Phone Photography: Tips & Tricks

Evelyn Streit, Columnist

Pictures, whether they are of you, your friends, or even your dog, are great ways to freeze time and remember a moment. Here are some easy tips and tricks for both Android and iPhones to help you improve your photography skills.

Android Tip Number 1:

Understand and apply your settings. Your phone isn’t going to have super advanced filters and settings, but they can still help make your picture look more visually interesting. According to Cambridge in Colour, some settings to experiment with are ISO (how sensitive your camera is to light), aperture (the size of the lens that light is able to pass through), and exposure time or shutter speed (the amount of time that your camera lens is open and allowing light in).

Android Tip Number 2:

Make sure the camera is focused correctly. Although many smartphones now have pretty good auto focus, they aren’t always going to work how you hope. It helps to know how to manually focus the lens. According to XDA Developers, on Android, this requires an app like OnePlus that uses an easy slider to arrange the camera to the focus of your desire.

iPhone Tip Number 1:

The focus and lighting are very important to the photograph. Most people already know that they can focus on one particular place by taping the screen there, but this also affects the lighting. So if there is something on your screen that is too dark, you can tap on it and the phone will automatically make it brighter and more pronounced.

iPhone Tip Number 2:

Take advantage of funky settings. According to Macworld, one setting allows you to press the volume button on the side of your phone to take shot. This also works if you have headphones; to take a picture, simply click the volume button on the wire. In addition, the iPhone includes a self timer for either 2-seconds or 10-seconds. Lastly, there are many filters to choose from that can be found by clicking the three multi-colored circles at the bottom right side of your screen. The filters include noir, transfer, process, and many more.

To wrap up, there are a few techniques that apply to any camera that will make your pictures the best they can be. Firstly, it is a good idea to clean your lens even if you can’t see any dust or grime on it. According to the New York Times, you can use a tissue or a microfiber cleaning cloth if you prefer. Next, avoid using your flash because it creates uneven lighting. Instead, try to incorporate natural light; this can be accomplished next to a window or outside. Have you ever taken a picture that turned out fuzzy? Smeared pictures are a result of camera shake, and you can escape this by resting your elbows on something, buying a gimbal (a tool that supports your camera and keeps it from falling over) , or getting a tripod. Another trick is to use the rule of thirds (placing the subject in one third of the screen), lines (that lead to the focus of the picture), and interesting angles.

There are many ways to improve your photography skills to get the best quality pictures. Keep in mind that a picture is worth a thousand words.