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Smartphone Photography: How To Capture The Perfect Photo Using Your Mobile Phone Smartphone Photography: How To Capture The Perfect Photo Using Your Mobile Phone
Photography is more than pointing a camera in the direction of the subject and taking the photo. The same goes for smartphone photography. Your... Smartphone Photography: How To Capture The Perfect Photo Using Your Mobile Phone

Photography is more than pointing a camera in the direction of the subject and taking the photo. The same goes for smartphone photography. Your phone just becomes the camera, and some fulfill that role pretty well. In smartphone photography, we still use composition, focal point, foreground, background, slants, frames, thirds, lines, perspective, scale, and so forth to create an image that tells a story worth sharing. Good photographs aren’t captured, they’re created with a specific intent.

You can use your DSLR, compact, point-and-shoot, or even smartphone camera: It doesn’t matter what kind of camera you use. It’s not about technical skills as much as it is about developing an “eye” for photography and recognizing that perfect photo opportunity when it presents itself. These tips will help you do that.

Be clear on your intention

Good photographs aren’t captured, they’re created with a specific intent. A story the photographer wants to tell through the image. What will you be doing with the photograph(s) you’ll take? Don’t just shoot away, think. Will you be printing them to decorate your home or office? Use them on social media? If so, which platform? Your own website, whether for your photography or your business? Knowing where you’ll be using the picture will help you determine the best format, orientation, but most importantly composition: what story will you be telling through the image?

Hold your breath

When the lights come down at night what will your pictures look like? Some people are gifted and can take a picture straight from a camera and deliver a quality shot. It would be nice if we all could do this, but it is not a reality. If you can’t use a tripod, holding your breath for a few seconds while pressing the shutter will add some stability for nighttime shots. Especially on iPhone I find pressing the shutter always adds some motion back in, so using a bluetooth shutter remote (with your other hand) is a great alternative, or you could use a 3 second timer delay on the camera instead.

Don’t edit

If I use any, I only apply minor edits to my fine art photography. When it comes to editing, think: “less is more, and none is better”. If an image needs more “work” I just delete it. If you fail to capture the moment right there and then, there’s no amount of editing that can truly turn that image into a work of art. Keep in mind anything you see on your screen is specific to that particular screen, and results may vary especially when you print the image. A good lab will color-correct the image for the art medium of your choice to ensure the best result every time.

Disable digital zoom

The example on the right shows that using digital zoom is a big no-no. If you look closely, you’ll see the plane isn’t clear and the clouds are grainy. Don’t use it. Turn it off on your camera, if you can. When you push your zoom beyond the optical zoom your camera is capable of, the quality of your image starts to deteriorate right away. What the camera effectively does when you use “digital zoom” is cut out a portion of the image and increase the size. The resulting image will have far less details as a (much) smaller portion of the optical system was used to capture the image. The result is never good. If you find yourself in a position where you “have” to use digital zoom, re-think your intention, move around a bit and see if a different composition could share the same story – without the need for the destructive power of digital zoom.

Don’t use flash

Ever seen a tourist try to take a picture outdoors and their flash went off? The camera may have tried to compensate for backlight conditions, but without a doubt the image didn’t turn out good. No matter what you do: don’t use flash. Turn it off and forget about it. Get used to slightly longer exposure times without flash especially if there’s less light available. Hold your breath if you need to add some stability. Turn on another light source in the room if available to create a more natural picture.

Get Into Action

Get the most out of your camera next time you travel. It doesn’t matter what kind of camera you use – I’ll make sure you’ll never miss that photo opportunity of a life time. My Travel Photography Masterclass contains everything you could want to know about capturing your travel stories through photography. After a brief hiatus and cap on registrations, this course is now back open for registrations! Don’t miss your shot this time and join more than 1,000 very happy photographers in my online photography masterclass.

You can get started with a 100% complimentary preview of the program to see for yourself what’s inside the program.

Travel Photography Course

Wilko van de Kamp Author | Artist | Advisor

Hi, I’m Wilko van de Kamp, creator of Liberty Training Academy and author of the Freedom Project book series. For more than 15 years, I have helped people and their companies achieve their own results beyond their goals. I work with authors, coaches and experts to build their brand to become a #1 industry influencer and increase their impact on the communities they serve. We focus on every aspect of personal brand building through technology and storytelling, with a relentless focus on accelerating the achievement of their personal, professional and financial goals. And I would love to do the same for you! To get started, you can preview any of my courses free of charge.