mobile photography

How To Capture Better Pictures Using Your Phone

This quick how-to guide will provide tips for making the most of your phone for photography.

Smartphones have made it even easier to take better pictures without owning a professional camera. Most phones come with a high-quality camera that can produce similar results, or in some cases, even better results than you would get with a digital camera. Below are some tips to help you improve your phone photography.

1.   Use a tripod

city lights night iphone
Photo by Burak K on Pexels.com

One of the biggest problems you can face while shooting on your phone is camera shake. The lighter weight of your phone mixed with the small size amplifies your normal handshake, and can make a huge difference in your photos. Try investing in a tripod to help stabilize your phone while shooting, or create your own with this DIY hack. You can even invest in a Bluetooth remote that acts as a wireless trigger, which can alleviate camera shake altogether.

2.   Try out manual settings

Most recently released smartphones come with manual settings, or some kind of “pro” mode that allows you to manually adjust your settings. Switch out of your normal auto mode, and start using these manual settings to make the most of your photos.

You can adjust your ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, which will help produce higher quality photos in different light settings. If your phone doesn’t come with the option to shoot in manual mode, no worries! You can download a third-party app like Adobe Lightroom or Manual Camera DSLR Camera Professional to achieve the same results.

3.   Invest in lenses for your phone

black smartphone besides earphones and camera lens
Photo by Rahul Pandit on Pexels.com

Another simple way to up your smartphone photography is to invest in lenses for your phone. You can find all different kinds of lenses online made just for smartphones, like macro and wide-angle, to help you get the same shots you would on a digital camera.

4.   Capture action shots with burst mode

Used to using your DSLR’s continuous shooting feature? No problem. Capture your action shots with your phone’s burst mode. The iPhone 11 allows you to hold down the burst mode to take as many pictures as you want, so there’s no limit to the amount of shots you can get. After you’re done, simply go through the file and pick which ones you want to keep.

5.   Shoot from different angles

Iphone image example from low angle
Image via Instagram

Try out different angles when shooting from your phone. Since it’s lighter and easier to handle than most digital cameras, you can get creative with these shots and explore new angles.

6.   Try portrait mode when shooting close-up subjects

Image example of iPhone portrait mode settings

The portrait mode on the iPhone can give professional photographers a run for their money when used correctly. Try this feature out the next time you’re shooting a close-up subject. The best part about this feature is it doesn’t have to be used on just people, so get creative and try it out for nature shots as well.

7.   Utilize the camera grid

Image of the beach with photo grid overlay

This simple trick can make a huge difference in your composition. Go to your camera settings, and turn on your camera grid to help you line up the composition of each shot. By keeping your subject within the grid, you can be strategic with the way your subjects are framed within the shot, as well as create even lines within the scene.

8.   Use the self-timer if you don’t have a remote trigger

Don’t want to invest in a Bluetooth remote, or too impatient to wait until you get one? Try using the self-timer function as a substitute. This works best if you have a tripod, so you can set your timer and step away from your phone as it does its thing. This is a great way to reduce camera shake when shooting from your phone.

9.   Download a 3rd party camera app

Your smartphone camera works pretty well on its own, but you can find even more features with a third-party app. These apps access your camera while adding features like RAW files and manual settings to help you take even better photos.

Some third-party apps even allow you to edit photos, so you have a one-stop option for all of your photography needs.

10.  Get creative with the panoramic mode

Panoramic mode is a great feature when it comes to taking beautiful landscape pictures, but you can also use it for creative shoots. Create the illusion of a multi-person image by having your model run from one side of the panorama to the other while shooting.

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