March 04, 2022

With the quality of smartphone cameras increasing so rapidly, the need for an expensive, bulky camera is dwindling. Gone are the days where amateurs would have to take photos on their camera, upload them to a computer and then complete the processing and editing. Now, with our smartphones, we can all be high quality photographers at any moment of the day! 

With so many editing apps available, we can instantly transform a photo in seconds. However, there are a few small things that will really boost your smartphone photography skills. Check out these five simple tips below to find out what they are! 


5 ways to step up your smartphone photography skills


1. Utilise Your Focus

Today's smartphone cameras will automatically focus on the foreground of your frame for the most part, but not every picture you take on your phone has an obvious subject. To adjust where you want your camera lens to focus, open your camera app and tap the screen where you want to sharpen the view.

If you're taking photos of moving objects, it can be difficult for your camera to follow this subject and refocus automatically on the go. Tap the object on your screen just before snapping the picture to ensure the moving subject has as much focus as possible. A square or circular icon should then appear on your camera screen, shifting the focus of your shot to all of the content inside that icon.

It is also important to minimise the amount of subjects that you are trying to focus on. Many of the best pictures focus on just one main subject, surrounded by 'negative space'. Ensuring you have a small number of subjects will help you to highlight them more, making them the hero of the photo. 

Focus is important! 


2. Embrace Negative Space

In photography, "Negative Space" is referring to the space around the "Positive Space", otherwise known as the main subject. If you do not have enough negative space, it can result in a photograph becoming over cluttered and cause confusion for the viewer, not knowing where to focus. 

Embracing negative space can take your photos from being good to being outstanding. When you include plenty of 'empty' space, you will evoke a stronger reaction from your viewer as they will be instantly drawn to the main subject more easily. When improving your smartphone photography skills, including negative space with greatly enhance your ability to take top quality photos, especially for those who are in social media or marketing sectors and are wanting to stand out from others.


3. Limit Using Your Zoom

It is commonly known that zooming in on your smartphone camera will dramatically reduce the photo quality depending on your device. Although this is getting better with the higher end, late release smartphones, such as the iPhone 13 Pro Max, it is still a problem. 

It can often be tempting to zoom in on subjects just to make them appear a little closer or get a better view, but it is vital that you avoid this at all costs. Zooming in can result in the photo appearing blurry, grainy or pixelated. If you are wanting to get a closer view in the photo of a subject, simply take the photo without zooming and then crop the image in the editing section of your default photo viewing app on your smartphone. This way you will limit any compromise of image quality to a minimum. 


4. Clean Your Phone Lens 

Smartphones are definitely easier photography devices to carry around than a large DSLR camera or similar. However, this benefit can come at the cost of care and protection. Our phones can often take a bit of a beating, being thrown in a bag or your pocket with keys and other objects or even the occasional accidental drop! This are a lot less likely to happen to an expensive camera.

Across day-to-day use our phone camera lens can pick up all sorts of dust, lint and smudging. When it comes to taking a photo it is vital that you take a few seconds to clean your camera lens carefully and diligently. Use a soft piece of clothing or cloth to clean the lens, especially if you have a late model phone with multiple cameras. 


5. Utilise Gridlines To Balance Pictures

One of the most underused smartphone camera features are the gridlines that you can switch on and off in settings. Gridlines help you to embrace the "rule of thirds" - a  photography principle that says an image should be broken down into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, so you have nine parts in total.

According to this principle, if you place your main subject/subjects in these intersections or along the lines, your photo will be more balanced, level, and allow viewers to interact with it more naturally. Embracing this rule can easily improve your smartphone photography! 


To switch the grid on follow the steps below:

  • iPhone: Go to Settings - Photos & Camera - Grid and switch on
  • Android: Launch the camera app, go to Settings scroll down and switch the 'Grid Lines' option ON






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