Not here to debate whether or not mobile photography is or is not a kind of photography today. That’s another post here. Today we are just going to go over a few things that I think make my mobile photos better. These ideas aren’t necessarily original to me. But they work and I try to apply them whenever I can.
- Hoof It! – The zoom feature is horrible on camera phone. ANY CAMERA PHONE. INLCUDING YOURS. It doesn’t actually zoom. It crops the image to make your subject appear larger. So like any overly cropped image, the final result will appear pixelated. So use your feet and get
closer. Think of it like a prime lens on your super expensive DSLR.
- Keep the lens clean!- Smudges and crud will gunk up any lens, including your phone’s. You might not notice a little bit of gunk best to keep things tidy because a lot of dirt or gunk will ruin your photos. Even if you can’t see any dirt particle in your photos, dust and and other things can create a layer that will mute colors and make it harder to expose properly. When you think about it, just wipe the lens off with a lens cloth or if you are in a pinch use a your shirt if its soft. That way your phone is always ready to go.
- Watch the Highlights!- The camera on your phone will allow you to adjust the exposure manually. Expose for the sky. Especially if you are shooting at sunrise or sunset. If you shoot the images and your highlights are blown out, then the details there are just gone. A lot like with a regular camera. It is easier to bring up the shadows when editing then to lower the highlights and recreate the colors that were lost. Granted this can be done with a laptop and a good ‘ol raw file but, who the heck is going to do that on their phone?
- Download the Photoshop Express App!- Its free! Of course there are features that have to be purchased to unlock, but in my experience, I have never needed to make that purchase. This app gives the option to apply filters (gross) or manually adjust clarity, exposure, highlights, shadows, whites, blacks, temperature, vibrance and saturation. There are others but the ones I listed are the ones I always double check when I use my phone. This app will let you bring back some details in your highlights that might have been lost and raise your shadows a bit. You can crop and straighten here as well. Crop unrestrained or to specifications for popular social media feeds.
- BONUS!- You can set a watermark in your Photoshop app, so there will be no doubt about who took that fantastic photo everyone has been sharing on Facebook.
This will get you started. It’s nowhere near a comprehensive look at mobile photography. If it was you’d forget 90% of it anyway. I know I would. I did actually….