Oops! Missed that once in a lifetime moment on camera? Out of focus or out of frame? Betcha thought taking photos on your smartphone was supposed to be a no-brainer. It is, but taking GOOD photos needs some knowledge of what your mobile phone can do for you.
INSPIRELLE is so fortunate to have professional photographer Alexis Duclos support our website with his beautiful portraits for some of our articles and feature interviews. Today, he shares his experience to help all of us take better photos each time with our smartphone.
“Your smartphone is a true computer which offers possibilities that were barely imaginable a few years ago. Though the shooting itself is automatic, multiple settings offer the greatest variety while in use.”– Alexis Duclos
Here are six simple technical tips that can make all the difference in your snapshots:
Tip 1: Improve the Quality of Your Picture
I recommend programming your smartphone to the best possible quality. To begin with, on the iPhone, opt for HDR (“high dynamic range”), to give your photos maximum quality. Also, on both iPhone and Android phones, choose to adjust the contrast, color saturation, and appearance for high quality photos. These options can be found in the “Edit” button in your stream of photos.
Tip 2: Steady Up to Prevent Blurry Shots
Since you’re shooting in automatic mode, it is not possible to change the shutter speed. So, to prevent blurriness and shaky images, I recommend stabilizing yourself and your smartphone. Do so by holding the phone with both hands, locking your elbows close to your body and holding your breath; then gently press on the button of the screen to take the photo.
Tip 3: How to Choose Framing
Vertical or horizontal photography? Or even panoramic?! There are numerous possibilities for the choice of framing. Certainly, a group photo will be better horizontal. Feel free to vary the angles, and if your frame does not satisfy you, it is better to move in closer rather than to zoom (avoid blurriness, see tip #2). Once the photo is taken, it is still possible to select “Edit” and choose different possible corrections. Re-framing is so convenient — as it is part of the digital magic!
Tip 4: Getting the Best Shot
When taking a group photo, do not hesitate to take multiple images in a row. Why? Because this will allow you to choose THE best picture where everybody’s eyes are open. When the people in the photo are particularly important, I count to three aloud, then I shoot. This allows each one to concentrate and not close their eyes! And do not forget that the background should never be neglected. The setting allows you to entirely capture the place you are freezing in time.
Tip 5: Use Natural Light Whenever You Can
If possible, avoid using the flash when there is natural lighting. The more natural light available, the more beautiful the image will be. A flash would crush the image when used against natural lighting.
The legendary photographer, Henri Cartier Bresson, once said, “A camera flash is like a canon shot in a church.”
A small detail to remember: regularly clean the lens of your Smartphone with a soft tissue-like material.
Tip 6: Framing is Everything
Remember the framing, remember the framing, and certainly, remember the framing!
Do not hesitate to put something (or someone!) in the forefront for scenery photos.
Move your smartphone to find an original setup that respects the lines, proportions and light of your subject. And a little secret between us: if you are shooting in color, think in color!
Best Photo Apps for Smartphones
There are dozens of free apps for iPhone or Android phones. Even if your smartphone offers many adjustable choices, it is always possible to have more!
The Autodesk Pixlr application can be used to create saturated images with strange colors. The possible effects are quite magical.
You can also add a vintage effect to your photos with Afterlight. For black and white, Black and White Camera Free for iPhone or Camera Photo Black and White gives the opportunity to play with the monochrome effects on Android.
A final word of advice, when you send images to other smartphone destinations, I suggest you choose the definition of “average”, approximately 260 KB. This dimension of pixels is just enough for a small screen.
For the rest, have fun and be creative!
Visit Alexis Duclos’ website or consult INSPIRELLE’s IList to find a professional photographer to meet your needs.