They Get Around | 5 Simple Tricks for Better Smartphone Photography – How To Take Professional Photos On Your Phone
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Feb 06 2017

5 Simple Tricks for Better Smartphone Photography – How To Take Professional Photos On Your Phone

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5 Simple Tricks for Better Smartphone Photography: As smartphones become more prominent, so to does smartphone photography. While I do prefer taking photos using a DSLR, the quality of the camera in smartphones are rapidly improving. As the popularity of smartphones increase and people opt for the lighter less troublesome method of taking photos, there arises a separate sub category of photography – smartphone photography.


| 5 Simple Tricks for Better Smartphone Photography |

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Why Use A Smartphone Instead of a DSLR?


As I mentioned briefly before, I do prefer taking photos with a DSLR simply because the quality on offer is better. However if that said, there are quite a few benefits to using a smartphone and perfecting your photography skills on the cell phone as opposed to the bulkier equivalent of a DSLR. The main reason for that is to do with weight.


When it comes to smartphone photography there really isn’t any extra weight, since you’ll already be carrying a phone which happens to have a camera integrated into it. In the case of using a DSLR you’ll need to carry a seperate camera, the lens for the DLSR, a tripod, and any other equipment you may need. This can end up weighing between 2.5 – 5 kg’s. It may not sound like a lot, but having a few extra kilos in your bag when you’re exploring can really deter people from exploring. This becomes more of an issue when hiking.


Contrasting this with a smartphone in which all you need to leave the house is the phone itself, it’s easy to see why smartphone photography is so liberating.


The other reason for going with the trend of smartphone photography is the ease of use. Smartphones have been designed to be easy to use, especially when it comes to taking photos. DSLR cameras are fairly easy to use in their own right, however they look rather intimidating, and for this reason a lot of people may choose to avoid using one. People only choose to use a DSLR when their after something the smartphone doesn’t offer, and that’s the quality.


For a smartphone all you need to do is press the big red/grey button it really is quite simple. For this reason smartphones are rather brilliant for their ease of use. On top of that the quality of images from smartphone aren’t that bad, and for most people they’re certainly more than acceptable.

Recommended Smartphones for Photography

Samsung Galaxy S7

Phone Specs: f/1.7, 12 megapixel camera, 26 mm equivalent lens, 4K video recording


Apple iPhone 7/7 Plus

Phone Specs: f/1.8, 12 megapixel camera, 28 mm equivalent lens, 4K video recording


Sony Xperia Z5 Compact

Phone Specs: f/2.0, 20 megapixel camera, 24 mm equivalent lens, 4K video recording


Huawei 9P

Phone Specs: f/2.2, 12 megapixel camera, 28 mm equivalent lens, FullHD video recording



| 5 Simple Tricks For Smartphone Photography |


Landscape Mode


This is perhaps the easiest trick you can do to help improve your photos. Simply switch your photo style from portrait to landscape by flipping your phone and placing it horizontally as opposed to vertically which it is when in portraiture mode.


This simple change of style now gives you much more space to fill within the photo. A lot of the time people take photos on their smart phone using portrait mode and are not using a lot of the space within the photo – thus creating dead space. Most of the time dead space is the ceiling, sky or the ground.




This is perhaps the most important thing in photo. With a great composition you can turn just about anything to be interesting. By using a unique angle or simply moving the subject to the left or right a little more, will you be able to create something which holds the viewers attention a little more.


The use of composition is that strong as a photography tool that if you were to have a photography challenge with two participants, one using a DSLR camera but taking shots with bad composition, while the other participant used an average smartphone of today, but the photographer used compelling and clever compositions. The photographer who used better compositions would win easily.
Don’t be sucked into the notion that a better camera makes a better photographer, learn more about how your shot is placed. That’s how you’ll walk away from a scene with those ‘wow’ photos.


Center Isn’t Always Best


Continuing off from the last point, when composing and framing a shot, remember – center isn’t always best. Yes, it’s rather easy to take a photo with it being dead in the center, with logic suggesting that this would be the ideal spot for the subject. However this isn’t always true. More often than not if an image is directly in the center it’ll create a flat, boring, and unchanging image for the viewer.
People don’t like to be tested as it leaves them open to looking silly if they get don’t understand something, or get it wrong. However by simply moving an object just a little more to the left or right and obeying the rule of thirds will you be able to create an image with lures in the viewer and manages to maintain their attention a little longer.


Use Manual Settings


This almost goes against everything which a smartphone camera stands for, being quick, uncomplicated and easy to use. By downloading a free app like MuseCam or Yamera will it allow you to take photos to a similar degree to that of a DSLR camera.
These manual camera apps allow you to control the ISO, colour balance, but most importantly the shutter speed. By controlling the shutter speed will you be able to capture those wonderful photos where the creeks and rivers look silky smooth, or even light trails at night.  While the app may not allow you to keep your shutter open for as long as a DSLR, you will certainly will have a lot of fun with this function as both the apps will allow speeds as long as 1/4 and 1/2 of a second respectively.


Understand The Pillars of Photography


The last and final piece of advice I can give for smartphone photography is to learn how photography works. In short photography is all about controlling light. By understanding how shutter speeds and ISO’s work (MuseCam and Yamera don’t allow for aperture control) will you be able to some truly breathtaking photos all but with your smartphone.



| 5 Simple Tricks for Better Smartphone Photography |

| 5 Simple Tricks for Better Smartphone Photography |

What did you think of our ‘5 Simple Tricks for Better Smartphone Photography’? Do you think they’ll help you take your photography to the next level?

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