Mobile Photography: Take your photography to the next level

Numan Ahmed

Jalalabad Ragib-Rabeya Medical College, Sylhet

Before the days of the smartphone, capturing a moment in real-time was not as easy as just pulling out a smartphone from your pocket. Nowadays, if you want to capture a moment in real-time, remember, the best camera is always in your pocket. But you are taking photos constantly with your smartphone and wondering why your photos don’t have that ‘WOW’ factor you see around on Instagram or somewhere else, is that all about you don’t have your own expensive camera? Does the best photo need a good camera always? No, not always! A smartphone’s camera is more than enough in most conditions. So what makes the difference? Why some people get stunning photos by using their mobile cameras and some people struggle with that? Truth is your smartphone camera is lot more capable than you think; this article is mainly for new users who don’t have pure knowledge of photography. I’ll try to figure out some basic points to help you on your journey to better mobile photography.

  • Clean your camera glass to get a clear image: A simple but important thing, as we tend to keep our smartphones in pockets or bags; when we go outside there are tons of dirt & lint; these will leave your image smudged & blurry. So, give your lens a gentle wipe before you start shooting.
  • Set your focus for getting sharp image: Though today’s smartphones' camera has the autofocus, it won't give you the focus on your obvious subject always. For better result, you have to just tap on your subject and you'll get a sharp image. If you are shooting a moving subject, you just can press over on your subject and lock the focus, you will get the best possible result out of it.
  • Keep your camera stable for sharp and shake-free images: Sometimes your photo turns out blurry. This is because of shaking off your hand while shooting. So you have to be careful to avoid the shaking of your hand, especially in low light, when your camera has to slow the shutter speed for allowing more light getting into it, and slower shutter speed means a longer period of time.

    For more accuracy, consider buying a tripod
  • Activate your camera gridlines for getting the best composition of the photo (Rule of third): Camera grid lines will help you in perfect positioning of your image in the frame, the easiest way to compose your photo is just activate the camera gridline which works based on ‘rule of thirds’ which (principle of the rule) says your main subject should be placed in the off-corner instead of the middle of the frame, this makes a more beautiful and balanced composition.
    Image Source: Unsplash by Mitchell orr
  • Learn out of the auto mood and use manual mood: smartphone photography is not just about pointing and shooting, usually people don’t think about adjusting the exposure of the image. But if you want to explore smartphone photography, you have to learn how to use manual mood. You might often get your image turning out too bright or too dark, you can ensure your perfect exposure using exposure triangle (aperture, shutter speed and ISO) in the manual mood. Once you get over the manual mood, you can capture amazing photos in low light and too bright condition, you can try panning photo, and astrophotography even can take the Milky Way with your tiny phone.
  • Try different camera mood in a different situation: Today's smartphone camera comes with different camera mood; you can get a better result if you can perfectly utilize this feature. Suppose you can active HDR to getting more details in the picture. Use portrait mood for getting beautiful ‘bokeh’ (background blur) in your photo, burst mood for capturing action, night mood for better low light performance, you can also try the panorama for capturing beautiful sweeping landscape photo.
  • Play with a different kind of perspective for a unique image: since most of the time, mobile phone photos are taken either straight –on. You should always look for an unexpected point of view, which will make it more attractive. There are many possibilities for capturing another point of view of the same subject. Try to take the photo from a lower angle which will make your foreground larger, you can also try to shoot upward using the sky as negative space. If you want the more amazing picture, take your subject in another frame (frame in frame), play with reflection, create some abstract and capture it to fill the frame, use the repeating pattern all around you to make your photo interesting.
    Image Source: Photojeepers
  • Avoid digital zoom: Always try to avoid digital zoom, you will lose details of your photo and you will end up with a grainy image and unwanted blur. So, get closer to the subject, it will give you a better result.
  • Attach external lens: we are very familiar with an external lens for Digital SLR and mirrorless camera, but several company like Moment, apexel, skyvik are making good lens for a mobile camera which includes, telephoto, wide-angle, fish-eye, macro and zoom lens. These add-ons can bring new quality and perspective to your photos.
  • Post-processing of photo: your creativity can be continued even after you’ve taken the photo. Taking your photo is just the first step; you have to put those in final touches for making your good image a better one. There are plenty of apps like Snapseed, Adobe lightroom, Picsart, Photo editor for editing your photos.

My suggestion is, if you’re new to editing, start with Snapseed and Lightroom. Both are available for iOS and Android users which offer plenty of editing options.

I hope you can improve your mobile photography skill by following this article. Follow these tips and take your photography skill to the next level.