Making the Most of Your Smartphone Camera

Making the Most of Your Smartphone Camerafoot

“A picture is worthy of a thousand words”


I often get asked what kind of camera I shoot with because my pictures turn out so clearly.  People are SHOCKED when I tell them that the photo they asked about was taken on my smartphone.

In fact, all the photos in this article were taken with my smartphone.

For many photography enthusiasts, it is not possible for them to justify spending an excessive amount of money on pricey camera equipment or often even significantly cheaper camera equipment.

This predicament often leaves them using their smartphone to shoot photos.

Likewise, even those who have professional camera equipment often rely on their smartphone to quickly capture moments of time where its not practical or timely to grab their bulky DSLR and suit it with the proper lens for the shot they want.

This article is written to help you shoot as professionally as you possibly can from the tiny lens on the back of your phone.

 

Shooting in “panorama” allows you to capture much more material in one photo.

Most smartphones today have a panorama feature. Although most people think of this feature as a way to capture a large landscape, it has many many other uses and can be utilized into your smartphone photography skills for a lot of shots.
Panorama allows you to capture much more material inside a photo.

Whether you are indoors or outdoors, you can give any photo a recessive, wide angle look by switching to this mode.

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Shot with standard “Auto” setting. As you can see, only part of the room can be captured even though it was shot from the very corner.

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This was shot in “panorama” mode, which allows you to capture much more of the room clearly if you have a steady hand.

 

Photos can look stunning if taken from very close with “macro” mode.

Another nice feature in most smartphone cameras today is the lens’s ability to focus on very close subjects. This comes in handy for shooting anything from small insects to flowers to food. Whatever the subject is, it can be clearly focused close up and while the background stays nicely blurred due to the focal points and the small lens.

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Crisp sharp photo taken less than 6 inches away. The background is blurred which allows you to concentrate on the subject easier.

 

“Grid lines” allow for much more symmetry in your photos.

A huge part of making your photos look professional is by keeping everything symmetrical. Most smartphones have an option for grid lines on them, and regardless of how annoying you find them, they will help you to keep everything neatly organized in your shot.

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These grid lines allow you to measure and keep your photo symmetrical

 

Looking for geometric shapes when shooting your photos can make them much more aesthetic and unique.

Looking for geometric shapes while shooting can bring a massive amount of order to your artistic compositions.  Although most do not think of this while shooting, it is a large part of art in general.  Order and mathematics are huge in art and will make a big difference if applied to your digital photography.

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Rectangles

 

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Triangles

 

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Spiral

 

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Parallel lines

 

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Curves or arches

 

Pictures should be made of feelings and good storytelling.

The main goal of an artistic photographer should be to properly convey a story or feeling through each picture. If a picture has neither, it holds no value to the viewer. Shooting photos with purpose makes much more sense than just taking a picture because you think it will look nice. Remember “a picture is worthy of a thousand words”.

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This is one photo I have taken that I feel has a lot of feelings and stories behind it. It is mysterious, scary, and makes you wonder what lies behind the door.

 

Editing your photos can turn them from plain to vibrant.

Editing is a necessary evil. It’s not always fun, but it is necessary. Once you get good at it, you can quickly edit photos and make them look stunning within minutes. There are tons of great apps that you can find on your phone’s app store that can help you with basic edits. For more advanced editing, I would recommend uploading them to your PC and editing them with a program such as Adobe Photoshop or GIMP. Here is an example of a simple Instagram edit that makes a huge difference.

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Original

 

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Edited. Highlights and lowlights were adjusted, as well at the warmth and saturation.

 

Cropping your photos can change the perspective of the photo.

Cropping is a basic edit that can make a world of difference. Cutting out excess material or reshaping the photo always makes a big difference.

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Finally, only post THE BEST of your best.

If you don’t think your photo is stunning, neither will anyone else.  If its not the best, you probably shouldn’t post it on social media, especially if you are trying to build a reputation as a photographer.

If you only post your very best, everyone will believe that you only shoot pictures that are that good!

I take tons of pictures that are half decent, but rarely post them because I know I have done much better before.

Constantly be challenging yourself to do better and better and you will see the results from it!

Your smartphone camera is a great tool you can use, and you can benefit greatly from learning how to properly use it and how to properly convey art in general!  Look for guides on how to use your specific smartphone camera, and build some knowledge around it.  The world has too many mediocre photographers.  Stand out from the crowd and know what you are doing with whatever equipment you are using!

 

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