Sometimes you don’t want to carry around a camera that screams tourist. Phones are perfect for snapping spontaneous moments without fuss. Here’s how to make the most of your light and megapixels and share them afterward, whether you have an iPhone, Android phone or 1990s Nokia.
1. Colour: If your photos look like they were taken through sand on a dreary day, dig into your camera’s settings, often by pressing a cog icon. Here you can turn up the contrast to make your shots look richer, less washed out and more flattering to faces. Or choose a higher picture size and quality to reduce the grainy look.
2. Timing: Phone cameras are notorious for shutter lag – snapping the picture long after after that fake shutter sound – so count to three for your subject but take the photo on “two” and keep still a second after you’ve pressed the button to avoid blur.
3. Light: The rule with light is the more the better. If your camera doesn’t have a flash and seems only able to produce pictures of semi-darkness, don’t delete the shots – a photo-editing app can often brighten seemingly failed pictures. Get your subject to move into the light if possible, but with the light on the subject, not behind it, or you’ll end up with a silhouette. Then point the lens to the darkest part of the subject to focus there. This way the camera knows that light is low and can compensate.
4. Blur: Shaky, ghostly photos? Keep still. Place the hand holding the phone against a wall, or rest your arms against your hip. When you press the shutter button, keep your finger held down a second longer than usual to help you keep still and make up for any shutter lag. And breathe out as you press the button to keep steady, like sharpshooters do.
5. Composition: Use the rule of thirds: don’t place your subject smack bang in the middle of the frame, but to the side, one third of the way in. And place people so that their eye lines are one-third from the top of the frame.
6. Apps: There are free smartphone apps to style and show off your travel pics, such as the famous Instagram and lesser-known Pixlr-o-matic, which make every photo feel like summer in the ‘60s. Photoshop Express is a free app to crop, brighten and touch up your shots.
Source: Lonely Planet and Techtips