How to Take Better Photos with Your Smartphone

The best camera in the world is the one you have with you when you need it. For most people, that camera is the one built into the smartphone in their pocket. Apple even ran a recent ad campaign earlier in 2015 called “Shot on iPhone 6.” The campaign highlighted a wide range of content created exclusively with the iPhone’s camera and different photo apps available in the App Store.

Here are a few easy ways to start taking great photos with your phone:

Is your lens clean? This may sound silly but check and see if your lens needs to be wiped off.

Learn how to edit your photos. Adjustments to contrast, brightness and saturation are the fastest way to improve an image. A good example of rescuing a photo is to bring out the dark areas in a high contrast scene. Most smartphone cameras will over-expose a bright area like a window or the sky and darken the rest of the picture. Play around with the different adjustments available on your phone and you should be able to bring out the detail in the dark parts of your photo. VSCOcam, Instagram, and Snapseed are three apps that are easy to learn if you want to start to wow your family and friends.

Tap the screen to experiment with different exposures. When things are too bright or too dark tap the screen in different spots. This focus point is also where the exposure for the scene is calculated. Try 3-4 spots and you should be able to find a good way to even out light that’s too bright or too dark.

Turn on your grid view. The Rule of Thirds is a basic design idea that breaks up an image into a grid of nine parts with two horizontal and two vertical lines. Check the settings for your camera app, turn on the grid view as a reminder, and try and put the main subject of your shot near one of the four intersections.

Turn off your flash. Unless you can reach out and touch your subject, your flash will either not be strong enough to light things up or will just make things look weird. iPhones specifically have pretty amazing low light capabilities, so turn off the auto flash and use it only when you’re sure it can help.

Bust out the burst mode. If you hold down your camera’s trigger, most will go into burst mode and continually fire until you stop. This trick can be an easy way to get shots at a live event like a graduation or when you’re taking photos of something with a lot of movement like a sporting event. Go ahead and take a ton of shots, pick the best photos out of the bunch and then just delete the rest.

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