Want Better Cell Phone Pictures? Here’s a few tips!
Get Close to Your Subject
Due to low resolution, cell phone images tend to be small and subjects tend to be too tiny. So here’s what you need to do: Make sure your subject fills up your view finder. This will save having to zoom in on the subject when you edit your photos (we’ll get to that down the list!) Beware, getting too close to a subject can also create distortion and focusing issues.
Light Your Subject Well
Your image will be clearer if your subject is well lit. It is best to shoot outside or if shooting inside make sure the lights are on. This will add extra light to your shot. You want to keep in mind that artificial light impacts the color cast in your shots, so you may want to experiment with the white balance to fix it. Most cameras come with a built in flash which can add clarity to a shot, even if shooting outside. Avoid shooting into bright lights, as this will make your subjects silhouetted.
When you’re steady, your images will be more clear. Make sure to be as still as possible when shooting in low light situations; where your camera will automatically select longer shutter speeds to make up for lack of light. Leaning against solid objects will help steady you. Cell phone cameras also have “shutter lag,” where there’s a time between when you “take” the picture to when it actually captures the picture. You need to hold the camera still a bit longer to make sure you get the shot and the shot isn’t taken as you’re lowering it away from your subject.
Avoid Using the Digital Zoom
Remember when we said “get close to your subject?” Do it. You maybe be tempted to zoom in on your subject, but if the zoom is a ‘digital zoom’ it will decrease the quality of your shot. You can always edit your photo later on your computer. Some cell phones have ‘optical zooms’ which are okay to use because they don’t enlarge your subject by enlarging pixels.
Don’t Throw Away ‘mistakes’
Sometimes our cell phone pics don’t look that great on our phones, but they may be great shots once we get them on the computer. If possible, save all photos until you can get them on your computer. They may come alive on a quality monitor.
Experiment with White Balance
Many cell phone cameras have an adjustable white balance, which allows you to change the color balance in your images based on shooting conditions. Play around with this feature to get an idea of how your shots are impacted by this. All phones are different – you may need to check your cell phone manual for more information.
Keep Your Lens Clean
Think of all the places your phone goes. They get dirty! Fingerprints are a common problem on cell phone camera lenses. Take a few seconds to wipe the lens with a soft cloth to remove the dirt! It makes a huge difference.
Take loads of Shots and Experiment
Take a ton of shots and experiment with different settings, modes, and compositions. Trash the ones you don’t want to keep and upload the keepers to your computer to edit. Try shooting from different angles and perspectives. You will get lots of interesting and fun shots!
Follow Rules of Composition, then break them.
Weren’t rules made to be broken? Know a few basic rules of composition, for example to ‘rule of thirds’ – don’t place your subject in the middle of your frame. Make sure the subject is a third of the way in the frame. Remember that cell phone photos are allowed to break all conventions. Some of the best shots we’ve ever seen break all rules. Remember to experiment!
Observe Camera Phone Etiquette
Don’t be sneaky of voyeuristic when trying to get a good picture with your cell phone. It’s best to ask permission to photograph strangers and be mindful of certain restrictions when using your camera in places like theaters and at concerts.
Use the highest resolution possible on your camera phone
The higher the resolution, the better the shot. Cell phone cameras often have sensors of under 1 megapixel in them, so keep in mind that the higher the resolution the larger the file size. The larger the file size, the longer it will take to send to someone.
Edit Images Later
Editing your photos on a computer will give you much better results. We know it can be fun to use your phone to edit your photos, bust for best results, edit on a computer. Take your shots in a higher color resolution to keep your options open for editing at a later time. You can always change a photo to black and white on your computer, but you can’t make a photo colored if shooting in black and white mode.
Like we said, rules were made to be broken. Follow the tips we’ve given, but most importantly have fun experimenting! Click here to put your photography skills to the test!