Have you ever wondered why your mobile phone photographs never quite look as good as the real thing?
We live in a beautiful part of the UK, and in the NorthWest, and more specifically, The Wirral, Chester and North Wales we are lucky to have on our doorstep some fantastic scenery and places of interest.
Here are 6 very quick to learn, top tips to help you create better photographs and maybe even encourage you to print them off! Good luck!
- Use the Rule of 1/3rds.
Avoid placing your subject in the middle of your photograph. Ideally you want the main area of focus to be at the intersection of 2 lines a 1/3 of the way across your photographs ( or 2/3rd’s) and likewise vertically up and down. (see photograph). Use gridlines on your phone to help you. These can usually be located in your Settings.
2. Set your Camera’s Focus.
Today’s phone cameras automatically focus on the foreground of your frame, but not every picture you take on your phone has an obvious subject. To adjust where you want your camera lens to focus, open your camera app and tap the screen where you want to sharpen the view. This will become the focal point of your photograph and should be the sharpest and clearest area of your photograph.
3. Use HDR Mode.
Look out for HDR Mode in your Settings. Often phone cameras will blow out a sky (i.e. no detail) or completely blacken dark areas. This is particularly a problem if you have both in the same photograph. Ideally you want a bit of detail in either of these and HDR will enable you to do this automatically. I[hones tend to do this automatically anyway, but Android you will need to make this adjustment yourself.
4. Use Natural light.
Using flash on a mobile never gives great results. Sometimes you get a better look by not using it at all and using your exposure slider in your camera software to brighten your photograph. If photographing outside, you can often get a more satisfying result by creating more shadows rather than simply blasting everything with flash. Familiarise yourself with how to switch it on and off quickly and experiment!
5. Hold your phone still.
A slightly shaky hand will cause a blurred photograph. This is especially noticeable with darker environments. Not only will this not look great, but you can certainly forget about ever getting a print of your shot. Ideally you should hold your mobile with 2 hands, squeezing your elbows into your body to create a human tripod. The further away from your body you hold your phone the less stable it will become. Sometimes it may look okay at first view, but when you zoom in you could be disappointed.
6. Use the Editing Software
Don’t be afraid to experiment with the editing tools that come with your camera app. An obvious one is the cropping tool which you should use to follow the rule of 1/3rd’s – see 1. above. Whatever you change, there is always a “revert” button, so don’t worry about making any mistakes. Another obvious edit, especially for outdoor/landscapes, is to ensure your horizon is level. Again you may use the grids on your phone for this purpose.