We sometimes believe that, to take a good shot, we need a professional camera. Personally I can’t afford one and I also feel like it’s unpractical to go around with a heavy camera. When I travel I like to pack light, so I turned to another method… my iPhone.
Now let’s get into the 5 tips I could think of on how to take better photos with your phone!
1. Basic Understanding of the Rules of Photography
The real rule of photography is that there are no rules. However, there are some guidelines that could be applied in any situation to take better shots. Better lighting for example, helps you draw more attention to your subject. Once you familiarize with these guidelines, you’ll be amazed by how good your photos will be.
Rule of Thirds
First important ‘rule’. Divide in you mind the image in 9 parts, with 2 vertical and 2 horizontal lines. This rule says that you should place the key elements of the photos along those lines or where they intersect.
This will add a certain balance to the photo. Also, some cameras and phones offer the option to visualize the grid, helping you out.
If you follow the rule of thirds, positioning your main subject off-centre, it can create a void that alters the balance of your photos. To avoid this, balance your subject by including another object, less important, that will fill the empty space.
Symmetry and Patterns
Our eye is always looking for symmetry or patterns. We are drawn to them, so trying to reproduce one can make a very interesting photos. Another great way to use them is to break them, by introducing a focal point.
I used to snap photos at any time of the day but if you aim to get better shots, you need to understand how lighting works a bit. For example, avoid outdoor shots at noon because the light is too bright.
Favour instead the early morning or late afternoon. Night shots can usually be taken any time but if it’s too dark, you’ll have to edit the photos.
If the shot is too bright, HDR mode is your savior. It basically gives you more detail and better lighting; also you’ll have 2 photos to choose from.
2. Don’t Use Zoom
Never zoom with an iPhone (or with any phone for the matter), take this as a rule. The best way to zoom is by using you feet. Get closer to the subject to focus on it better. You’ll have noticed that the more you zoom with the phone, the more the quality of your photo decreases. So it’s best if you just walk closer, or zoom on the photo later with some editing programs.
3. Phone Camera Modes To Use
Your iPhone Camera has a few modes you may not know about. For instance, if you tap the screen, you can focus on something, and once you are in focus, you can slide and adjust the brightness.
Another mode is Panorama mode (PANO on your iPhone), it’ll let you take a full view like the one with the sunset above.
If you want to get an action shot, then the burst mode is what you are looking for. Also, try using the time-lapse and slo-mo modes if you have an iPhone for different shots.
4. Take a lot of Photos
Don’t wait forever just to take that one perfect shot. The best thing that you could do is to take A LOT of photo from different angles. Later, you can pick the one that you prefer, and you might be surprised by which one will be your favorite. For moving images you can use the burst mode, like I’ve done for the photo above. This mode let you take many photos in succession at once.
If you have a full storage on you phone, upload your old photos on a hard drive and delete them from you device. I know that it might be difficult, but at least you’ll have more space available to take new ones. 😉
5. Editing With Your Phone
All of my Instagram photos are edited with my phone for a matter of time and convenience. I don’t like Instagram filters, so I always prefer using apps. There are a few that you pick from, but my favorite one is Snapseed. It’s free and very simple to use. If you want to know how I edit my photo, check out my post here! Other awesome editing apps are VSCO and After Light.
The trick to know if you are just wasting your time editing a photo or not is to look at the time. The longer it takes the worse your shot is. I suggest you not to spend more than 5 minutes editing, otherwise, the photo is just not good enough and you are wasting your time.
And…we are done with the list! All of this tips are not absolute and they shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Remember, photography should be fun and there’s no need to ruin it with rules. If you find a great composition that goes against these tips, then take the shot anyway. But usually they can prove useful and it’s worth considering them at least.
Now go and try get that perfect shot and upload it on Instagram with the hashtag #theadventurefoundme I look forward to check all of you works 🙂 Good luck! If you liked this and found it useful, feel free to share it, that always makes me happy!