photo by Irina Gutyryak via iStock
We have had a ton of people asking us to write more articles about mobile photography. As professional photographers, we recognize that cameras are getting better and better at keeping up with more traditional photography equipment and we also recognize that mobile photography is simply more attainable for a lot of people.
So, we decided to cover a YouTube video by Drew Tooley, who specializes in mobile photography. The video covers multiple mobile photography tips, and unlike a lot of mobile photography videos out there, it isn’t specific to iphone photography, so anyone with a smartphone will find it useful.
Clean Your Lens
photo by YakobchukOlena via iStock
I get that this isn’t the only tip you’ll need to learn how to take good photos with a phone, but it’s a pretty basic one that you should never skip.
While writing this article, I took a quick look at the lens of my iphone and I think it’s very possible that I have leftover jelly on it from my lunch. I’m sure if you do the same, you would be pretty shocked at what you find.
We take our phones with us absolutely everywhere. We stuff them in our pockets, we put them on our desks while we are at work, and I know that at least a few of you are using your phones even while you’re in the shower or using the bathroom.
They are absolutely bound to get gross.
The easiest way to clean your lens is with a lens cloth, which costs less than a couple dollars. If you don’t have a lens cloth handy, then you can even just wipe it off on your shirt.
Your mobile photography game just won’t be as good with a dirty lens.
Use the Grid System
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I find that a lot of mobile photography tips for beginners will suggest that you use a certain setting on your phone and then not walk you through how to get to that setting.
I don’t believe in that.
So, in order to use a grid system, you need to head to your settings, scroll down to your camera, and then toggle the “grid” button under your camera settings to turn it on or off.
So, what does the grid system do for your mobile photography exactly? It helps you to follow the rule of thirds by placing lines over your screen. It also helps you to keep all of your mobile photography level, even without a tripod.
Set Your Exposure
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This is one of the smartphone photography tips that will change a little bit if you’re an Android user. I’m going to walk you through how to set your exposure if you are using an iPhone for your mobile photography.
You just have to open up your camera, push and hold down on your screen, and then you’ll see a little bar which will let you slide your exposure level either up or down.
This will help you adjust the exposure based on the conditions in which you’re shooting, which will help you get a well-exposed image.
Zoom With Your Feet
photo by StefanieDegner via iStock
As good as mobile photography is in 2021, it still isn’t foolproof. This is especially true for the zoom function…
If you can prevent it, don’t zoom in with your smartphone at all. Instead opt to get physically closer to your subject and fill the frame.
The digital zooms on smartphones are terrible, and if you zoom using that method, your photos will be very grainy. So, moving with your feet and getting physically closer to your subject is a much better option.
Use an App to Shoot RAW Images
There are a ton of smartphone photography apps available now. Some of them are much better than others. Try and find one of these apps that will allow you to shoot RAW images.
RAW images are much easier to edit, which means your cell phone photography will look even better when you shoot with them.
Drew recommended Adobe Lightroom (iOS, Android), which you can get for a monthly subscription. Other apps that let you shoot in RAW include Camera X for Android, Darkroom for iPhone, or VSCO for either Android or iPhone.
While Drew’s video may have seemed quite simple, all of these tips are actually going to drastically change the types of photos you can take with your smartphone. Having a clean lens, shooting in a RAW format, and basically just learning how to make your smartphone camera do what you want it to do, instead of what it wants to do for itself, takes very little time, but makes all the difference.