15 Tips for Mobile Photography

Capture

You don’t always need a big bulky camera to take good pictures, even a mobile phone in the right hands can take amazing photographs. Here are a few tips to help you take amazing photographs with a mobile phone.

1) Be Prepared

Always be in a mindset to look out for stories around you. There is always something happening around us and each one that makes an amazing story. The moment you sense there is a photo opportunity, don’t think twice, just shoot. If you come across a regular pattern, then take some time to study it before hitting the shutter button.

Tony Antoniou

Source – Tony Antoniou

 

2) Light is the key

In any form of photography, Light is the key. Without light, we cannot make a photograph. So look for opportunities to light your subject. All rules of DSLR photography apply to Mobile photography as well. If there is harsh light, move your subject into shade or if there is less light, bring in an extra light source. Light is very important especially for mobile photography as majority of the mobiles don’t have an option to shoot in RAW and shooting in low light will create a lot of noise. Look out for interesting patterns of light and shadows, which can create different compositions. Shoot into the sun as this can give some interesting silhouettes.

Source – Darja Bilyk

3) DON’T use ZOOM and FLASH

Stay away from zoom in your mobile camera. It is digital zoom and not an optical zoom. That means, the camera literally crops the frame, which will lead to a lot of loss in details. Instead of zooming, you can always take a wide angle shot and later crop it, which gives you far better results in terms of details and quality. The best suggestion would be to move in close to the subject if possible and take the shot.

 

And don’t use flash. The mobile camera flashes are simple LED lights, which doesn’t freeze the motion like strobes and you will end up with a blurry subject eventually. Also, they create these red eye issues, which makes the picture less appealing.

ditch_the_flash

 

4) Edit

Whatever device you use to shoot, always give the picture a little bit of retouching. Cropping, straightening and color balance can give you a lot better picture than the untouched one. Latest mobile cameras use sophisticated algorithms to brighten and soften the picture to make it look lot better. So make use of it.

Paul Moore1
Source – Paul Moore

5) Try new perspective

Always look out for different angles and perspectives. Rather than shooting from standing position, you could try shooting from the ground level or shoot from high up to give a bird’s eye perspective.

Istockphoto1

Source – Istockphoto

6) Use both hands

Use both your hands to frame the subject to give better image stabilization; else you will end up with blurry images. This helps especially while taking photos in low light conditions as the camera automatically sets slow shutter speed to compensate the low light and if you don’t have steady hands, you will end up with shaky pictures. Alternatively, you could use a tripod or gorilla pod and trigger the camera with your headphones, which can be used a remote shutter release.

7) Download a camera app that gives you manual controls

 

The camera app that comes with your camera might not have the ability to give you manual controls. Download a better camera app that gives you more control over shutter speed and ISO, as mobile cameras have a fixed aperture in most cases. This gives you an opportunity to try slow shutter speed photography like light trails and panning.

Processed with VSCOcam with s4 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with s4 preset

Source – Darja Bilyk

8) Keep your lens clean

Always have a clean cloth and clean your lens before taking a picture. Dust or fingerprints can give you dull pictures. Dirty lens will block the light and will create dust spots and smudges in your pictures. Use a soft cloth to prevent the lens from getting scratches.

9) Select a theme

To make mobile photography more interesting, pick up a theme and focus on it. For example, you could pick a particular color and shoot subjects, which has that color. You could choose a theme like patterns and shoot interesting patterns.

 

10) Take tons of pictures

Since memory cards have become very cheap, shoot as much as possible. There are no bad pictures so shoot till you drop and you may have clicked an award-winning picture.

 

11)Composition

Mobile or DSLR, composition is very important. Apply the general composition techniques like the rule of thirds, leading lines to make powerful images. Play around with negative and positive space and don’t forget to break these rules to make some amazing pictures. Read our article about composition here.

Paul Moore 2

Source – Paul Moore

12) Watch out for the background

The background makes or breaks a picture. So before clicking, check if there are any disturbing elements in the frame that takes the attention away from the subject. Never have a cluttered frame, because the viewer gets confused if there are too many elements in the frame. Keep an eye on the distracting background colors also that might take focus away from your subject.

 

13)Black and white

For a change, shoot black and white. Or shoot in color and convert into black and white and see how it looks.

Istockphoto

Source -Istockphoto

14) Use accessories

Every mobile camera has additional lens attachment options these days. There are macro and Zoom lens. There are filters as well. Buy them and try it out.

Stan Horaczek

Source – Stan Horaczek

15) Make prints

Last but not the least; take prints of your work. It always feels good to see an amazing picture in a print than seeing on the computer screen. So go out there and have fun.

Source – Darja Bilyk

Cover photo by Gable Denims

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