Tips and tutorials

13 tips for better Camera Phone Photography

Camera phones are everywhere. Nowadays, every mobile phone is equipped with a camera. There is a common notion that an advanced digital camera is necessary to take good photographs. But that is not true. Beautiful things surround us as far as the eye can see. Consequently, catching the moment of beauty is rightly considered as a greatest boon. The equipment we have does not really influence on our desire to create-so, whether you don’t have your camera near at hand or don’t have it at all, it would not be out-of-place to memorize some unsophisticated principles to make your photo always look nice and plain. In this post I shall give you some tips to improve your camera phone photography.

13 tips to take better photos with your camera phone

Tip 1. Hold your phone steady while taking the shot. First and the foremost thing. Hold your camera phone properly. As it goes with any camera, the image will be clearer if it is hold still. For taking steady shots, during shooting, you can lean on any stable object or hold it free hand. Be still until your camera process the photograph. Some camera phones have image stabilisation features that will prevent blurry shots.

White building against a blue sky as backdrop -- camera phone photos
Shooting in ideal light will significantly improve your photos

Tip 2. Keep the optical parts of your phone always clean. Always take good care of your equipment. Usually, in camera phones, the lens is exposed outside. Protect it from dusts and scratches. Smudges of finger prints on the lens are one of the most common problems. It makes the photos blurry and less sharp Therefore, periodically clean the optics with a soft cloth.

Ships in a harbour -- camera phone photos

Tip 3. Spare extra attention on light. An object has to be properly and well-lit. Keep an eye on the light source since different light sources will affect the picture in different ways. Some cameras may have flashes or assisting lights which can significantly enhance the capacity of shooting. If you shoot without flashlights, avoid taking pictures when the light is very low otherwise it will affect the picture quality since high ISO photos from camera phones are annoyingly noisy. Also, avoid direct and harsh sunlight since it makes the subject less attractive.

Read: 14 tips to avoid blurry photos

Tip 4. Always use the maximum resolution of your camera phone while taking pictures. The higher the resolution, better the image quality. It will help you to capture good detail on the photograph. Some camera phones allow you to select a particular resolution of the photograph. Read camera’s manual for setting this.

Black and white photo of a street
Try different preset effects on your camera phone

Tip 5. Change your perspective. Changing the perspective of your shot will dramatically improve the pictures you take. It is common that people take photos in their eye level (standing pose). The result is that all the pics look the same. So, try to change the angles and see how it affects the output

Tip 6. Use optical zoom. Instead of digital zoom, use optical zoom. Digital zoom, despite their obvious advantages, it reduces picture quality. It actually changes the scale of the image, not the very distance you need.

Reflection of a sky on a building -- camera phone photo
Photo Credits: kevin dooley/Flickr

Tip 7. Experiment with your camera phone settings. Many modern cameras equipped several functions like white balance, exposure compensation, metering modes, shooting modes,  auto modes like panorama, smile shots etc. Experiment with these settings and get used to it. For example, white balance is used to adjust the color balance. So, understanding how to use it can improve colors in the photographs. It should be noted that in different models this function operates differently, so first read carefully the user instructions and everything related to this feature.

Read: Introduction to white balance

Tip 8. Stick to the rules of composition (still it does not mean you can`t ever break them). There are a number of rules of composition in photography (rule of thirds, rule of space, rule of odds are some of them), please read them and use them in practice. When you start to follow these rules without thinking, you can start to break them. Try experimenting each of them in different scenarios. If your camera phone has the option to enable grid view mode (refer the user’s manual), use it for composing the shots.

Tip 9. Keep an eye on the distance between you and the subject. Avoid keeping large distance between you and the subject when using a camera phone. Unless you zoom in, you are shooting with a wide angle focal length with your camera phone. So in that case, the farther you are from the subject, the smaller it will appear on the picture, and in some cases may be merely impossible to recognize. For example, if you are trying to take a picture of your friend, try to zoom in or get close, otherwise it results in too much clutter in the photograph. So, maintain a proper distance between you and the subject.

Read: 7 causes of blurry photos

Tip 10. Rename your images, give them logical and original names. This may not have direct impact on the photos you take, but it will help you to order your images. All digital cameras use sequence numbers, so it’s very difficult sometimes to find the one which interests you. The meaning of name or description will make it easier to understand the weight of various images

Tip 11. After shooting, edit the image if necessary. At first it may seem simple, but eventually (when you get experienced), editing images with applications built into your phone or by more serious image editors on the PC will significantly improve the quality of colors and images on the picture. For example, you can take a picture and convert it into black and white, sepia etc. Although editing camera pictures may results in un-natural looking photographs, but you can always try.

Tip 12. Use accessories. Some camera phones can use photography accessories like macro filters, wide angle filters etc. See if your camera supports it and use them to improve your photos.

Dragonfly close up shot with camera phone
Photo Credits: Pison Jaujip/Flickr

Tip 13. Have fun with photo apps. There are hundreds of photo apps available in the market, and some of them are free too. Photo apps come with some cool filters you can try on. These apps will allow you to instantly share your photos in social networks.

Read: 6 Best Photo Apps for Smartphones

Above are the important points which are of paramount importance while taking pictures with your camera phone. Surely, you cannot quit it on this stage or stress that it is all you may need. Photography is endless, just like creativity. Perfection comes with desire, practice and hard work.

Good luck in your development and never be scared to try!

About the Author

Marta Mokhunova is a  photographer from Ukraine. She loves photography and sports. She’s particularly interested in shooting portraits and tries to capture mundane things in a different way. You can connect with her on her facebook profile.

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One Comment

  1. The optical zoome part is a huge deal! So often we forget that if we can “just crop it later” and get the same image!

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