Photography is a hobby that anyone can follow. People can also proceed with photography in their careers. It is one of the most creative hobbies one can follow. Also, in this era of the digital world, everyone wants to make their online presence by showing their work online. Photography can be done by two main mediums, one is DSLR, and the other is by using Mobile Phone. In today’s world, carrying a DSLR becomes a heavy task so not everyone wants to buy a DSLR camera if they are going to start with it. Nowadays, all smartphones come with a great camera setup. Some are available with the dual-camera setup, some come with a triple or even quad-camera setup. These camera setups are having different lenses like wide-angle camera, Depth sensor lens, and macro lens, etc. By this means, people are following Mobile Photography for themselves to start with.
Mobile Photography is simple and fun. Since everyone is having a smartphone they can capture great pictures without putting extra effort.
One can also buy accessories for their Smartphone Photography such as tripods, external lens, etc. We can cover almost all types of photography with the help of our smartphones.
But it is as difficult to understand everything in Mobile Photography as it is in Digital SLR Photography. We can capture nice pictures if we understand the basics of Smartphone Photography. And the rest depends on our practice.
Don’t worry we are here to provide you each and every detail that you can follow to get beautiful pictures from your smartphone with ease.
Also, If you want to buy a better smartphone then check our Top 10 lists on smartphones
Let us begin by dividing Mobile Photography into basic points.
A basic guide to follow Mobile Photography
We can divide mobile photography into 12 basic sections. Also, we have to understand each and every little detail to get that one perfect shot every time. Take a look below.
- Clear the lens
- Understand the Modes
- Learn about the tools in the pro mode.
- Understand the Exposure Triangle
- Grid Lines
- Burst Shot
- Avoid Shakes
- Different Perspective
- Use of external lens
- Third-Party Camera Apps
1. Clear the lens
The first and the most important thing in mobile photography is the lens and you must clear it before capturing images. Sometimes when we use our smartphones then smudges or our fingerprint appears on our camera lens. And sometimes dust remains on the lens of the camera. Due to this, our pictures come somewhat blurry. So we must clear our lens with a fiber cloth.
Clearing the lens of the camera also helps in improving the camera life. It keeps the lens from unwanted scratches.
Just by clearing the lens of the smartphone, we will get crisp and clear photographs.
So, get the habit of clearing the lens before using it.
2. Understand the Modes
Also, In every smartphone coming in the market, there are plenty of camera modes present. These modes can be used in different situations. As in the above image, we can see there are modes like- Photo mode, Video mode, Portrait mode, Nightscape mode, Pro mode, Time-lapse mode, Panorama mode, slow motion mode, etc. These camera modes are set to different settings to get corresponding results.
Let’s take a brief look at each of them:
A. Photo and Video Mode
These two are the normal modes that are present in all of the mobile phone devices out there. We know pretty well about them. Photo mode has its own settings that can be changed accordingly. Like, when you tap for focus then a small sun-like icon comes up to adjust the overall exposure of the camera. The camera will automatically identify the environment and adjust the exposure accordingly.
Also, in the Video Mode, we get different tools options like adjusting the quality. Also, now we can make cinematic videos from our smartphone easily as mobile phone companies are investing more in improving their mobile phone camera.
B. Portrait Mode
Portrait mode or depth mode is helpful in taking better pictures of a person or thing. Also, it keeps its focus on the main object on the foreground and blurs out everything in the background. Not to mention, this camera mode is being used by most of the people extensively.
C. Pro Mode
Pro mode is the mode built for professional photographers that’s why it is named Pro in it. Also, it has all the basic tools present in the DSLR, like ISO, Shutter Speed, Exposure, White Balance, Focus, etc.
D. Nightscape Mode
As the name suggest it is useful for Night Photography. Under very dark circumstances we can use Nightscape mode to get better pictures. It clicks pictures with a big shutter speed accordingly.
E. Time-lapse and Slow Motion
Time-lapse mode is very beneficial in talking long shots. If we want to capture a long video in small time size video then it will be helpful. It can take a very lengthy video like more than 2 hours (for example) and make it a 5 minute video which looks very beautiful.
Likewise, Slow Motion videos are the opposite of time-lapse video mode. It can take like a 20-second video and make it a 2 minutes long video. It is useful in making creative videos.
F. Panorama Mode
This mode allows us to take a wider image or 360 videos. Henceforth, you can mix up multiple shots in one picture to get a bigger frame.
This is all about different modes of smartphone camera
3. Learn about the tools in the pro mode.
Pro mode is totally professional. It will allow you to take a picture with all the manual controls as well as you can set each and everything according to your environment and your taste in photography.
Pro mode has its own tools and these are different in each and every smartphone. Comparatively some smartphones have only White Balance and Exposure only. And some smartphones have full manual controls like ISO, Shutter speed, Focus tool, etc. As we know all about these tools but for instance a little explanation is necessary.
We can adjust the ISO for manipulating the light in the picture and remember the lower the ISO the better picture will be. With this in mind, a lower ISO number will give less grainy pictures and a higher ISO will lead to more grains in the picture.
Shutter speed adjusts the time duration of the shutter opening. The higher the nth number will be the higher the duration of time light will enter to the lens and the higher the 1/nth number will be the quick will be the opening and closing of the shutter. In case we want to cover sports photography where a lot of movement is present then we must set the shutter speed to 1/500sec or higher.
White Balance is used to adjust the temperature of the image. It has a different range on each and every smartphone but on average, it ranges from 2300K to 7500K. In other words, the lower value has cooler tones and as we move towards the higher range the picture will adopt a warmer tone.
Under the Focus section, we have auto focus and manual focus.
4. Understand the Exposure Triangle
The Exposure Triangle is the main component of photography. With attention to this, we can use the exposure triangle to capture beautiful pictures for mobile photography. So if we talk about the exposure triangle the main three components are ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture. Starting with the ISO we already discussed it in the above section. With the respect of this we can use ISO for maintaining the light in our pictures.
We also know about the Shutter speed and we also know that it is used to adjust the shutter opening and closing time. Additionally, if we learn the correct use of shutter speed then we can cover most of the sports photography from our mobile devices.
Aperture is the third main component of the exposure triangle. Also, with the help of an aperture, we can set the shutter opening that how wide the shutter will open to capture the light.
Try to understand all these three components of the Exposure triangle and try to learn all of them. This will definitely upgrade your skills in photography either on Mobile photography or in Digital Photography.
5. Composition in Mobile Photography
Talking about Composition in Mobile photography then there are number of compositions available. Learning about the composition will enhance your skills in framing every scene. You can click beautiful pictures just by using these compositions as it helps us mostly in the framing part.
Now, if we look up at this then it is all about composing a Picture in such a way that everything in the frame is well organised and looks attractive.
We have many different compositions available in photography. Few of the best are-
- Rule of thirds
- Symmetrical Balance
- Leading Lines
- Negative Space
- Point of view
- Golden Ratio
It is a vast topic which has to be covered separately. So I will make a dedicated blog on compositions.
6. Grid Lines
Gridlines helps us in observing the composition. All of us must ensure that we have these grid lines available in our camera frame. With this in mind, we can say that these are the lines that will make nine components of one picture and it will make it easy to understand what object has to be in which section of the picture. Also, it is helpful in the Rule of Thirds composition as it will decide the overall placements of all the objects.
7. Burst Shot
Burst shot are there in every smartphones. It helps us to take more that 1 shot at the same time that can allow us to pick the better version of any image. To try out bust shot just tap and hold the shutter button in your smartphone camera. Also, it will help us in such a way that sometimes some shake comes to our picture and if we click picture in burst mode then we can take upto 20 image then we can select one picture out of them which has better views.
Burst shots are also helpful in Macro Photography and Portrait Photography.
8. Avoid Shakes in Mobile Photography
To get clear and crisp pictures we should avoid shaking in our pictures. We should learn to hold our hands still while clicking pictures.
We can also use tripods for clicking pictures that needs to be still.
Mostly shakes comes when we are clicking pictures with higher shutter speed like more than 1 second.
Shake happens in our pictures when the camera shutter open for a longer period of time as it continuously capture the light while the shutter is open. So we should either hold the camera still or use tripods
9. Different Perspective or Point of View (POV)
Never click any picture with only one shot. Try click the same shot with different perspective. We can not assume which viewing angle will get that one perfect shot so if we capture anything with different angles then it will help us in framing the shot.
There are following main points of view that we can go for.
- Bird’s-eye View
- Becoming the subject
- Eye Level
- Worm’s-eye View
As the name indicates it is easy to understand each of them.
10. Use of external lens in Mobile Photography
After getting the basics of mobile photography. We can use external lens to enhance our expertise level in mobile photography.
There are various lens available in the market that we can use with our smartphones.
There are Macro lens, Wide angle lens, Fish-eye Lens and other lens with different focal length.
These external lens will enhance the quality of our mobile phone cameras and will give it a professional look also.
11. Third-Party Camera Apps
If you are not satisfied with the stock camera that is available to you then you can use third party camera apps that are available on the Play Store or Apple Store.
Some of them are free and some of them are paid. You can choose either of them according to your needs.
There are a few camera app that will provide you full controls over your smartphone camera. Try them out if your stock camera app do not have a proper pro mode.
Conclusion on Mobile Photography Guide
We have covered almost all the basics of Mobile Photography. We have tried to keep it as simple to understand.
Also, the only thing that can give you a guarantee to become a better photography is practice. The more you practice with your smartphone the better you will understand on the mobile photography.
We will discuss further more Tactics on performing better in photography in our blogs.
Stay tuned for our next guides and thanks for reading this out. I hope it will help you in capturing great images with your smartphone.
Do not forget to share this article with your photographer friends.
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