March 14, 2020
Creators taking the baby steps in the world of influence don’t have the moolah to buy a fancy camera. Neither do they have the time to learn the ins and outs of photography.
Thankfully, the makers of iPhone (and some Android mobiles) have made #influencerlife much easier.
Have you seen the lenses on some of these new iPhones (here’s looking at you 11 Pro)? They are out of this world.
All you need are some basic learnings and you can click away to your heart’s content with the assurance that if not all, then most, pictures will be worthy of the ‘Gram. With this in mind, we bring you the do’s and don’ts of phone photography.
How to Improve Phone Photography and Be A Better Influencer?
Images are the equivalent of food for #CreatorLife. You can’t live without them, but grainy photos that make your followers scroll past are no good. Put these tips to work to improve your phone photography and see those double-taps roll in!
The Basic Rules to Clicking Photos on Phone
The golden triangle of how to take great photos on mobile is lens, focus, and exposure.
A clean lens
Elementary, my dear Watson; but a phone spends 90% of the time in your hands or bag. Meaning the lens has oily fingerprints, tiny dust particles and debris stuck to it. Clean it with a soft fabric before you click any photo.
A sharp focus
If your subject is looking less than sharp even after cleaning the lens, your focus is off. Mobile cameras are built to autofocus on the foreground, most times your subject is not in it.
Set focus on manual and then tap the screen exactly where your subject is to get a sharp picture.
A perfect exposure.
You notice how sometimes the pictures are too dark or too bright? The first is underexposure and the second in overexposure.
To get the perfect light setting, you need to adjust the exposure manually. To do so:
- First, tap to set focus
- Second, swipe up or down to make the image brighter or darker
How do you know the exposure is right? When the most important part of the picture has a lot of colour and detail.
The final, additional rule to phone photography is not to use the flash because they distort the colours. Turn it off by default. Only use it when there is no other light source (or you have the most expensive phone ever).
The Rules to Clicking Professional Photos on Phone
Switch on grid lines
How to take a perfectly balanced shot? Googled that while creating your content? The magic lies with camera grid lines. When you switch them on, a series of lines superimpose on the image. Use them.
A stunning photo is one where the subject is either placed at the intersection of the grid lines or along with them. Such shots are not only balanced but appear more natural.
This trick is based on the fundamental principle of photography – Rule of Thirds, which says that your image should have 9 total parts created by breaking into three different segments vertically and horizontally.
Use negative space
As much attention you pay to the subject, pay more to the area surrounding it. Let’s say you are taking a photo of a dress and the shoes that go with it for #OOTD. The area between the two is your negative space and it can turn a ‘meh’ photo to a ‘wow.’
The more empty space, the better your subject (dress +shoes in this example) stands out. If your picture has sky, water, empty street or field in it, make sure you get a large portion of them in the frame. They’re all negative spaces and they create a strong response in followers.
Find leading lines
Tired of your pictures looking lifeless? Find the leading lines of the frame. It’s the best phone photography tip to make your images look less flat.
What’s a leading line? Any line that takes the eye from the foreground of the picture to the background.
In this image, the road is a leading line. See how it adds the feeling of depth? A river, a building, a railway line, a wall, a fence, a few trees, a bridge or even a broken path can be leading line.
When you are framing your shot, make sure that the line (and it could be figurative) is in the foreground and stretches for some distance. Such pictures have a sense of direction and movement, making them absolutely thought-provoking.
Switch to HDR
When you are trying to capture a scene that has bright areas as well as dark, you end up with these issues:
- Either the dark area is filled with shadows
- Or the illuminated area is too highlighted
These are called high-contrast scenes. To get the right exposure in both dark and light areas, you need to use HDR (High Dynamic Range). Once you switch that, both sections of the scene will be evenly-lit and have fantastic detail.
HDR Vs No HDR
Play with portrait mode
If you have an iPhone, we know you’ve used portrait mood. If not, it is high time you do. They make for dreamy and gorgeous photos that look like a professional shoot.
The trick here is to stand 2 to 8 feet away from the subject and wait for the screen to flash the words “Natural Light” in yellow. When it does, tap the shutter and you’ll have that blurred background and sharp foreground picture you always wanted.
Play with burst mode
Shooting your always active puppy and finding it impossible to get a decent photo? Use the burst mode. It is the best way to capture any moving subject. With one click, the phone camera takes several pictures in a matter of seconds. Of all, there will be at least one with the right pose or position.
To Sum Up Phone Photography…
We can go on and on about how to take great photos on the phone. Use ample natural light, make sure your hand is entirely still, don’t zoom in instead go close to the subject, there are endless ways to improve mobile photography.
But we close with two crucial tips – experiment and edit. The more you play with the features of your Smartphone camera, the more you’ll learn. Also, mistakes are meant to be edited!