One of the best arguments for using your phone as a camera is that you always have it with you. There are few cameras that are as accessible, easy to use, and ready to go at a moment’s notice. What’s more, because you always have your phone with you, you have plenty of opportunities to take photos, and, with that kind of access, that usually means a lot of photos of everyday subjects.
Though many smartphone photos of everyday subjects aren’t anything to write home about, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make ordinary subjects extraordinary. All it requires is a few compositional tips and the right tools to get the job done.
Here’s a few things to keep in mind when trying to make a gorgeous photo out of a common scene or subject.
Highlight Color or Texture
Part of what makes a photo eye-catching is the presence of factors that naturally pique our interest. Just like any other animal, colors - especially those that are bright or saturated - tend to draw our attention. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should over-saturate your images or only feature objects that include over-the-top colors. Instead, see how you can use color to draw attention to your primary subject, like the red dress does in the image above.
Using texture is another way to give your images improved depth and dimension. In fact, texture can be an asset whether the images you create are color or black and white. In the image above, note how the texture of the waves creates a nice interplay with the texture of the sand on the beach. What’s more, the areas of plant life in the bottom portion of the photo add yet another layer of texture that gives this image a three-dimensional feel. Granted, you won’t be able to take a photo from this perspective unless you have a drone or something of the sort, but the principle of using textures to add interest remains the same.
Change Your Perspective
Another way to improve your images of everyday things is to change the perspective from which you shoot. All too often we simply stand and take photos with our phones from our own eye level. And though that might generate a nice shot, it’s nothing new, nothing unique that makes the viewer engage with the photo for a few more seconds. This is especially important when the subject might not be something that’s all that exciting.
Note in the image above that the perspective the photographer used - from down low looking up - gives this otherwise nondescript photo a bit more excitement. From this point of view, not only do the kids seem taller, but you’re afforded a view of the forest behind them. Additionally, the sunlight included in the background gives the photo more depth, and shooting upward at the kids makes it seem like they are higher up than they actually are. The result is an everyday situation of kids playing that seems like much more of a rare adventure.
Again, the beauty of photography with your phone is that you can easily have it at the ready at a moment’s notice. That convenience is great for spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities. However, sometimes you’ll need to sit things out and wait for the perfect moment to snap a photo.
As you can see in the image of the mother and baby holding hands, the timing was perfect - the baby’s tiny fingers have wrapped around mom’s, making for an intimate portrait that shows the love between them. Now, imagine the photo if it had been taken a moment earlier when the baby’s fingers were not yet clasped around its mom’s finger. The effect of the photo would not have been the same. The point is that though your smartphone makes a convenient camera, to get the best shots, it’s not always about being fast!
Why Portrait Lenses are Ideal for Ordinary Objects
What can be said for sure is that to make your smartphone images more impactful, a high-quality lens will go a long way. Part of what makes a more compelling image - even if that image is of an everyday subject - is bringing that scene to life in a way that makes it more vivid and relatable. The Sirui 60mm Portrait Lens for mobile phones is the perfect tool for doing so. Manufactured of German Schott glass, the lens gives you the clarity you demand for your images. The resulting images have interest and depth that combine for a compelling photo regardless of the subject.
Better still, the 60mm Portrait Lens from Sirui gets you about 2 times closer to the subject. That means you can create more intimate photos without losing sharpness or clarity, which is an unfortunate side-effect of using a smartphone’s zoom feature. This lens produces image quality on par with 4K professional images, and with precise color rendition, reduced distortion and vignetting, and multi-layer anti-reflection coating, you can rest assured that the vision you have in your head for your images can be created with this lens.
Don’t let the humdrum scenes of everyday life dissuade you from creating gorgeous photos. Use the compositional tips outlined above, outfit yourself with a Sirui 60mm Portrait Lens, and see what sort of magic you can create out of ordinary, everyday subjects!