Five Tips for Great Photos With Your Cell Phone

August 12th, 2016 Posted in Lifestyle
shutterstock_102149002These days, everyone seems to snap candid photos with their mobile phone, and the pocket sized do-everything devices threaten to replace point-and-shoots entirely. I wrote some tips for using camera phones back when they were just starting to get popular, but the technology has improved a lot in the last four years.

This week, let’s take a fresh look at how to get the best photos with your phone.

1. Choose Your Subjects Wisely

Even though some cell phones now offer as many megapixels as traditional point-and-shoot cameras (see “Sony Ericsson, Samsung Duke It Out for Megapixel Supremacy” for evidence), not every scene is a great choice for your camera phone. I see a lot of people trying to take pictures of the stage at concerts, for example. I’m sad to say that pretty much all they will get is a dark frame with a blur of bright light in the middle.

Camera phones might have improved in the last few years, but you’ll still get the best results when you shoot stationary or slow-moving subjects in well-lit locations.

Does that mean you shouldn’t bother trying to take pictures in dark rooms or at that rock show? Of course not–there’s no extra expense, and you’re carrying your phone around anyway. Take lots of pictures; just don’t expect miracles.

2. Keep the Phone Steady

Have you noticed that you get more blurry photos with your camera phone than with your usual camera? It’s not your imagination. The shutter speed is slower, and you very likely have no ability to vary the exposure settings. So for best results, you’ll want to take a deep breath and then let out a slow, steady exhale as you gently trigger the phone’s shutter release. Hold the phone as still as you can, with both hands if possible. It’s not hard, but it does take some practice.

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