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8 Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Hold It Steady - Mobile photography allows you to capture fun moments with little fuss, but indoors it's important to brace the camera to avoid blurry images; the shutter speed slows down in low light. Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Hold It Steady – Mobile photography allows you to capture fun moments with little fuss, but indoors it’s important to brace the camera to avoid blurry images; the shutter speed slows down in low light.
Tips For Better Mobile Photography

SHARING THE LOVE OF MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY | Sharon Henry

Confession time. I didn’t take my camera phone seriously until the batteries ran flat in the compact. This is the first time I’ve ever made this admission and Darrin, a stickler for topped-up batteries will not be impressed (sorry!) We were first timers in Chicago, USA where the azure waterways and stunning architecture begged to be photographed so I switched to my smart phone. I haven’t looked back since, mobile photography has me hooked and I take my camera phone everywhere.

But first... - The day my mobile photography 'discovery' really began. Of course, the selfie phenomenon can be attributed to the mobile camera and with the two way camera modes it's too tempting not to! This is us in the windy city of Chicago, USA. Tips For Better Mobile Photography

But first… – The day my mobile photography ‘discovery’ really began. Of course, the selfie phenomenon can be attributed to the mobile camera and with the two way camera modes it’s too tempting not to! This is us in the windy city of Chicago, USA.
Tips For Better Mobile Photography

The Advantage Of Long Arms

There’s a certain freedom to mobile photography, it’s fun, unobtrusive, and the phone is easy to whip out at a moment’s notice with its user-friendly automatic settings, the only obstacle slowing the process is punching in a security code. To save even more time I keep mine on camera mode.

Day 239, Project 366 - My mobile camera has really proved its worth shooting our Project 366 in 2016. We had stopped the car to chat to Captain Andrew Greentree off the RMS St Helena when I noticed the late afternoon light was perfect. Shot this one from inside the front of the car. Always pays to have the mobile handy. Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Day 239, Project 366 – My mobile camera has really proved its worth shooting our Project 366 in 2016. We had stopped the car to chat to Captain Andrew Greentree off the RMS St Helena when I noticed the late afternoon light was perfect. Shot this one from inside the front of the car. Always pays to have the mobile handy.
Tips For Better Mobile Photography

I love the wide angle and macro ability of the small lens and its portable size allows pictures to be taken from different perspectives, limited only by your arm reach or imagination. Let’s not forget, the phone’s access to upload and instantly share photos with family and friends on social media.

Further motivation for me comes from our photo-a-day ‘Project 366’ challenge, and I’m always at the ready for moments, scenes or images that ‘strike’ me.

Most mobiles nowadays have decent cameras and can take surprisingly good pictures, my Samsung Galaxy A3 has 8MP resolution.

8 Tips To Improve Mobile Photography

If you are new to mobile photography or don’t take your camera phone seriously like, I did, here are a few tips that might help you along. With knowledge of a few do’s and don’ts, you too could be sharing the love of mobile photography (if not already.)

Hold It Steady

This applies to all photography. But doubly so for mobiles which are prone to camera shake because of their small size and also slow shutter speeds the camera automatically compensates with in low light conditions. To combat this, use both hands to hold the camera steady and brace your arms against a sturdy surface whenever possible to reduce shake. Blurry photos can be such a disappointment.

Hold It Steady - Rosie was certainly keeping still, enjoying a good brush after her walk. The mobile is good for these little moments. Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Hold It Steady – Rosie was certainly keeping still, enjoying a good brush after her walk. The mobile is good for these little moments.
Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Tap To Focus

Tap the screen on your subject to set the focus before taking the shot. It’s similar to pre-focussing on a regular camera by holding the shutter halfway. The camera will focus automatically but tapping a point on your screen allows you to control what the part of the picture you want to focus on, ie the flower in the foreground or the one in the middle. Once the focus is set tap the shutter release button on the phone screen.

Frame it - The soft glow of sunrise in South Africa, taken from our cabin on board the RMS St Helena. Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Frame it – The soft glow of sunrise in South Africa, taken from our cabin on board the RMS St Helena.
Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Night Moves - I tend to avoid mobile photography at night; the slow shutter speeds coupled with any subject movement normally means blurry pictures. But now and again it's worth a go - I'm really pleased with this shot, stabilised against a lamp post to shoot balloon sellers at night in Hanoi, Vietnam. The slow shutter speed conveys the sense of movement from the traffic running through the scene. Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Night Moves – I tend to avoid mobile photography at night; the slow shutter speeds coupled with any subject movement normally means blurry pictures. But now and again it’s worth a go – I’m really pleased with this shot, stabilised against a lamp post to shoot balloon sellers at night in Hanoi, Vietnam. The slow shutter speed conveys the sense of movement from the traffic running through the scene.
Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Clean The Lens

Unfortunately the advantage of carrying your camera phone in a handbag or pocket brings about the disadvantage of a dirty lens, anything from smudged fingerprints to used tissues (eww) as there is no protective lens cover. A dirty lens affects the quality of your images so clean it regularly with a soft lens cloth.

Clean The Lens - Another amazing sunset on St Helena. Keeping your mobile camera lens clean is important for pictures like this, any smudges would ruin the light gradients. Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Clean The Lens – Another amazing sunset on St Helena. Keeping your mobile camera lens clean is important for pictures like this, any smudges would ruin the light gradients.
Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Don’t Use Zoom

Ever! The digital zoom diminishes the picture quality by simply cropping the wide angle image on your screen. The answer? Get as close as possible to your subject and take the best image without using the zoom. The result is a better quality shot for printing later or that can be cropped in processing.

Don't Use Zoom - keep the camera wide but fill the frame. The high vantage point allowed me to capture this really interesting photo of early morning garbage collectors on Long Street in Cape Town, South Africa with the stunning landmark of Table Mountain looking down from above the clouds. Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Don’t Use Zoom – keep the camera wide but fill the frame. The high vantage point allowed me to capture this really interesting photo of early morning garbage collectors on Long Street in Cape Town, South Africa with the stunning landmark of Table Mountain looking down from above the clouds.
Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Use The Light

Okay, this is not a news flash but still deserves a mention. Good light maximises your chances of capturing great mobile photographs. I find it difficult to take a sharp picture in low light with my phone because of slow shutter speeds, often I don’t even bother. It’s worth getting to know the light capabilities of yours. For landscape or most outdoor photography, early mornings and late afternoons offer the best light; avoid the harsh midday light.

Use The Light - The lighting principles of photography are just as important with mobile photography. The 'golden hour' even with an overcast sky worked brilliantly for this shot of Longwood House, Napoleon's final home, on St Helena. Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Use The Light – The lighting principles of photography are just as important with mobile photography. The ‘golden hour’ even with an overcast sky worked brilliantly for this shot of Longwood House, Napoleon’s final home, on St Helena.
Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Set Camera To Highest Resolution

The higher the camera resolution, the higher the photo quality. You never know what you might capture so make sure it’s the best quality possible.

Set Camera To Highest Resolution - Out walking in Alarm Forest on this gorgeous St Helena morning, the mobile camera shows it can handle landscapes pretty well. You wouldn't want to get home and find out you were in low res mode, so keep the quality setting high at all times. Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Set Camera To Highest Resolution – Out walking in Alarm Forest on this gorgeous St Helena morning, the mobile camera shows it can handle landscapes pretty well. You wouldn’t want to get home and find out you were in low res mode, so keep the quality setting high at all times.
Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Candid Moments - I loved this moment in Sandy Bay with Raymond opening a beer bottle using a machete! It was all over in a second but having the phone in camera mode meant I could capture it! Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Candid Moments – I loved this moment in Sandy Bay with Raymond Isaac opening a beer bottle using a machete! It was all over in a second but having the phone in camera mode meant I could capture it!
Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Take Multiple Shots

We all know it takes umpteen shots to capture that perfect, natural looking selfie! That’s the beauty of digital photography. So when you see something that warrants a photo, don’t just take one, take a few including from different angles. Hopefully within the batch there’s at least one keeper. Plus practice makes perfect.

Take Multiple Shots - We had been watching the State opening of Parliament procession in London last year, everything was over and we were on our way home when these two police horses came trotting by. I 'tapped' away as they clip-clopped past. Although the light was harsh, this shot wasn't too bad. Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Take Multiple Shots – We had been watching the State opening of Parliament procession in London last year, everything was over and we were on our way home when these two police horses came trotting by. I ‘tapped’ away as they clip-clopped past. Although the light was harsh, this shot wasn’t too bad.
Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Go Large – Use the Panoramic

Sometimes the view is so immense you just can’t fit it all in – thank goodness for the panoramic feature. To do this you can either hold the camera upright in portrait or in landscape position, tap the shutter release button, pan slowly to capture your scene then tap to stop. Voila!

Go Large - I really like the panoramic feature on my mobile phone camera. This is an early morning view across the Blue Hill and Sandy Bay landscapes of St Helena. The panoramic shows off the changing terrain. Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Go Large – I really like the panoramic feature on my mobile phone camera. This is an early morning view across the Blue Hill and Sandy Bay landscapes of St Helena. The panoramic shows off the changing terrain.
Tips For Better Mobile Photography

I hope these tips have enticed you to take your camera phone seriously. As the saying goes; the best camera is the one you have with you – which 9/10 times is your mobile phone. Might as well put it to good use and partake in the love of mobile photography!

Set Camera To Highest Resolution - Most mobiles nowadays have decent cameras and can take surprisingly good pictures, my Samsung Galaxy A3 has 8MP resolution. Tips For Better Mobile Photography

Set Camera To Highest Resolution – Most mobiles nowadays have decent cameras and can take surprisingly good pictures, my Samsung Galaxy A3 has 8MP resolution.
Tips For Better Mobile Photography

COMMENTS

  • November 23, 2016

    Best tip I ever had was NOT to tap the shutter release button… Place finger on it, then gently lift off. This avoids moving the phone at the critical moment.

    • November 25, 2016

      Good point thanks for the feedback. Might incorporate this into the blog post, a ‘tap’ does not equal ‘bang’! πŸ™‚

  • Elaine & Spud

    September 6, 2016

    Think hubby needs to read this as he always wondering why I use my phone. But I find it so convenient especially when trying to capture the 2 minions moments, there is no time to whip out the SLR. I love my new phone use it more as camera than a phone 😊

    • September 11, 2016

      Hello fellow camera phone user who is already sharing the love of mobile photography! We imagine it’s especially ‘snappy’ capturing precious moments of your minions. Perhaps the hubby can be persuaded to give it a go.

  • NoleenS

    September 1, 2016

    Thanks Sharon, useful tips. You’ve just convinced me to buy my own mobile phone!

    • September 1, 2016

      Excellent Noleen that’s great to hear – soon you too will be sharing the love of mobile photography!

  • Patrick G Henry

    September 1, 2016

    Yea great tips… Back to basics for me and start over again…..

    • September 1, 2016

      Ha thanks Pat – but we’re sure you have some tips to share as well πŸ™‚

  • Roger Bagley

    September 1, 2016

    Great tips; many thanks.

    • September 1, 2016

      Hi Roger – really enjoyed putting this blog together glad you’ve found it useful.

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