light situations on your phone.

Turn off the flash

Unless the subject is directly in front of you, your camera’s flash isn’t going to do any good. If you’re photographing fireworks or a concert, a flash will illuminate only what’s in its limited field — such as the person’s head in front of you — instead of what you’re aiming for.

Use a tripod

If you have time to set one up, a tripod is great for photographing fireworks or anything in low light. Because smartphone cameras lack large sensors to allow in more light, they rely on a long exposure (or low ISO) to let in enough light to capture the image. This means that any movement, even breathing, can result in blurriness. To avoid this, set your phone up on a tripod and set the timer button (or use a remote control) so you don’t have to physically press the button on the device (thus, moving it slightly).

Move closer instead of zooming in

Smartphone cameras don’t have great zoom capabilities — their limited resolution and set field of view can result in a pixelated look, especially in low light. Instead of using your phone’s zoom feature, move closer to your subject.

Download an app

Most phones are optimized to automatically adjust the ISO, but it’s best to manually set the ISO in some low-light situations. Android phones let you manually adjust the camera settings, but it can be hard to know what settings to use if you aren’t familiar with them. iPhones don’t offer access to your camera’s settings at all.

The easiest way to get the best low-light photos is to download an app that lets you manage the ISO, shutter speed, and other features the way you can on a DSLR camera. Consider downloading an app such as Moment Pro Camera, Slow Shutter Cam, LongExpo, Camera FV-5, or Pro Camera.

Utilize built-in iPhone features for low light

If you don’t want to use a separate app on your iPhone, the camera app offers some built-in tricks to help photograph in low light:

  • The AE/AF Lock lets you lock the focus and exposure values when taking photos. As you are photographing, tap and hold your screen until “AE/AF LOCK” appears at the top in yellow. Slide your finger up and down the screen to adjust to the brightness (exposure) and focus you want.
  • The iPhone’s camera doesn’t have long exposure, but you can recreate the same effect using Live Photos (available on iPhone 6s and later). The Live Photos option captures a few seconds of video on either side of your photo, creating a mini movie. Turn on Live Photos by tapping the yellow circle in the top middle of the camera screen. After you take your pictures, choose the image you want the long exposure on. Swipe up and choose the Long Exposure effect. This effect will give you those light trails you often see in fireworks photos or create a cool blur effect when a band is jamming out on stage.
  • The Live Photos option also lets you select the perfect picture from the mini movie it created. Go to your Live Photo in the Photos app, tap Edit, scroll through the different images at the bottom to find the best one, and tap “Make Key Photo.”

Use Burst Mode

A great option for low-light and action photos is Burst Mode, which has the ability to take multiple pictures in one shot. After you take your picture, simply go back and choose the best image.

Photographing low-light events can be tricky. These tips and tricks can help you get the best pictures possible from your smartphone camera.

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You have a powerful camera built into your Android phone. Do you know how best to use it? These tips will help you take better photos with your Android.

How to take better pictures with your phone’s camera

For the longest time, anyone needing to take photos to be used for the purpose of marketing, documentation, archival, etc. had to carry with them a Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera to get the best quality photo. That’s not always the case now. With smartphone cameras equally or, in some cases, surpassing the quality of photos taken by DSLR camera, you have everything you need in your pocket to take promo-quality photos.

That quality hardware doesn’t always equate to the best possible picture. And so, I’ve gathered together some of my best tips for taking better photos using the Android platform. Let’s see how many of these will improve your end results.

Know your settings

Very few smart phone cameras offer the extensive settings found in a DSLR camera. In only very few Android camera apps (one example is Manual Camera) can you adjust all of the pertinent settings: ISO, aperture, exposure time. In many cases (where these options are available), you will find some of the options in the Manual option (Figure A). If your camera app does offer these settings, at least know the following two:

  • Exposure time – How long your shutter remains open for taking a picture. In low-light settings, the exposure time should be longer. The trick is, however, when you adjust to longer exposure times, it is imperative that you hold the phone completely still.
  • ISO – The light sensitivity of your camera’s sensor. The higher the value, the more sensitive the sensor. In low light conditions, a higher ISO and longer exposure time is ideal.

Figure A

How to take better pictures with your phone’s camera

The Manual option on a OnePlus 3.

A third important setting is Aperture. This setting is (in most cases) not available on a smartphone camera (the Manual Camera app does include aperture). This is an adjustment that changes the amount of light reaching the image sensor.

Get to know manual focus

Smartphone cameras have a pretty good autofocus built in. However, it’s not always perfect. There may be times when you’re trying to frame an image to focus on a certain point, and auto focus insists it focus on another point. To that end, you need to understand how manual focus works on your phone’s camera app (Figure B). Manual focus isn’t always the easiest route to taking photos on a smartphone, but once you get accustomed to how it works, your camera app will be far more versatile (and likely to focus on the point in the frame you’re looking for).

Figure B

How to take better pictures with your phone’s camera

Using autofocus on the OnePlus 3.

Adjust your aspect ratio

Get to know how your camera app handles aspect ratio. The aspect ratio defines how square an image is (1:1) or how wide an image is (16:9). Make sure you understand how to change the aspect aspect ratio in your camera app. Take sample photos of the same image using 4:3 and 16:9 ratio and see which image is truncated and which offers the full picture. Do note that taking photos in the larger format does create larger files.

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Clean your lens

Even if you don’t see anything on the camera lens of your phone, clean it. There could be even the slightest bit of film or particles of dust on the lens that will alter the quality of photo. Before you grab the end of your tee shirt to clean the lens. don’t. Buy a microfiber cleaning cloth or a cloth specifically designed for camera lenses. Keep that window to the world as spotless as you can.

Use lighting to your advantage

I never use the phone’s flash. Why? Because it’s inconsistent and makes for uneven lighting. Your best bet is to make use of the natural lighting. If you can, position the photo by a window; or, better yet, take the photo outside. If you can’t get natural lighting for the photo, find an external source (other than the flash). Just remember, however, that most fluorescents are far from flattering. Whatever you can do to avoid it, use anything but the phone’s flash. The thing about lighting is, it can be very tricky to get right. And, as a rule of thumb, you can never have too much light. Even if you find yourself in a situation where there’s a significant amount of lighting, you can compensate for that within your camera app’s settings.

Buy a gimbal or stand

When you’re taking a photo, your hand needs to be still (especially when you’re using manual settings or in low light situations). For some, this is an impossible task. Luckily you can purchase gimbals (such as the Zhiyun Z1-Smooth-C) and stands. By using one of these tools, you can be sure your camera will be significantly more steady than if you were merely holding the camera in your bare hand. Although a gimbal is more useful when taking movies, it will still do a great job of steadying that phone while taking photos (plus, it’s more portable). If a gimbal isn’t in your budget, go with a stand.

Stop zooming

The average smartphone lens isn’t usually capable of handling zoom well. Because of that, it’s always best to crop the photo (after the fact). Zoom is one of the areas where the DSLR separates itself from the camera phone, in that no smartphone camera can handle zoom like a quality DSLR lens. So stop zooming and retain the quality of your photos. Get closer to the subject and crop out what you don’t want with the likes of GIMP, Photoshop, or Pixlr.

A picture is worth.

. a thousand of these things. If you take the time to acquaint yourself with your smartphone camera app (as well as some of the fundamentals of photography), the photos you take with your smartphone will improve dramatically.

How to take better pictures with your phone’s camera

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