Mobile Photography 101


Mobile Photography 101

With the emergence of social media sites such as Instagram, more and more people showed an interest in amateur photography. And since it’s somewhat blasphemous not to have a smartphone these days, capturing eye-catching panoramas and selfies became everyday activities.

Sure enough, everyone can take a photo, but how do you make the most of your mobile camera? Well, even if capturing still images is a genuine art form, you can quickly learn how to improve your skills with a couple of simple mobile photography tips.

How Do Mobile Phone Cameras Compare to DSLR Cameras?

In case you’re not a camera veteran, you might not have heard of the term DSLR camera. It’s short for a digital single-lens reflex camera. That means that the image you make with your device will immediately appear on a digital screen under the eyepiece. This way, you can instantly see the results without going to the photo lab to develop actual pictures.

Smartphones are similar if not more practical than digital cameras. Once you take your photo, you can access your gallery app to see it. And since smartphones have bigger displays than an average digital camera, you’ll have a better view of what you’ve captured.

On the other hand, even an iPhone 11 Pro Max can’t beat a pro camera when it comes to photo fidelity and overall options. And yes, that’s quite normal. But mobile photography never aspired to beat actual cameras — their aim was always to bring us closer to decent amateur, everyday photoshoots. Well, at least for now.

Why the Phone in Your Pocket Is the Best Camera

The quality of mobile photography drastically changed in the last ten or so years. It’s almost unbelievable how high-end smartphone cameras have become. Long gone are the days of low-pixel photos of you and your friends hanging out in the mid-00s. Sure, old phones were awesome in their own right, but modern technology brings so much to the table.

First, your camera no longer needs to be a big bulge that weighs a ton. You can carry it around in your pocket, activate the camera app whenever you want, and shoot photos and videos. And in case you’re using a flagship device, your eye won’t even notice if it’s professional or mobile photography. Also, add to it that smartphone photos can immediately be edited in countless ways.

Use Gridlines

The simplest yet effective way of improving the quality of your photos is to use gridlines. This feature is available on every smartphone. You’ll just need to open the options inside your app and turn the grids on. But how useful are they?

Well, with grids appearing on your display while you try to capture a moment, you’ll be able to position your camera correctly. It will be a lot easier to see proportions of the object your shooting vs. its surroundings. Also, you’ll be free to experiment with different angles, making your photos unique and somewhat weird.

One-Subject Rule

No matter if you’re into still life photography or something else, you should always focus on a single thing. It’s essential to make sure your picture has a singular subject your audience can understand.

Therefore, you should turn on your gridlines, place the subject in the center of the screen, and tap it for your device to focus on it. The surrounding will get blurred out, making the object you’re shooting come to the forefront.

This way, you’ll allow your viewers to concentrate on what you think is important. Luckily, all cameras have the focus option. You’ll quickly get the hang of it as it’s a rather simple but effective way of making your photos look more professional.

Negative Space Is Your Friend

It’s important to note that large open spaces are rather useful. Even if it seems like they don’t offer much in terms of variety, their plainness allows your subject to shine. You see, it’s difficult for a viewer to focus on one object if it’s surrounded by other things. So, giving it some space can make sure your audience gets your message.

An open skyline, a nice-looking wall, or even a curtain can help you achieve this. For a composition to work, you’ll need to make sure these negative spaces work with your subject in the middle. So experiment a little before you go for it. Try different angles, positions, and you’ll get there.

Use Different Perspectives

A quick way to make a good-looking photo is to experiment with perspective. Different angles and camera positions will allow you to find a side to your photo that’s unique and original.

For example, try shooting tall buildings in your area while standing down on the street, aiming directly at the sky. This way, they’ll appear taller since you’ll be hiding the ground level and the streets surrounding it.

Another cool way to experiment with perspective is to shoot roads and highways. You can place your camera on the ground, making the route appear like it’s going into infinity. It’s all about making an everyday scene appear unordinary.

Be Creative With Reflections

A great way of experimenting with your photos is to shoot reflections. This way, you’ll be able to make your pictures more surreal and dreamy. It’s a cool way to give your gallery more of an artistic angle, with objects appearing in water, mirrors, or even sunglasses.

Although we’d usually tell people to avoid camera shake, you can experiment with it for a more visceral experience. For example, you’ll surely get an interesting result by zooming in on the window of the car you’re riding in and shooting the road in its reflection.

Use Leading Lines

Remember how we’ve mentioned roads and highways? Well, another quality camera-wise that they possess is their perfect lines. Using them, you’ll be able to draw attention to the subject of your photo. Of course, it’s not just roads we’re talking here. You can find leading lines anywhere.

Therefore, look for basic geometry in scenes around you. They can make a big difference when it comes to focusing on your subject. Also, their simplicity will allow you to experiment with minimalism.

Spot for Symmetry

To make your photos even better, you should consider finding symmetry in the scenes you’re trying to capture. Not only does it look good, but the human brain finds enjoyment in certain geometry too. The duality of your images will help your work gain more of an artistic tone, making it more interesting for your potential audience.

Cropping your photos with preset image sizes will allow you to make sure your subject is in the center of the action. By playing with reflections, you can also add symmetry to the image. Also, try shooting things in front of a reflective surface, capturing both the subject and its doppelganger on the other side.

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