Monday, December 2, 2013

Ten Tips for Phone Camera Photography

Nowadays, taking photos by cell phone and sharing them on social media sites is coming into fashion as a new life style for people. Since everyone owns a cell phone, everyone has a camera with them wherever he is and whenever it is.
As the resolution of phone camera is becoming higher and higher, lens and editing applications more and more professional, phone camera is gaining more popularity and paid more attention to than ever before. Apart from the hardware conditions of camera itself, photographer's shooting skill is no doubt crucial to the image result. Here we sort out ten tips for taking photos, including some basic photography knowledge and composing tips for novice to snap flattering pictures no less favorable than that taken by digital cameras or mirrorless cameras.

1. Discover your device's capabilities
First of all, as a photographic fan, you have to know well how your cell phone camera works and its limits. Generally, phone camera has certain shutter speed range and fixed iris. Photographers need to know enough of them so they can get the best exposure effect by setting the ISO or other settings.

2. Use photography application
The good news is that nowadays there're numerable photography apps to help phone users overcome the restrictions of their devices. For example, Camera+ and Camera Awesome for iPhone's iSO, own features such as grid tool, color gradations, editing, exposure, focus control, which provide not only different kinds of filters but also access to fast upload and picture share on social media sites.
There's another app worth paying attention to—the 645 Pro, a professional photography apps for iPhone, provide SLR-level detail controlling for iPhone photography. Its slow shutter can create stunning lighting effects by long exposures, and in the meantime, maintain high ISO and minimal noise. Besides, Adole's Photoshop and PhotoForge 2, NIK Software's SnapSeed (applies to both iOS and Android) are also good photography or editing apps.
Use photography application

3. Exposure must be accurate
Proper exposure is crucial to get a superb picture no matter for phone cameras or digital SLR cameras. Exposure of an incorrectly exposed shot can't be rescued, no matter how strong the editing app and the filter are. So mind the exposure while shooting, don't leave it to post-processing.
Phone camera can always snap pretty good pictures outdoors when the light is enough, but you also need to find the most suitable light patiently. If it isn't well lit in the shade, you can use a white paper to reflect light or a flashlight, other phone screen as a fill-flash. Try your best to get optimum light, but leave the flash of your phone as the last resort.4. Composing is key
Like other professional photography, cell phone shooting should also consider composing problem.

4. Composing is key
Like other professional photography, cell phone shooting should also consider composing problem.
Composing is key

5. Take layered pictures
When shooting a photo, you should fully consider the subordination between your subject and foreground, middle and background. For example, place your subject in the foreground and blur the background, or capture the subject through window or mirror. It will add contents and interest to the photo.
Take layered pictures

6. Try different angels
You can try different capturing angels, like front, profile or shot from horizon or above, to break the dullness of image. It will add variety and interest to your picture. Unlike the bulky camera, cell phone won't be your burden, so you don't need to afraid of falling over or dare not climb to the windowsill. With your phone you can get closer to the detail or get a wider view to snap pictures give the extra "punch" you rarely get.

7. Shooting in black-and-white
While shooting, you might as well try the classic black-and-white picturing from the traditional optic photography.

8. Proper cropping
When you have enough time to compose, right cropping can change or enhance the image effects. Sometimes the scene changes so fast that the photographer has to react immediately and has scare time to compose carefully. In this case, you'd better take more than your subject in the frame and leave the cropping to editing app. As the resolution of phone camera becomes higher and higher, the picture quality won't decrease too much even if it's cropped to a small piece.

9. Use photographic accessories
In many cases, if shutterbug has some photographic accessories or little tools, the shooting can be more pleasure:
(1) Get a removable tripod for stable shooting.
(2) Use various magnetic lens: fisheye, wide-angle and telephoto, which work better than digital zoom.
(3) A pair of presbyopic glass blocks can be a good idea, which may give you favorable effects no less than that taken by SLR camera.

10. Keep shooting
The advantage of digital photograph is no film limit and immediate come-out. But phone camera has one more merit-- lightweight and portable. With this advantage you can keep shooting in those spontaneous moments to increase your chance of capturing the right shot. This is especially necessary for novices, as they lacks experience and are not keen enough to capture spontaneous moments in time.
Last but not least, photographer has to keep his mind open, use his eyes and mind to observe the world and reflect life, not just relying on device upgrading, tricks applying, so that he can shot more and more excellent pictures. When shooting, pay attention to the parameters—check whether the horizontal and vertical lines are correct (Many apps have horizontal line and grid as references).
The rule of thirds-- place the subject in the position of one third, which will make the picture look harmonious and sensuous.
Press quickly—don't waiting for the perfect composition. Put the elements and subjects in frame beforehand, then you can easily catch the most perfect moments in time when the beautiful scene appears.

Bear these simple tips in mind, take photos everywhere with your mobile phone. Your smart phone can also give you favorable results you can get from a digital camera. Just enjoy the freedom of snapping wherever you are and regardless of whether or not you have your photography kit around!


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