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How to take photos on your smartphone: 5 easy-to-follow tips

Don’t you have a camera? Then you can take photos on your smartphone, and these tips will help you.

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Image: KnowTechie

Today, there are lots of ways to earn online. If you are risky enough, you can try sites like these, if you are more creative, filming videos on YouTube is your choice. What’s more, you can sell your photos on Shutterstock and Adobe Stock or start a blog on Instagram. Don’t you have a camera? Then you can take photos on your smartphone, and these tips will help you.

Avoiding Straight Lines in the Frame

Most smartphones use lenses with a focal length of 22-26 mm, which is a characteristic of wide-angle lenses. Their advantage is that we can shoot a lot of close-ups. Yet, due to the laws of light refraction, it will inevitably distort the outlines of objects in the frame. The closer the subject is, the greater the barrel distortion. DSLR portrait lenses start at 35 mm focal length, but it is better to go longer. 35 mm and beyond is what zoom cameras in today’s multi-camera flagships give you.

In any case, try not to photograph geometrically correct objects on your smartphone from a short distance. Try to take portraits so that the person is waist-deep, don’t get closer. Do you have a zoom camera? Use it to shoot straight lines and other shots where you want to keep your proportions.

Minimal ISO and Precise White Balance

It’s perfect if the shot doesn’t require any extra processing or filters. But the problem is that the smartphone camera itself has parameters that are regulated automatically. And if there are no claims to shutter speed, exposure correction and focusing, then white balance and light sensitivity (ISO) are often chosen incorrectly by the automatics. 

The advice is simple. Get used to manually setting the lowest possible ISO value in each specific light. Take slightly underexposed photos. As for white balance, go for 6000K for the sun, 3000K for yellow lights, and 4500K for white lights. 

If the lighting is tricky, trust the automation if the moment doesn’t wait. Got time? Then pick the right option. With a little practice, you’ll be able to guess the most appropriate option right away.

Light Is Only at the Edge of the Frame

No sunlight is the first rule for every photographer, but it also applies to other light sources. Lamps will light up the picture and deprive us of details in the shadows. How could that be, you may say, because often the entire idea of a shot is based on the beautiful light from a lamp! Yes, this is true, and the rule of the lighted edge comes to the rescue.

Arrange your composition so that the automatic exposure metering is performed in the center, and the light source is placed at the edge of the frame. This way you will be able to keep maximum details in the shadows and capture the eye-catching charm of the light. 

You can do the same trick in the daytime with the sun, but then you will probably have to do a dozen takes, taking the camera aside when measuring the exposure.

Put the Camera a Bit Lower

The reason for unnatural proportions is the tendency to keep the camera at head level forgetting about the details of perspective perception and visual distortions of straight lines we’ve talked about. Take photos in a half-sitting pose, holding your smartphone about a meter above the ground if what you’re shooting is low. And the smaller the subject, the lower you should lower the camera. 

Shooting a person? It’s best when the smartphone is at the eye level. Sometimes you can use distortion as a tool. Do a few takes from different heights, see how distortion transforms the frame, find the most interesting option. If you like to go against the rules, you should still know them.

Avoid Objects in the Center of the Frame

The trick lies in our physiology: we observe the world with two eyes, and while we admire the object, our eyes catch the movements on the sides. The rule of the golden ratio can be summed up in the idea of dividing the frame into nine equal fractions. Place the main subject one-third of the width of the frame from its edge, on the left or right, and at the same time make one-third of the indent at the top or bottom. This composition provides a natural focus on what you want. What’s interesting is that in many situations, it can be helpful to do several takes, changing the position of the main subject of the shot between left and right sides, top and bottom.

And most importantly, take pictures more often, hone your skills every chance you get. Only practice and creativity will let you develop a sense of beauty. And the likes, sharers and comments will come. But your smartphone won’t come to you by itself: choose thoughtfully!

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