9 tips to take stunning photos with your phone

9 tips to take stunning photos with your phone

1. Use gridlines to balance your shot

One of the easiest and best ways to improve your mobile photos is to turn on the camera's gridlines. That superimposes a series of lines on the screen of your smartphone's camera that are based on the "rule of grids" — a photographic composition principle that says an image should be broken down into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, so you have nine parts in total.

Place points of interest in these intersections or along the lines when taking a photo and your photo will be more balanced.

To turn the grid on:

  • iPhone: Go to "Settings," choose "Photos & Camera," and switch "Grid" on.
  • Samsung Galaxy: Launch the camera app, go to "Settings," scroll down and switch the "grid lines" option to "on."




    2. Set your camera's focus

    Today's phone cameras automatically focus on the foreground of your frame, but not every picture you take on your phone has an obvious subject. To adjust where you want your camera lens to focus, open your camera app and tap the screen where you want to sharpen the view.

    If you're taking a photo of something in motion, for example, it can be difficult for your camera to follow this subject and refocus as needed. Tap the screen to correct your phone camera's focus just before snapping the picture to ensure the moving subject has as much focus as possible. A square or circular icon should then appear on your camera screen, shifting the focus of your shot to all of the content inside that icon.




    3. Focus on one subject

    Many of the best photos include just one, interesting subject. So when taking a picture of one, spend some extra time setting up the shot. Some professional photographers say that the subject shouldn't fill the entire frame, and that two-thirds of the photo should be negative space that helps the subject stand out even more.

    But be sure you tap the screen of your smartphone to focus the camera on your subject — that'll help to ensure that it's focused and the lighting is optimized.



    4. Find different perspectives

    Taking photos from a unique, unexpected angle can make them more memorable — it tends to create an illusion of depth or height with the subjects. It also makes the image stand out.

    Try taking a photo directly upward or you can try taking it at a slight downward angle.




    5. Clean The Lenses For Crystal Clear Photos

    Your mobile phone spends a lot of time in your hands, as well as your purse or pocket. And as a result, the camera’s lenses can get covered in dirt, dust, and fingerprints. A dirty lens will leave smudges, blurs, or dust spots on your photos.

    Use a soft cloth to gently wipe the lens. If you’ve been shooting at the beach or in dusty conditions, blow on the lens first. This will remove any sand or dust that may scratch the lens. Cleaning your iPhone lenses might seem obvious. But most people don’t remember to do it. So get into the habit of cleaning the lenses on your phone. It will make a big difference to the clarity of your photos.




    6. Adjust Exposure For Perfect Brightness Levels

    Ensuring that your photos have the perfect level of brightness can make a big difference. For example photo on the top is too dark and photo at the bottom is too bright:



    You simply adjust the exposure (brightness) before you take a picture. Adjusting exposure in the iPhone Camera app is easy. Start by tapping to set focus. Then swipe up or down to adjust exposure. When the brightness levels look good, tap the shutter button to take a photo. 

    Try to ensure the most important parts of the scene are exposed correctly. When they’re correctly exposed, they’ll have plenty of color and detail as per photo below:




    7. Shoot In Portrait Mode To Create Gorgeous Blurred Backgrounds

    If you want to shoot professional-looking photos with dreamy, blurred backgrounds you might want to try to shoot in portrait mode. If your iPhone camera has Portrait mode, you can easily blur the background when taking pictures.

    Portrait mode is available in the built-in Camera app on the following iPhones:

    iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone 7 Plus

    Portrait mode uses depth-effect software to keep your foreground subject sharp while blurring the background as in this photo:





    8. Choose a Strong Focal Point

    The focal point of a photo is the main point of interest. It could be anything from a tree, to a building, to a person. Finding a strong focal point is one of the fundamental steps of how to take professional photos. So when you’re planning out or setting up a shot, you should stop and ask yourself, “What do I want viewers to focus on?”

    Once you know what your focal point is, you can work towards making it as strong as it can be. Create an interesting focal point that draws in and holds the viewer’s attention.

    9. Use Leading Lines

    Leading lines are line shapes in your shot that can help guide viewers eyes to the focal point. They can be anything that creates a line in your photo, like roads, fences, buildings, long hallways, trees, or shadows.

    The trick is using them to take viewers attention where you want it to go. That can include drawing their eyes straight to your subject, or leading them on a kind of visual journey through your composition.

    The direction of your leading lines can also change the mood of your compositions. For example, vertical leading lines can convey a powerful, imposing mood, while horizontal leading lines tend to be associated with calmness and tranquility.



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