Seven tips for remarkable smart phone photography

Cristin and Kristin - iPhone Photo, Natural Light, Rule of Thirds, Effects added in Camera +

Cristin and Kristin – iPhone Photo, Natural Light, Rule of Thirds, Effects added in Camera+

According to Yahoo!, 880 billion photos will be uploaded to the Internet in 2014. Facebook suggests that over 6 billion photos are posted every month on this popular social media site. With all this photography going on, all of us should be experts by now!  But have you seen some of these images?  Not always a pretty picture.  

It‘s probably a good bet that most Internet images come from a phone we had in our hand. After all, the best camera to own is the one you have with you. And Smart Phones these days can take remarkable photos in such a small package we always have with us.   The next time you pull your camera phone out, try these Smart Phone Photography Tips for Remarkable Photos:

  1. Wipe that smudge off your lens. – use a good microfiber cloth.  By the way, how exactly did you get that sticky -rice on your phone?

  2. Set your phone camera setting to the highest quality photo resolution. If you end up taking one of those Pulitzer Prize winning shots, you will be all set to make a magnificent print.  Higher resolution photos take up more room on your phone, but your photos will look and print better in the long run.

  3. Put some light on your subject. Good natural light makes a great photo. A dimly lit room often makes a blurry photo. Move your subject into the light, or get closer to your subject and use the microscopic flash on your phone camera.  If you really need to get that photo of Uncle Charlie snoring in the living room at 9-o’clock at night, go for it.  But for those photo album quality photos, put some morning or afternoon natural light on your subject.

  4. Fill your frame. Use your sneaker zoom!  After you think you are close enough to your subject, take two steps closer. Your Phone Camera zoom feature is really not optically zooming your photo, so avoid using the digital zoom so your image won’t become pixelated as you zoom it larger.  Use your feet-zoom and save all those pixels for your final print or internet posting.  Warning, if you get really close, Uncle Charlie’s nose might look way too big!

  5. Take a little time to compose your frame. Many phone camera apps can display a “rule of thirds” grid on your viewing screen. Position your subject on one of those line intersections in the grid. When photographing people, position their eyes just above one of the grid top line intersections, or at least above the top line of the grid. . . Fill up that Frame!

  6. Hold it still. – Hold it real still . . . you and the phone camera. Hold your phone with two hands resting your elbows on your chest.  With your phone in landscape position, your fingers are on top, and thumbs on the bottom forming what looks like the letter “C” with your hands. Your middle finger knuckles are on the front of the phone with the LCD screen facing you.  Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to trigger the shutter without moving the camera. Probably the most difficult challenge to accomplish on a smart phone!  On all phones except the new ios7 Apple phones, here is the trick…  The camera does not actually take the picture until you take your thumb off the shutter button. Go ahead… try it. When you are composing, place your thumb on the shutter button, pressing down gently while preparing to take your shot. Then gently lift your thumb to activate the shutter. The new ios7 phone shutter will trigger when you finger touches the shutter button. The results . . . a remarkable photo!

  7. Amp up your photos with apps.  After you have captured that remarkable image, amp it up with edits, filters, and frames.  You can get remarkable results by mixing photo editing effects with applications like Camera+, Snapseed, or Instagram. You can spend hours on end editing and creating personalized art before adding your creation to the other 800 Billion on line.

Good shooting. . . And may the Remarkable Photos be yours. . .

Chuck

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