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8 tips for taking better photos with your smartphone

March 3, 2016 • Lists, Top Stories

The Android KitKat statue unveiled by Google's Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai (image: Google)

The Android KitKat statue unveiled by Google’s Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai (image: Google)

Smartphones have given everyone the opportunity to unlock their creativity. Though it’s easy to snap a picture, it takes some technical suss and imagination to create a photograph that will get your friends on Facebook and Instagram talking.

The good news, however, is that nearly anyone can learn how to take great snaps, provided they learn some basic disciplines and practice them until they become second nature. And with camera technology in smartphones improving all the time, these devices help you to capture meaningful moments and beautiful images wherever you are. After all, the best camera is the one with you, which is most likely to be your phone.

Here are some general tips from HTC for using your smartphone camera to capture better photos:

1. Pay attention to your background
Don’t get so caught up in focusing on your subject that you pay no attention to the background. For example, you don’t want to include the pavement rubbish bins when you’re taking a photo of your friend. Rather move closer or ask the person you’re photographing to step to the side to exclude the unwanted detail from the frame.

2. Choose a perspective
Take your photographs from unusual perspectives to create interesting effects. Shoot upwards from a low angle to make things look large, or take your shot from a higher angle make things look smaller or to capture a larger area of detail.

HTC A9 Camera

3. Zoom with your feet
Zooming with your camera phone results in pixelation and increases sensitivity to camera shake, resulting in blurred imagery. Rather get closer to your subject for the perfect close-up.

4. Avoid camera shake
To lessen camera shake, be as still as possible while shooting: take a deep breath in, hold, snap, breathe out.

HTC A9 (2)

5. Avoid using your flash
Using flash can give your photos a sterile, over-lit look, which can be especially harsh on faces. If you must use flash, why not cover it with some tracing paper to soften the effect?

6. Learn which apps and filters you love
Experiment with filters apps like Instagram to create a style that you like. When people see a pic with a particular filter, they’ll recognise your style. Pro tip: The VSCO app provides filters that are emulations of popular film cameras. There are hundreds of combinations you can create with the number of filters provided.

HTC A9 (1)

7. Use apps to enhance your photos
Great photos are made in the editing process. Pro photographers almost always touch up their photos to get the exact look and effect they want. An app like Snapseed offers you basic editing tools and some cool filters to get you started. It also offers some features for heavy-duty editing once you’re more experienced.

8. Use your smartphone camera at its full potential
Once setup, you may want to start snapping up photos as soon as possible; however, you may notice that the quality of your photo’s might not be what you want it to be. Most camera settings on a device are set to standard settings. So for instance, the HTC A9, which was used to capture the above images, was set at the default 10 Megapixel setting, but to gain maximum quality we had to adjust the settings to 13 Megapixels.

Photography by Darryl Linington (Images captured on the HTC A9).
Follow @DarrylLinington on Twitter


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