We live in an era where everything around us is drenched with technology. Everywhere you look, be it entertainment, healthcare, or production, you can see that machines and automated software are literally powering everything.
But we don’t need to go too far; our own personal devices – smartphones, have taken over most of our attention span. Many elderly people often complain about youngsters being constantly looking at their smartphone screens, which is not far from the truth.
Smartphones Enrich Our Lives
Yet the reason why they complain is not entirely fair. Our iPhones and Android devices are really making our lives easier in almost every level, be it food, entertainment, or work. Entertainment is probably one of the biggest application areas for smartphones. We stream music and videos, as well as movies, directly from our smartphones, play games, and take awesome photos.
Mobile photography is actually one of the fastest-growing sectors of photography, which is not very surprising. We take our phones everywhere, and it means we can snap decent-quality images on the go.
But it’s not only about pursuing mobile photography as a hobby. People actually get paid for their smartphone photographs. For instance, casinos hire photographers that are taken from every possible angle, which usually requires compact and flexible gear – a smartphone, in short. In fact, casinos have played a significant role in popularizing smartphone photography.
The new Australian online casino is a perfect example of this: it features images of slots, poker, and roulette taken with and processed directly in the smartphone. But even more importantly, they wanted to show only the specific objects of their venues – the game areas themselves. And on the background, a phone image wouldn’t catch a lot of detail, which would be even more beneficial to direct the viewers’ eyes towards the focused object.
As a person who himself pursues this artform, I would like to share my experience with a smartphone photography gear and teach you how you can take far better images with your personal device. So, here are the top 4 tips to take your mobile photography game to the next level:
#1 Get a Perfect Composition Using Grid Lines
If you have ever opened a camera in your smartphone and looked through settings, you’ll definitely have seen a setting called Grid Lines that brings four intersecting lines to your capturing screen. To be honest, this feature always annoyed me before I finally found out their real purpose, which is to help you balance your shot and make it more visually pleasing.
Basically, grid lines are two vertical and two horizontal intersecting lines that create easily-discernible thirds of your image. But why do you need that? Well, one of the fundamental rules (which can obviously be broken for different reasons) of photography is called the rule of thirds. It implies that a visually-stunning composition should have a point of interest at one of those lines; you can even put a subject at the intersection of two lines, which is even more effective.
So, to strike a banger mobile shot, you should consider using grid lines.
#2 Nail The Focus
All smartphone cameras today allow you to adjust the focus – an interest point of the image. If you have a superb composition, great lighting, and professional editing, yet the subject is out of focus, you can consider your shot as good as garbage.
Therefore, whenever you’re taking a photograph of a person, a dog, or a grand vista, make sure that the focus is locked in the right place. Today’s smartphone cameras have pretty stunning autofocus mechanisms that help them focus instantly, yet there will be occasions when your point of interest is something else than what the camera has detected. That’s why you have to manually adjust the focus.
In iPhones, for instance, you can hold for a couple of seconds on the subject you want in focus and the camera will stay focused on that point (you’ll need to readjust focus if you move closer or farther away from the subject).
#3 Include Leading Lines
In photography, a composition of the image is virtually everything; it can either make a banger shot or render it useless. And there are lots of ways you can get a superb composition for your image, one of which is to use leading lines.
A leading line is a directional object of the scene that draws the viewers’ eyes towards a certain part of the image. It can be a straight line, an array of straight-leading objects, or a curved line – doesn’t make much difference as long as it leads you towards something.
So, if you want to create depth and a sense of three dimensions in your phone image, you can look for any kind of directional lines, be it staircases, roads, train tracks, or building facades; as long as they direct the viewers’ attention towards a certain point.
#4 Don’t Be Afraid of Post-Processing
When you take photos with a regular DSLR in the Raw format, it’s a no-brainer to import your images to a processing software, and play around with colors, as well as shadows and highlights.
Yet it is somewhat established that mobile images should not be processed because they’re shot in Jpeg. Well, for one thing, you can also shoot Raw images with your smartphone – many flagship devices are shipped with this feature. But more importantly, there’s nothing shameful to do color correction or lighting adjustments to your images.
In fact, the more you perfect your image, the better, and that sometimes means employing post-processing techniques. And for that, you can use both mobile apps, as well as desktop platforms. Keep in mind, however, that subtlety is more rewarded in photography than an extravagance.
Elevate Your Mobile Images
With these four tips, you can really capture images that tell a story in an original way. Not only will they convey a meaning, but they’ll also be very pleasant to look at. And believe me, people always appreciate pleasant art.
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