Smartphone cameras have significantly improved over the years. Gone are the grainy pictures of yesterday. Unless you are a professional photographer, many phone cameras are so good nowadays that it would be difficult to determine if a DSLR camera or a smartphone was used to take a photo.
Both DSLR and smartphone cameras have their perks, but they also have their weaknesses. Luckily, with a few tweaks, you are set to take some of the best holiday pictures you’ve ever taken from the convenience of your smartphone.
Here are a few tips to ensure the best pictures possible:
- Aim your camera at the level of the subject – It is a common mistake to capture pictures of the subject from the perspective of the taker. If you are snapping a picture of small children or people who are sitting down, don’t take the photograph while standing. Squat or sit down and make sure that your phone camera is at your subject’s eye level.
- Manage your lighting – Your phone camera is equipped with a flash, but that is not usually enough when you are taking pictures in a low-light situation. You can improve your lighting by using the flashlight or screen light of another phone as an extra light source. This soft lighting will illuminate your subject and also serve as a portable softbox. This trick, however, will work best only with close-up shots.
- Use burst mode – When taking a picture of something that is moving very quickly (ex: fireworks), use the burst mode of your camera. Hold your finger down on the photo button to activate the burst setting. This will take many photos per second, allowing you to choose the best shot later.
- Stabilize your phone – Use a phone tripod or a stand to stabilize your shot while using your phone’s camera. If a tripod is not available, prop your elbows on a steady surface. This will let your camera absorb as much light as possible and prevent blurry pictures.
- Move closer to the subject – Stay away from your smartphone’s zoom feature at all costs. Zooming in on a smartphone often results in grainy, dark pictures that distract from the reason you were trying to get closer in the first place. To compensate for this, move closer to your subject, especially if you are snapping a close-up picture. Getting closer will eliminate much of the distracting background and graininess.
- Use landscape for videos – When making a video of an event, never use the portrait configuration. Hold your phone on the landscape configuration because a video will be replayed with a wide-angle view.
- Experiment – Try different combinations of the above suggestions when you’re taking photos this holiday season. That’s one of the many wonders of the modern smartphone. You’re able to take hundreds of pictures and instantly go back through and modify or delete. While modifying, consider trying out different filters to enhance your images.
There’s no need to splurge on a fancy DSLR. Thanks to new technology, you can take beautiful, memorable holiday pictures using your phone camera if you know the proper techniques.