It’s almost time to jet off for Spring Break, my friends. And here I am without a nice camera! What’s worse is that vacations mean on-the-go photos, quick clicks and one-chance shots. You don’t have time to go back and retake the fuzzies. Luckily, Rocky Caughron, owner of Rocky’s Photography, has some tips for getting those professional looking photos right from your Smartphone camera.
It is almost spring and many of you are getting ready for spring break or planning trips over the summer. These days everyone has at least one camera everywhere they go (your smart phone) which makes it very easy to document these memories (assuming you want to). Even if you’re not interested in starting your own photography business there is no reason not to learn some basics and take better vacation photographs or better pictures of your children. Here are 7 tips to get your started on your way to creating images you are proud to show off and hang on your wall.
1. Zoom is not your friend.
Most smart phones use digital zoom and that will reduce the quality and should be avoided. There are a few smart phones now that have optical zoom and if yours does zoom away and it will not reduce the quality of your images. If you’re not sure what I am talking about avoid using your zoom.
2. Don’t be afraid to get close.
With many cameras you have to be at least a few feet away from whatever you’re taking a picture of for your camera to focus. Most smart phones can be within six inches or so of your subject and focus just fine. This is great if you like taking pictures of flowers or any other small objects.
3. Find unique and unusual perspectives.
Don’t be afraid to get dirty by laying on the ground to take pictures of your kids or getting on a ladder to take an interesting group shot. If you’re taking a shot of a building or landscape don’t be afraid to walk or drive around to find a better angle or better light. Also if you are able try taking photos of the same scenes in the morning and then again in the evening to see when the light looks the best.
4. Find good apps.
Even if you’re not interested in learning how to use computer editing software like Photoshop you can still improve your images with an easy to use editing app like Photoshop Express or Iphoto. You will want to be able to do slightly more than just put a filter on your images that everyone else is using to make your work standout. Another thing to consider espesally if you have an iphone is to get a 3rd party camera app like Camera+, ProCapture Free, or Slow Shutter Cam. These apps will give you more control and features then your default camera app that came with your phone.
5. Follow the rules.
There are some standard rules in photography that can be learned and followed (at least when your just starting out) that will make your images better. Once you learn and master the rules it is then time to start getting more creative and break a few of them. One of those rules is the rule of thirds. It simply means to get the subject out of the middle of the image. Just by putting the subject off center can make an ok image a good one. There are many more rules we could talk about here but for now let’s just leave it at the rule of thirds. If you want to learn more look for information on leading lines, golden spiral, posing, lighting, and composition.
6. Learn to take control of your settings.
As with any camera smart phones have an auto mode and most people never take theirs off of this mode. However, if you want to be have more control and be able to be more creative learn how to change and control all the settings in your camera. At the very least play with some of the preset scene modes and learn what they do so you can use them to get the shot you want when the time comes. Also, don’t overlook the HDR mode if your camera has it. You can use the HDR mode to get details in the dark areas as well as the bright areas of the scene and is especially useful outdoors.
7. Print, Frame, and Hang!
In this new digital age to many people aren’t printing their images. I suggest finding a good lab like Mpix or Adoramapix and getting some of those memories off of your phone and in your hands.
Your vacation memories are in your hands. Cheers to capturing them beautifully! Thank You for stopping by Rocky! I look forward to trying these tips on my trip! Does anyone else have any smartphone photography tips?