How To Take Professional-Looking Photographs With A Smartphone

When it comes to taking photos of scenic views, objects and people we’re all able to use our smartphones and they probably look great. But to make the images look like a professional has taken them you don’t need a big fancy camera kit, you just need your smartphone and to follow the simple steps below.

iPhone 7 Plus - shop.bt.com
iPhone 7 Plus – shop.bt.com

Learn to Love Lighting

Lighting can make or break a photo – it can either enhance it and make it look fantastic, or it can take away the main focus of the picture. The first thing to note is that you should avoid using flash as it doesn’t provide the light that your photo needs. Natural light is the best kind of light; you should try to ensure that the sun is located behind the camera lens and not facing it. If you’re looking to create some landscape shots then taking photos just after the sun rises and just before the sun sets will give your image idyllic lighting.

Don’t Zoom

We often zoom in on something so that we can get a closer look, whether it’s an animal or a place in the distance. But zooming doesn’t enhance your photo, it limits our options on what we can do to make it better. Using zoom when capturing an image reduces the quality of the picture, enlarges it and crops it, meaning you cannot change it later. Instead, take the image normally without zoom and then crop and edit it later on, this gives you the chance to change your mind about any amends you make.

Photo Taken Using iPhone 6S, Apple Inc
Photo Taken Using iPhone 6S, Apple Inc

Know When To Use HDR Mode

HDR mode is a great feature on smartphones as it allows you to capture details that a standard lens cannot. HDR stands for ‘high dynamic range’ and creates an image that’s more dynamic than a standard camera shot. It takes a selection of images, normally two or three and combines them together to bring out both the highlights and the shadows of the image. HDR shouldn’t always be used as it will not create the desired effect, for example when there is movement in the shot or bright colours. You should use HDR for:

  • Landscapes
  • Low-light scenes
  • Portraits of people in the sun

Rule Of Thirds

The rule of thirds applies to photography in general, regardless of what device you use. When you’re taking a picture on your smartphone try to imagine 4 lines that are split into 9 equal sections – the focal point of your image should fall in one of the sections of the middle line. The reason behind the rule of thirds is that the human eye is naturally drawn to sections.

Clean Your Lens

It might seem obvious but many people forget to do this. Your smartphone is likely to be in your pocket or your bag and will pick up dust and finger prints overtime. So wipe your camera lens regularly and be sure to clean it before you take a photo.

Editing & Filters

If you want your image to have a certain look or feel about it then you might want to consider editing or using filters. You can either add a full filter on the image, or use editing tools to highlight or contrast certain parts of the image.

Which Smartphone Has The Best Camera?

If you’re buying a smartphone with the intention of taking some great images then you’ll need one with a high quality camera. We’ve picked out a few for you.

  • Google Nexus 6P – 12.3MP, 1.55 micron pixel and Google Camera App
  • iPhone 7 Plus – 12MP, wide-angle and telephoto cameras, optical image stabilisation and Live Photos feature
  • iPhone 6S Plus – 12MP, optical image stabilisation and Live Photos feature
  • Sony Xperia Z5 – 23MP and hybrid autofocus
  • Moto X Force – 21MP, Rapid focus and zero shutter lag

Get App Happy

Here are some apps that might be useful when it comes to editing or taking professional-looking images.

Snapseed Logo

  • Snapseed (iOS and Android), Free
  • Fotor (iOS and Android, Free
  • Google Camera. (Android), Free
  • VSCO Cam. (Android), Free
  • Camera 360. (iOS), Free
  • Camera Awesome. (iOS), Free

Now you know what you should be looking out for when you’re taking impressive and professional-looking photos on your smartphone, you can choose the smartphone that’s best suited to you. Take a look at our full range of smartphones at BT Shop today.

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