5 tips to take better pics on your smartphone
Today’s flagship smartphones have incredible cameras. Most support full manual controls and can be used for advanced low-light and close-up macro photography. Others have smart automatic modes that help make sure your phone is in the best position to take the perfect shot.
So whether you need an image on your company website, a front cover for a PowerPoint presentation or a portrait of a colleague for their LinkedIn profile, here are a handful of tips to help you take better pictures on your smartphone.
1. More pixels means sharper pictures
Flagship cameras tend to clock in at 12 to 20 megapixels and anything in this range will deliver results you can print. That said, many don’t take pictures at full resolution by default. To get maximum pixel power, jump into the camera settings of your phone, search for Photo Size and select the highest megapixel option.
2. Steady your shot for low light
When lighting isn’t great, that’s when cameras struggle. The shutter has to be open that bit longer, so you’ll want to keep your phone as still as possible. You can do this by propping it up, or using a tripod with a smartphone attachment like the Manfrotto PIXI EVO 2 and Twist Grip head.
In addition, most high-end phones have a shooting mode caller Night Mode or Night Shot. This will use a combination of software and shutter speed wizardry to get you the best shot possible when light availability is limited.
3. Use manual focus for close-up photography
Most phones tend to use ‘tap to focus’ tech – tap on the screen, and the focus locks onto your subject. Occasionally, this can miss your target, especially in macro close-up shots when you’re looking to get a nice sharp foreground and a blurred background.
For these, flick open your phone’s manual mode. There should be a focus toggle. Here, you can lock focus on the part of your subject you want, ensuring your macro shots are impactful and have beautiful depth.
4. Stick with auto mode for portraits
Surprisingly, one of the best things you can do when taking portrait photography is to keep your phone in automatic mode. Why? Most automatic modes use face recognition and HDR technology, so it’ll ensure your subject’s face is correctly exposed, even if it’s at the expense of overall scene exposure. Naturally, if you want to override this, manual mode is your best friend.
5. Get arty with light trails on a slow shutter
A slow shutter speed in manual mode paired with a mobile tripod can make magic happen. Whether you’re capturing a light trail or a silky waterfall, jumping into manual mode and slowing the shutter speed will add an ethereal quality to your shots. But – make sure you do this at night – daytime slow shutter shots tend to swamp the sensor with light and fast become a big blob of overexposed white.
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