Everyone has a smartphone and chances are that they are pretty good. But for the most part people just point and click. They don’t realise that there are simple things that they can do to make their everyday clicks go from “meh” to “ wow”!
Everytime I show my workshop participants these little tricks, I can see light bulbs go off in their heads!
So here they are:
- Switch on the assistive grid on your phone camera
- Tap to focus
- Adjust the exposure value
- Zoom with your feet and not with your fingers
- Explore the angles
Sound simple enough? Let me explain…
You can find the setting here:
iPhone: Open the Settings app > Camera > Grid and tap/swipe to turn it on. Samsung / Android: Open the camera app > Settings > Grid lines
This does two things:
- Help frame your composition better and
- keep the horizon level
As the grid follows the “The Rule of Thirds” concept, your compositions will immediately start to look better. Here is a photo that I had taken on my iPhone. I used the grid lines to line up my horizon.
iPhone: On the camera > Tap on the subject that you want to focus on > you will get a yellow box on the area that you tapped on
Android: On most android cameras > Tap on the subject that you want to focus on > you will get a yellow circle on the ara that you tapped on
Selective Focus: on flagship android and samsung phones you will have an additional option called “selective focus”. What this does is keep the subject in sharp focus and blur the rest of the background.
In the photo below, I had used the tap to focus feature to keep the subject in sharp focus.
iPhone: When you are photographing a bright scene, like a landscape on a sunny day > tap on the brightest part of the scene (for eg. the sky) . Then tap on the sun icon on side of the yellow focus square and swipe down to reduce the brightness.
Android: Similarly on android phones, this is represented in the form of a bulb with a minus and plus icon on either side of it. This will be either on the side or on the bottom of the screen, based on which model brand phone you are using.
Since on the smart phones the aperture is fixed, the exposure value is the adjustment work around to nail the exposure.
In the photo below, I had deliberately underexposed the image so only the vendor is lit by the solitary lamp on the cart.
If you want to get close to the subject, move closer. It is not recommended you pinch and zoom because that means the image basically gets scaled up, resulting in a loss in image quality.
In the image below I took my iPhone as close I could to take this shot of the flower.
Often times, we are most comfortable taking pictures from eye level. But changing the angle of view can result in spectacular results. Just this simple technique can get you amazing photos.
Here are a few examples:
And finally, one of my own!
We are living in crazy times. Photographs can help make sense out of it. Keep Clicking!
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