With the advancements in mobile technology, our smartphones are improving by the minute. I mean, the first mobile with a camera had only 0.22 MP camera, and today we have 42 MP in a mobile camera. We have come a long way. Moreover, you have to improve your Instagram game, don’t you?
Well, here are our top 10 tips and tricks to really UP YOUR CAMERA GAME!!!!
This article is for casual as well as pretty serious mobile photographers.
1 Go Manual
1) As it is with any DSLR Camera, you can only shoot so much with auto mode, but once you master the manual mode, there is nothing you cannot do.
2) Master the use of the 3 most important aspects in manual photography- iso, f-stops, and shutter speeds.
3) Also experiment with white balance and temperature. Once you know how you can use them to manipulate the image outcome.
4) You will improve your mobile photography by leaps and bounds. Also, learn all your camera settings, by heart them.
5) If your stock camera app does not offer a manual mode, use a third-party app like Open Camera.
2 Master: The rule of thirds! (THEN BREAK IT OFCOURSE)
1) Composition, composition, composition! All other factors are important for making a great image, but ask any photographer and he will tell you composition is the most important part.
2) There is plenty of advanced composition methods, but the most basic one that works almost every single time is the rule of thirds.
3) The concept is simple. Just visualize the frame divided in three, both horizontally and vertically.
4) There will be a virtual set of rectangles. See the middle one? Try to place your main subject in one of its corners (where the lines intersect).
5) This usually creates a very interesting effect, but be careful, as sometimes images can have too much dead space in other areas.
6) Almost every camera app out there allows you to turn on a 3 x 3 grid.
7) Use it. Place important points like eyes of a person on the intersection of the lines.
After you master this, try to learn something called “The Golden Ratio.”
3 Use HDR as often as possible.
1) HDR stands for High Dynamic Range.
2) The ultimate purpose?
- To have more dynamic range and create images that are more uniformly lit. Modern smartphones can now take care of all this work on their own, so look for the option in the camera settings.
3) This is good for situations in which there is a large contrast in light.
4) For example, try to take a picture of yourself indoors, standing in front of a window that points outside.
5) Either you will be very dark or the light outside will be completely overblown.
4 Don’t Throw Away ‘mistakes’
1) Remember that on many phones the quality of the screen will not be as good as your computer’s.
2) So, if possible hang onto your shots until you can get them on your PC.
3) You might just find that they come alive on a quality monitor.
4) You’ll also find that even ‘mistakes’ and blurred shots can actually be quite usable (in an abstract kind of way).
5 Avoid Using the Digital Zoom
1) Digital Zoom is your worst enemy. It diminishes the quality so badly that it is nearly impossible to edit the image later.
2) Go close to the subject. As tempting as it might be to zoom in on your subject when taking your picture (if you have a zoom feature on your camera phone).
3) If the zoom is a ‘digital zoom’ it will decrease the quality of your shot to use it (you’ll end up with a more pixelated shot).
4) Plus, you can always edit your shot later using photo editing software on your computer.
5) Of course, some camera phones are beginning to hit the market with ‘optical zooms’ – these are fine to use as they don’t enlarge your subject by enlarging pixels.
6 Go buy a tripod or a monopod
1) I can almost guarantee that each one of you has missed a great shot because you shook the mobile and the picture came out blurred.
2) Well, there is a simple solution, you can either train daily to get you hand to stay so still, that there is no movement at all and your photos come out free of blur, or us a tripod.
3) I of course prefer the latter. A tripod will always be useful, it will help you maintain the crispness of your photos.
4) No need to get a professional one, there are smaller and cheaper ones available which will do the job just fine.
5) The most preferable one is a gorilla pod, as its legs can be folded to suit your needs.
7 Lenses are the windows to your desired shots.
1) Your mobile comes with just one, fixed lens, maybe two, but it can’t do you much justice, can it? To get more out of your phone camera, try attachable lenses.
2) They give you special effects like macro or fish-eye shots, and all you have to do is snap one on top of your camera lens.
3) The most popular ones are:-
- Telephoto Zoom
4) With each lens, you get added functionality that will improve your mobile photography like nothing else.
8 Get an external flash.
1) Of course, natural light is the best.
2) But you won’t always have the lighting conditions you desire, would you? Yes, you do need a flash.
3) Sometimes there will be the perfect opportunity to take a photo, but it is a bit too dark.
4) To compensate for it, the mobile will increase the iso level, and hence increase the grains in the picture which will ruin the quality.
5) And honestly, the flash on your camera sucks, So, to get that perfect shot in the darkness, us an external flash.
1) Nothing is really interesting if it is done in the same regular fashion.
2) To really find your style, experiment. Do not copy others blindly, sure take inspirations but that’s it.
3) To come up with something new takes time, but as you gain experience, you will be able to do much more interesting things.
4) Travel, go to different locations, use different props, there are uncountable things to do, you are only limited by your imagination.
10 Don’t Over-Process Your Photos
1) Though it sounds obvious, a lot of people out there tend to over process their images in the post production.
2) The attitude you want to develop is “Work More on Camera, so you have to work less on the computer”.
3) It basically means that you must try and take the shot in a way that it will take up less time to edit, it should be just the final touch up.
4) But some people edit a bit too much, and honestly it diminishes the quality of the photo, both visually and literally.
5) It adds up to grains, reduce in resolutions etc. So, edit your photos with restraint.
6) Only apply effects that will enhance the natural beauty of the photo.
7) Watch out for the appearance of grain and overly saturated colors when you’re adjusting exposure and color settings.
8) Dial back the settings if you think you’ve gone overboard.
- Follow the works of some photographers. Not necessarily famous, but the ones whose work you find good. Take inspiration from their photos, but do not copy blindly.
Here are some photographers to follow on Instagram (usernames)-
Set up a photography page or join a photography group. Really, nothing motivates more than receiving positive comments about your work. And even if you are bad at first, you are bound to improve, just don’t leave your passion just because of a few negative comments.
Always stay motivated.
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Please do comment below to add your suggestions and feedback , thanks.