12 Simple tricks to take better photos with your smartphone

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Last updated: January 17, 2018

Today, most smartphones with a built-in camera, which means you almost always have the ability to take a picture, wherever you go. The newer mobile phones often have a good camera that can take high-quality images, at least for personal use.

So, you have a great camera in your smartphone, but how do they really turn out? Most people would probably answer that their pictures turn out “okay.”

Luckily for you, those days are over. After reading this list, with 12 simple tricks to take better pictures with your smartphone, you’ll never have to take “okay” photos with your smartphone again.

1. Get to know your phone’s camera

All mobile cameras are different and have unique functions. Therefore, it is important to get to know your phone’s camera and test the various functions available. If you do not like the result, you can always delete the image, but then you have at least tried, and know what that function is and what it does to the photo.

2. Go closer rather than using zoom

Many times you use the zoom function because you are lazy, or because you think it will not be a particularly large difference in the picture. But this is not true; the digital zoom is notorious for destroying images, and it is always better to go closer to your subject, at least if you got the option to do so.

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Therefore try to avoid the zoom function, digital zoom is not good. Use the zoom feature only if you must, or if you have optical zoom.

3. Rule of Thirds

Rule of Thirds means that you divide the image into nine equal squares. Then place your subject where the lines meet, either up or down, right or left.

This technique has been used since ancient times to create a compelling composition (The Greek used it on paintings).

4. Keep the lens clean

It is easy to forget to wipe the lens periodically, especially if you’re in a hurry or want to shoot something quickly. Most cell phones do not have a built-in lens cover, which makes it quite easy for dirt and grease end up on the glass when the phone is in your pocket or purse.

Make it a habit of carrying a cleaning cloth in microfiber; then you won’t need to worry about the “ghosts” in your images.

5. Auto Focus

The majority of all new mobile phones have a built-in auto-focus function, which is usually activated by a single or double tap on the screen where you want to focus.

On many mobiles, this also makes the image slightly lighter or darker because it also corrects the exposure at the same time.

6. Take pictures in good lighting conditions

The main disadvantage of a mobile camera is without a doubt that it doesn’t get as much light into the sensor as in a DSLR.

This means that it’s only possible to take good photos with your smartphone when you have good light conditions.

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7. Use the burst-mode, if you shoot someone who moves

To shoot “in action” is something that can be tricky with mobile phones, at least if you use the default mode of the camera. With burst-mode enabled your mobile takes multiple photos per second, which increases the chance that any of the pictures will be good if the subject moves.

8. Cut the flash

Many people who take pictures with their smartphone make the mistake of using the flash. It creates an unnatural light; that will give your subject a less flattering look.

Another problem is that many smartphones use a fake flash, and instead of a real flash, it’s basically just a LED lamp that lights up. In addition to that, the lens is also often too close to the “flash”, which could result in unwanted effects and lights on your photos.

9. Change your own position

A smartphone weighs just a couple of hundred grams. Thus it’s no problem at all to move around with it, but despite that must people still tend to shoot in the same height and angle in all their images. To create interesting pictures that will impress friends and family one should try different positions and angles.

For example, What happens if you shoot from the side, from above, below, 30 degrees left or if you bend down? Try it, and see for yourself.

You will be amazed how much difference it can make!

10. Look for lines and interesting details

A neat trick to create vibrant and exciting photos is to use leading lines that lead the eye further into the picture. This can be anything from a railing, a road or anything else that takes shape as a line.

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Something else to look out for – Interesting details and symbols that reinforce the image.

11. HDR function

This feature should be used with caution, as it has a tendency to create unnatural images sometimes. Most newer cell phones have an HDR function, which means that the camera takes several images with different light and then put them together into a single image.

The different exposures ensure that all details become visible and that there are fewer shadows and better overall light in the picture.

12. Do not crop legs and arms

Another common mistake when photographing people is to “cut” their arms and legs. If the legs do not fit in the picture, it is better to cut just above the waist than to cut off the legs.

As for arms, you should always try to get the arms and hands in the picture; it just looks unnatural if you don’t.

August 20th, 2016|

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Swedish Nomad

Hello! I’m Alex Waltner — A Swedish Travel Blogger & Photographer.

My vision with this blog is to inspire people to travel more and better by sharing useful travel guides and tips from my adventures around the world.

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2 Comments

  1. ReiseLinda 04/19/2018 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    Great tips!

  2. Derrick Were 04/19/2018 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    Informative. I will definitely try this.

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