Dear Mi Fans, Assalamu Walaikum!
Greetings from Mi Community Bangladesh Photography Team. I hope you are all doing well amidst COVID-19. As Mobile photographers, we wished to find a great and enjoyable place to share our pictures. Mi Community Bangladesh is such a beautiful place to share our pictures with others.
They say that the best camera is the one you have with you, and most of us, thats our sell phone. So here are 12 quick tips, that will help you improve your phone photography.
1:Get Closer, Do NOT zoomThis is a two-part tip but they both happen simultaneously. The biggest thing you can do for better mobile phone photography is to get closer to your subject without using the built-in zoom. So that means you’ll need to move your body!
First image, shot too far away.
This second image was shot inches away from the flower and this lovely honeybee posed for it too!
The reason you don’t want to use the zoom on the camera is that the image quality will suffer greatly. That’s fine for a snapshot of your cat sleeping in a funny spot, but when you want to create better images avoid using the zoom.
2:Use a Pro Camera appSome mobile phones have a built-in Pro function for the camera. I have a Redmi Note9 and this option is easily accessed with a quick left swipe when the camera is opened. If your phone doesn’t have this feature, look for an app that is compatible with that model.
This is what the Pro Camera app looks like on my phone. You can see in the image that I can adjust (in order from left to right) the ISO, the shutter speed, add exposure compensation, change the picture style (like Vivid, Faded, etc.), white balance and the focus mode.
3:Find good light
If you’ve been reading my articles here for any length of time you know I’m passionate about good light. But what is that and how do you use it for your phone photography? Here are a few simple ideas to get you started.First, try backlighting your subject. This will give you a dynamic look to the image with either a sunny outline around your subject, or create a silhouette.
The backlighting here really brings out the color and makes the veins of the leaves stand out. Foliage and flowers look great backlit.
Another backlit plant in our garden. You can really make simple subjects sing with the right lighting.
Side lighting here brings out the texture in this squash leaf. Who knew they were so pretty?
4:Turn off the flashThis one is closely related to the point above. Any time light comes directly from the camera angle it flattens out the features and any texture in the subject. This is what creates red-eye and that deer in the headlights look which is undesirable. Tthe same is true of your built-in flash on your regular big camera too by the way!
This one is closely related to the point above. Any time light comes directly from the camera angle it flattens out the features and any texture in the subject. This is what creates red-eye and that deer in the headlights look which is undesirable. Tthe same is true of your built-in flash on your regular big camera too by the way!
This is what happened when turned the flash on and used the camera’s Auto mode. There is NO processing here, this is right out of the camera. The camera used f/1.7 again but this time ISO 50, so all the lighting in this image is from the small flash direct from the camera.
In this image, use the flashlight to add some sidelight to the flower. The camera settings ended up at ISO 200, f/1.7 again. Similar to the shot above, all the lighting here is from the flashlight. But because it’s coming from the side, not from the camera angle there is more texture in the flower and detail in the background as well.
5:Hold the phone steady or use a tripod
One big issue with many mobile phone images is they are blurry. That is most often due to not holding it steady enough during the shot. So get a tripod or device that will help you hold the phone steady. If you don’t have one make sure you brace your elbows on something as you shoot to try and minimize any camera shake.
6:Turn off the HDR setting
Some cameras offer an HDR setting. Turn it off! Or at the very least, use it very sparingly. You do not need it about 90% of the time. If you follow tips #2 and #3 above you will be taking photos with better lighting and you shouldn’t need this, especially for shots of people. I find that results are hit and miss with it and some cameras do it better than others.
Here is a contrasty scene shot without using the HDR mode on the camera.
This is with the HDR mode activated. It actually did a pretty good job of pulling out detail.
Here is the same image (the non-HDR one) processing using Lightroom for comparison. So while there is better detail here, the HDR mode image (above) stands up to it fairly well.
7:Adjust the exposure
This tip follows #2 above. If you’re using a pro camera app it should allow you to set the exposure compensation, and darken or lighten the image as you’re shooting. Some cameras will let you do this even with the auto mode. Mine does by touching the screen and adjusting a light slider up or down.
8:Process your images
Image processing is a discussion that often comes up in regards to all photography. Is it right to process them? That is a long debate but my viewpoint is that you should IF you want to. But having said that, I highly recommend it!
If you aren’t currently processing your big camera images, why not start with your mobile photography? It’s super simple and you can’t mess anything up.
This is the original image, straight from the phone.
Processed using Snapseed. I added contrast, an edge darkening vignette, and enhanced the details and structure (clarity).
Here’s a black and white version, also made with Snapseed. It’s a pretty neat app.
I personally find it a lot of fun to play with my images using Snapseed. It’s a great way to pass the time if you’re traveling somewhere (when you’re not driving!) or even while standing in line at the grocery store. Get creative and try all the filters out to see what they do. Playing around like this is a great way to find your own style too and see what you like and dislike in terms of the look for your images.
9:Clean the lens
I can’t count how many times I’ve told friends, family, and total strangers to clean the lens on the phone. This is a handheld device, your fingers and fingerprints will be all over it. It’s exposed to daily grit and grime and possibly even spills or being set down in a puddle of coffee on the table.
[size=1em]Having a dirty lens will degrade your image significantly and cause it to be blurry. It can even cause a lens flare or make the whole photo look foggy. Do this test to check your camera.
[size=1em]Take an image with a bright light in the shot, like the sun, a street light or a lamp in your house. If the image looks blurry and hazy – then you need to clean the lens! Use a microfiber cloth as you would for your regular lenses and take care not to scratch it.
10:Use the rule of thirds and good composition
Just because you’re shooting with a phone doesn’t mean all the rules of composition go out the window. They apply here as well and having a strong composition will go a long way to elevating your mobile phone photography.
The yellow flower was placed off-center here and the unopened one on the left creates balance in the image. This is the unprocessed original image.
Processed using Snapseed. Notice how I toned down the stems in the lower left corner of the image.
11:Watch the background
This tip ties in with the last one as it is part of the composition as well. When you’re taking a photo don’t forget to look at the background. I find with cell phones it’s too easy to shoot too fast and not put enough thought into the image before pressing the button.
placed the flower off-center here to create a more interesting composition, following tip #10 above. But the background is really busy and distracting. So . . .
Then I followed tip #1 above and got even closer to make this image which I think is a lot stronger. Notice how the middle of the flower is still off-center in the image above?
12:FocusLastly, select the focal point yourself. Depending on your phone and model, you may have the option of touching the screen where you want the camera to focus. If you do have that feature, use it! Don’t let the camera choose where to focus because it may get it wrong.
If manual focus is an option (it is in my Pro Camera app) you can try that as well. But it’s tricky to tell when anything is in focus. I personally don’t use it for phone photography. I just tap onscreen where I want it to be sharp.
Thanks for reading this thread. Hope you all like those photos. Special thanks to admin mnnahid, Super moderator Shahed, and rayhanh vaiya for your unending help and inspirations.
You can also read my previous threads below the link here;
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