How To: Photography (Phone)

Yet another new series for my blog. This time it’s a ‘How to’/tips/hacks sort of thing! Expect tips related to writing, health, beauty, fitness… everything you can think of! If you want tips and/or hacks on a topic, in particular, let me know in the comments below! Just a small disclaimer, these tips are based on both my research and personal experience. If you disagree with any of these, you can add and remove your own choices 🙂

So take out your notepads, put the kettle on and get writing!

Before smartphones existed you’d have to buy a super fancy, expensive and heavy camera and editing software for your desktop computer (PC), whilst also investing time and energy into learning how to use all of them.

Thanks to current technology, , we can now take high-quality pictures and edit them with ease… all from a phone! However, taking a great photo is not as simple as just pointing and shooting. So what’s the secret?


Gridlines

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The best way to improve your photos is to turn on the grid on your camera by:

iPhone – Settings > Photos & Camera > Grid on

Samsung – Camera app > Settings > Grid lines on

Once they’re on, a series of lines in the form of a grid will superimpose on the screen. These are based on the rule of thirds, which is a photographic principle that states an image is to be broken down into thirds so that you have nine in total. If you place subjects in these intersections or along the lines, your photo is more balanced.

Focus

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Today’s phone cameras focus on the foreground automatically, but not every picture you take with your phone has an obvious subject. To adjust your focal point, open your camera app and tap the screen where you want the view to sharpen (and be focused). A square or circle should appear on your screen and the subject is sharper and more focused than the rest.

One subject

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The best photos include one interesting subject, so when taking a picture of one, spend some time setting up the shot to make it nice and presentable. Professionals say that the subject shouldn’t fill the entire frame and two-thirds of the photo should be negative space. This helps the subject stand out more.

To do so, tap the screen on your subject, and it will also optimise lighting. Filters can also help the picture to be better and more interesting. I personally love playing with filters!

Negative space

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Negative space refers to the area around and between the image subjects and can make a photo go from good to great in an instant.  A lot of empty space in a photo makes the subject stand out more. Negative space usually is the open sky, an empty field or a large wall.

Different perspectives

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Different, unique and unexpected angles in photos can make them more memorable. It creates an illusion of depth and height with the subjects. I love photos from a bird’s eye view or using things like a wine glass or a glass ball.

Symmetry

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I think symmetrical photos are very eye-catching and pleasing because they’re simple yet compelling to compose. In photography, it means to create an image that can be divided into two equal parts that mirror each other.

Bonus tip! Use the gridlines mentioned before to line everything oy perfectly.

Repetitive patterns

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If you don’t find patterns pleasing, then what are you?! They appear whenever strong photographic elements are repeated. That could be lines, geometric shapes, forms and even colour. Patterns make a strong visual impact. It’s more fun to keep an out for them when they appear naturally.

Colour blocking

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I simply love photos that are entirely black and white except for the subject. Colour blocking can help highlight the elements of a photo that you want to stand out. It achieves a similar goal to that of negative space.

Small details

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The saying “it’s the little things that count” doesn’t only apply in life in general, but also photography. Close-up photos that capture small, delicate details can make an image very compelling. Something that helps is sharpening your images using the settings on editing apps or Instagram itself to bring out the small subject and make it bigger than it is.

Natural light

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More often than not, the camera flash makes a photo look overexposed, alters colours and makes human subjects look washed out. The solution to this is by taking advantage of natural light, even after dark. Once the photo is taken, play with the exposure tools on your camera or photo editing apps to make the image brighter or dimmer than it is.

Candids

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Posed photos are great for memory-making, but otherwise, candid shots of people being with other people and being themselves can be a lot more interesting, because candids effectively capture the emotion and essence of that moment. The best tip for candids is to take as many photos as possible so you’ll have more to choose from.

Clean lens

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A phone may be more convenient to carry around than an actual camera, but it comes at the cost of protection too. Your phone is usually in your pocket or your bag when you’re out, so be sure to clean it from any dust and lint with a soft handkerchief before taking a photo.

Edit

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Composing and taking photos with your phone is only the first step in making the photo visually pleasing. The next step would be the editing process, which is the most fun step for me, yet also the most critical. This process includes cropping, filtering, sharpening, exposing, removing blemishes, etc.

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5 thoughts on “How To: Photography (Phone)

  1. I’ve recently ditched my camera in favour for my phone because I didn’t really know much about the technicalities of it, and didn’t fancy lugging it around. So thank you so much for sharing these tips! I hope I can boost my photo taking skills by the end of the year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have recently sat for a course on media and learning about gridlines and subject focus and things like that was super helpful for my blog! My camera on my phone isn’t the best quality so I might invest in a good camera in the future. But for now these tips have been helpful on my phone 🙂

      Like

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