Smartphone cameras are advanced enough to replace point-and-shoot and DSLR models for many people. You’ve probably noticed some of your friends posting amazing smartphone photos on social media, and you might wonder how they achieve such beautiful results. If you use your Android’s camera the right way, you too can take envy-worthy photographs without a stand-alone camera. Learn a few photography techniques and practice, practice, practice to become a better amateur smartphone photographer.
Learn the Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds is one of the simplest photography concepts you can learn, but once you learn it you’ll find that it immeasurably opens up your ability to take interesting photographs. When you use the rule of thirds, you imagine two horizontal lines dividing your field into three even sections and two vertical lines doing the same, so that you end up with a total of nine sections.
Typically, photographers orient their subjects on one of the four spots where the horizontal and vertical lines intersect. While it’s a little more complex than a short explanation can describe, once you learn to use the rule of thirds, you’ll be on your way to composing much better scenes for your photographs.
Work With the Phone You Have
Smartphone developers include various features in available smartphone cameras, so learn everything you can about the camera attached to your smartphone. Online reports will tell you what kinds of shots your camera takes best, and they will give you tips about how to take advantage of special features. One stellar smartphone camera option you can find in an Android phone is the dual lens technology available in the LG G5. Besides the 16MP normal lens, the G5 has a second 8MP wide-angle lens, giving you photography options that other phones simply do not have.
Take Advantage of Available Lighting
When you’re shooting a person or a movable object, manipulate your subject’s placement as it relates to the ambient light. If you’re indoors, try aiming lamps, manipulating overhead lights, and using the natural light through windows to create good lighting conditions. You may need to try a few shots before you find the best lighting.
When you’re outside, you’ll need to move yourself and your subject based on the angle of the sun. If you’re shooting during extremely sunny parts of the day, look for partial shade so you can avoid casting heavy shadows.
Ditch the Flash
Image via Flickr by Mintboy
Many pro photographers prefer to shoot without flash, and their cameras have much better flash apparatuses than your smartphone does. Unless you really know what you’re doing, using flash photography usually leaves you with a washed out foreground and an uninteresting background. Unless you’re shooting in next to no light (in which case your picture isn’t going to be very good anyway), or your main light source is behind your subject and can’t be changed, you’ll always get a better result when you rely on ambient lighting instead of the flash.
Take Lots of Close-Ups
Smartphone cameras perform well when you move close to your subject. By tapping the screen you can focus on the subject, and when your field is small it’s easier to control your lighting. When you get close to a subject, you can use your hands and your body to alter the lighting. Since your phone is so easy to maneuver, moving closer to or farther away from your subject is simple, giving you leeway to craft the perfect shot.
Crop and Edit Later
Instead of zooming in on a subject or filtering your shot before you take it, just take the picture normally and do any necessary editing later. When you zoom with any smartphone you lose resolution and end up with a pixellated image. Adding a filter before you shoot means you can’t return to the original image, which limits your later editing capabilities. Crop the photo and add effects after you shoot, and you’ll get a better result.
Connect to a free cloud service to add to the amount of space you have on your Android phone. That way you can take as many photos as you need to until you get the perfect shot. Keep working with your Android phone, because the more familiar you get with how it takes photos, the better your results will be.