Smartphones today come with onboard cameras more powerful and precise than some dedicated digital cameras. Popular models boast 16 megapixel resolutions—Sony even cracked into 4k recently. Granted, the quality does degrade on zoom, a reason why many smartphone photographers get intimate with their subjects. For instance, Instagram star, Alice Gao, argues that zooming distorts the image so she prefers to get close and crop.
With such great cameras built into our phones, you have little excuse for taking bad vacation photos. While not everything makes for a great picture, you can markedly improve the quality of those you do snap by following the tips below.
Eschew Stock Filters
Everyone applies the same half-dozen filters to their photos. Often, the effects are overkill, muting the beautiful natural light or masking environmental subtleties that give the photo character. As a rule, leave filters for Snapchat or use them lightly.
Stabilize Your Phone
One-handed snaps for selfies and on-the-go captures sometimes render blurry or poorly composed. If you take the time to stabilize your camera with an accessory or with your two hands, then you can take more strategic pictures. You can also control the environment better (i.e. cupping the lens to block the sun’s flare).
Follow the General Rules of Composition
Everyone is a self-proclaimed photographer these days, but few adhere to the basic rules of photography. For instance, focus on a single subject and find natural guiding lines in the environment to lead the eye towards said subject. Likewise, use gridlines (a camera setting) to position the subject in known places of interest and emphasis.
Wipe the Lens
Your phone goes everywhere with you. You also touch it constantly, making it a playground for dirt and germs. Inevitably, some crap gets on the lens, causing obstructions in the frame or reducing the sharpness of the photo. So do yourself a favour and wipe the lens before every important shot.
Take Multiple Shots
Phones come with ample storage these days (physical and cloud). If you’re an Android user, you can also expand this storage with external memory. So don’t worry about how many pictures you take: Go crazy, then select the best ones later.