8 Tips For Better Smartphone Photos

Smartphones are becoming the everyday camera for many photographers, simply because they're so easy to carry around. Although your phone camera doesn't have the capabilities of a DSLR, you can still take beautiful shots with the right settings. My phone camera allows me to capture a different angle or perspective to my DSLR which I can also easily and quickly share. I use an Android Samsung Galaxy S2 international, so here are some simple tips which you can use to take better photos on your Android phone.

1. Get the resolution right

Set the resolution to the highest possible value. The last thing you want it is to upload your photos and realise your pictures are too small. You won't be able to crop or enlarge  these photos without creating a lot of pixilation. Save yourself the trouble, check your settings before you take a shot.

What happens when you don't set resolution high enough

Set the highest resolution

2. Clean your lens

This goes without saying. If you're like me you keep your smartphone either in your pocket or in a bag filled with who knows what else. Clean your lens before taking a shot to avoid smudges and blurry spots in your photos.

3. Consider flash free

Use natural light more effectively and turn the flash off. Smartphone photos are best utilised outside with the sun behind you, but if you have to take a photo inside use natural light from a window. I rarely ever use my flash as it will usually create a washed out red eyed photo.

Not the most ideal photo, but the only one I could find on my phone to demonstrate the difference between flash on and off.

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4. Avoid using the digital zoom

Using the digital zoom will create a pixilated low quality image. If you want to take zoom or macro shots with your phone consider buying a lens. Otherwise, use your smartphone to get up close and personal.

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5. Upgrade your camera app and edit the shortcuts

If you're unhappy with what your phone camera can do, you can download all sorts of apps for taking better pictures. I have CameraZoomFX installed on my Android phone which has great stabilising capabilities, but generally I'm pretty happy with the camera already on my phone. Edit your shortcuts for the best possible results by adding the exposure and white balance options to your camera shooting options so you can easily change them before snappping a shot.

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6. Hold still

In your camera settings you can switch on anti-shake or image stabilisation, but the best method is just holding still while you take a shot. Just like a digital SLR you should use both hands to take pictures with your smartphone. You can also prop your phone on top of something if your hands are too shaky, or you could get a small tripod with a phone attachment.

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7. Turn off the auto ISO

The lower the ISO value, the less "noise" in your photo. In well lit situations such as outdoors in sunshine manually set the ISO to the lowest value (100). You can bump the ISO level up for low light settings but take a few shots and see what looks best.

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8. Embrace the creativity

Since your smartphone is usually in your pocket or close at hand it is the perfect tool for unleashing your creativity. Being light and small it's easy to use your phone to capture all sorts of angles and perspectives. The best thing about all forms of digital photography is being able to take so many shots and then choose the ones you really like with no extra cost. Of course it's always good to think about the shot you are about to take. You're not really likely to get a great shot if you just aimlessly point your camera at random objects and hope for the best.

For the even better smartphone photos, edit on your computer whenever possible. Most camera apps have some great post editing features, however they are are still limited compared to desktop photo editing software. On my phone I use Pixlr Espress, but I prefer to use Lightroom 5.4 for most of my photo editing.  Click HERE for some editing alternatives.

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