We often use smartphones to document unforgettable milestones in our lives. Any regular event can be recorded by our smartphone. Manufacturers are churning out smartphone models with improved camera and useful photography features. Smartphones are not really designed as dedicated photography tool, but you can get maximum results by using the following tricks.
1. Avoid Using Flash
Use Flash only as the last resort and it shouldn’t be your primary source of lighting. In general, you can set the auto mode or turn-off the Flash. Natural light works the best and bright indoors lighting is the next. Tiny LED on your smartphone will only emit a sharp burst of light with poorly controlled intensity and duration. Because the LED is placed close to the camera lens, in some situations, you will get moments of blinding glare. It’s a good idea to use secondary light sources, stage lights should be bright enough. Sunlight is the best light source. However with the sun at your back, it could be too bright during a clear day. In this case, consider putting the object under the shade, if indirect natural light is adequate.
2. Improve Lighting
Compared to DSLR camera, smartphones have tiny light sensor. It means that your photos will have less clarity and details. One way to deal with this problem is by taking advantages of external lighting. You will get best result from soft natural light in the morning or late afternoon.
3. Cleanup Lens
Often dust can easily accumulate on camera lens. The lens is the primary entry point for light. Therefore, if it’s dirty, the photo will have lower quality and will look blurry. You may clean it up using soft, clean cloth. Even if the lens appears clean, you could be surprised by the difference.
4. Zoom Properly
Aggressive zooming could spoil your photo result. When you zoom excessively, you may over blow the image and results in a blurry image. Instead of using the zoom feature, move closer to your object is possible. The object should be placed right into the frame, so it will look more detailed and you can have more control over lighting,
5. Enable Burst Mode
Some smartphone models have built-in burst mode feature. It’s hard to get good results when you are photographing fast moving objects like a moving car. You may end up getting warping and blurry images. Enable the burst mode, if you know that your objects will move fast. Be careful that burst mode will consume plenty of storage space, especially if you choose high resolution and high image details. You will also need to check the best image, among hundreds captured by the burst mode and delete the remaining to save storage space.
6. Enable Auto Focus and Auto Exposure
One reason why DSLR can provide good quality results is the way it allocates aperture focus. It’s a useful feature that’s not available in many smartphones. However, your smartphone may have the auto focus feature to eliminate or reduce blurriness. Check whether your smartphone has auto exposure feature. If this feature is disabled, your photo could look too bright or dark, depending on whether your object is in stark contrast with the background. In any case, you should always enable auto focus and auto exposure features.
7. Download Camera Apps
There are thousands of photography apps available for Android and iOS to provide better control for cameras. A good app should offer more features and have lively support for fixing bugs. Learn and experiment on how to use photography apps properly. Check features, description, operational manual and any tip, so you can get the most out of your app. Practice taking shots with different methods, which may help you save effort and time.
Related: 11 smartphone terms you should know.
8. Use High Resolution Settings
In order to save storage space, many smartphones use normal resolution settings, especially if your camera can capture 13Mp of still photos or 4k videos. For social media, you may use medium resolution and quality, but if you seek the best results, make sure to crank up your settings. Alternatively, you should use cloud storage and microSD card if you plan to capture a lot of photos and videos.
9. Enhance Photos on PC
It’s an obvious fact that no smartphone can beat professional DSLR camera. To make up for the hardware limitations and perhaps, abysmal photography skill, then you may need to edit your photos on PC. You can use photo-editing programs on PC to fix issues with contrasts, brightness, colors and red eyes. With good editing skill, you may salvage pictures with sub-par image quality.
We often judge the capability of camera on our smartphone by the megapixel value. In reality, optimized settings, good photography apps and proper techniques can give better results, even if you have camera with lower megapixels. If your photos often look dull, the above tips should help you to get better results and quality.