According to a study by the Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA), global digital camera shipments decreased by more than 87% between 2010 and 2020. Meanwhile, the use of smartphones for photography has become more prevalent, with many people relying on their phones as their primary cameras. In fact, a survey by Statista in 2021 found that 91% of respondents used their smartphone camera for taking photos, while only 64% used a digital camera. However, it’s worth noting that professional photographers and enthusiasts still prefer dedicated cameras for their superior image quality and manual control options. Check out smartphone photography tips we will detail in this article. how to take good photos with phone
However, dedicated cameras are still preferred by professional photographers, with 68% of professionals surveyed by Visual Objects in 2021 using a DSLR camera, compared to 28% using a smartphone.
Taking pictures with your smartphone has become a habit for many people. Often, we trust the automatic mode with its default settings. But if you want to take better photos, some additional settings are necessary, and they will significantly improve the quality of photos taken with your smartphone.
Take pictures like a pro how to take good photos with phone
When you start in the world of photography, it is complicated to understand all the vocabulary: Shutter, Focal length, Diaphragm, Long exposure, Bokeh, Viewfinder, Depth of field, you understood everything? Don’t worry, we’ll help you understand it better! We asked several photographers for their tips on how to take better pictures with a smartphone. Get ready to finally turn off your camera’s automatic mode!
We will explain different photo settings, which depend on the brand and operating system of your smartphone, but most of the tips are achievable on most smartphones sold in recent years. Whether you own a Xiaomi, Samsung, Oppo, or Apple, you can consult your phone’s user manual to find the different settings that follow.
1- Clean the lens of your smartphone
This may sound very silly, but we tend to forget this point, and without a clean lens, we don’t make a good picture! Whether your smartphone has one sensor or several different lenses, they need to be clean. You can clean your photo sensors with a dry microfiber cloth, and if you have a blower, use it to remove all the small dust.
2- Do focus by yourself
Focus is the most important gesture in photography, and therefore, it is done automatically by our cameras today. However, it is possible to adjust the focus yourself, simply by pressing the desired location on the screen. The focus allows to define which elements of the scene must be highlighted, the sharpness and brightness will adapt to this point.
3- Use the grid
The photo capture grid is an extremely useful tool, it even allows photographers to learn how to organize their photographs. This grid will allow you to:
- Follow the rule of thirds: which makes the images more dynamic. Never place the subject in the center of the image, it’s trite and makes the image look classic. Instead, try to place the important elements on the lines of force of the image (represented by the grid)
- Make straighter photographs: we don’t always have a tripod, and we often have to adopt crazy positions to photograph a scene. The lines thus enable us to ensure the respect of the shape of what we capture.
4- Choose the right scene
One of the limitations of automatic settings is that they do not adapt to all situations. So there are many scene settings to adapt to the subject you want to photograph. The most frequently used scenes are:
- Portrait mode allows you to make a face stand out against the background.
- Sport mode adapts the speed capture of the lens to capture a movement without having blurred areas.
- Landscape mode as its name suggests is suitable for shooting beaches, mountains and other outdoor landscapes.
- Night mode captures frames by adapting to low light. how to take good photos with phone
5- Zooming yes, but carefully
The market puts forward more and more very large zooms, but they do not always allow a rendering as clean as we imagine. Digital zoom is used to crop the image. This zoom makes the photo lose sharpness, and also makes it appear grainy. It is, therefore, necessary to avoid using this zoom as much as possible to keep a maximum of details.
When a phone is equipped with a true optical zoom, it will be able to rely on a telephoto lens, like a camera. You can then zoom in more effectively, without losing detail or altering the sharpness. Optical zooms are often equipped on rather high-end smartphones.
6- Know how to use the HDR mode
The HDR mode is now present in most smartphones sold in the Luxembourg market. It allows you to create a photo by taking shots with different exposures. This option allows to balance of the shots but sometimes makes the images less natural.
A little tip: do not hesitate to keep an original photo without HDR to be able to compare the renders. You can find this option in the photo settings on your phone.
7- Adjust the exposure of your photo how to take good photos with phone
Even with artificial intelligence, the photo sensor is not always able to target the area on which it should adjust the light. This often happens when photographing a dark subject on a light background, or the opposite.
Here is the procedure to follow:
- If you want to lighten the scene, increase the exposure
- If you want to darken the scene, decrease the exposure
You can experiment with several different exposure values to compare the results.
8- Learn to use the ultra wide-angle lens
For some time now, smartphones have offered several photo sensors, including a wide-angle, and sometimes even ultra-wide-angle. A wider angle means that the camera’s field of view is enlarged.
The ultra wide-angle is therefore very useful for:
- Getting a wide shot without having to back up
- To take a group selfie
9- Choose the right ISO value how to take good photos with phone
As for the focus, the ISO value is now automated on many smartphones. However, this data is very important for photographs since their existence. This value limits the use of the camera flash, which unnecessarily reduces the quality of many photos. The more you increase the ISO value, the more the sensor will be able to take pictures with low light, knowing that the values go from 50 to sometimes 3200 ISO. But beware of the loss of sharpness if you increase this value too much.
- When capturing a scene with good light, you should set the ISO to a low value, such as 100. This increases the sharpness of the image.
- Otherwise, if the light is low or the weather is overcast, you should try to increase the ISO value to 400 for example.
Again, you can experiment by taking the same photo with different settings to find out the best results.
10- A tripod for your smartphone
It’s no secret that when you take a picture, you shake and move. It is difficult to remain perfectly stable, that’s why there are tripods in photography.
It is simply fixed support to which the smartphone or camera is attached to make it stable. The photo is thus stabilised and the result obtained is optimal, without having any movement related to the photographer.
There are many kinds of tripods, suitable for any type of smartphone, but if you don’t have one at hand, no worries. Look for a flat surface to put your smartphone on while you take the picture, so your camera will be naturally stabilized.
11- Prefer an auxiliary lamp to the use of the flash
The phone flash allows us to take photos at night or in the evening, but it often results in a photo of lower quality by “burning” a subject or an element. To avoid this problem, prefer a light ring or an auxiliary lamp that will illuminate the scene to be photographed and thus solve the problem of lack of light.
Many tripods are sold directly with integrated light and at a very affordable price.
Snapseed to improve your photos
This app was bought by Google, which made it free. With 29 tools and filters (correction, brush, perspective, HDR, etc.), the application allows you to adjust the settings to improve the quality of your photos.
The app supports photos in JPEG or RAW format (a format widely used in photography and available on high-end cameras, which offers uncompressed images). Download the app for free on Android or iPhone.
AirBrush is the app that improves selfies
A selfie is quite an art, which requires several steps before being shared.
AirBrush is the app made for that. You can take your selfie directly from the application, and apply one or more filters. Among the possibilities offered, you can improve the whiteness of your teeth, or refine your cheeks. Everything is possible but beware of abusing filters, which give a result far from natural. The basic functions are free and allow you to edit a selfie. Discover the AirBrush app on Android and iPhone.