How to Take Better Smartphone Pictures

picture of a phone taking a photo of red flowers

A picture speaks a thousand words.  That’s probably why research has revealed posting pictures on Facebook gets more reactions than status updates.  It’s also why Twitter (where you can tweet pics or ‘twitpics’) Pinterest, and Instagram are more popular than Facebook these days.

 

Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can snap a photo of your sleeping dog and that will automatically ignite buzz on your Facebook timeline.  The fact is, camera phones today are more technologically advanced than they were just 2 or 3 years ago.  For example, the camera on the iPhone 4/4s/5 is vastly different from the camera on the 3g/3gs.

 

With good instruction and the assistance of some down-loadable apps, our phones have the ability to take pictures that are almost as good quality as a digital camera.  Plus the photos are conveniently on your phone where you can easily email them, Instagram, upload to Facebook, etc.  Here are some great tips from travel bloggers and top photographers on how to take better photos without needing a digital camera.

 

Stabilize

 

Holding the phone with two hands is a good start.

In other words, stand still.  Hold your smartphone with both hands and rest your elbows against your chest.  If there is a wall nearby, lean against it.  Because you aren’t using $2000 camera that is able to capture a sharp clear image easily, you need to stabilize yourself.  *Tip for iPhone users:  The shutter does not go off on the camera until you have taken your finger OFF the button.  This is a great camera-shake reducer feature that people don’t know about; it helps reduce the impact of someone’s finger hitting the shutter button and throwing off the image entirely.

 

Consider Your Angle

 

The Eiffel Tower at a low angle.

Interesting or unconventional angles will dramatize your photo.  Instead of taking a shot straight on, consider getting your smartphone down low.  Taking cityscape shots?  Go to the top of a building—or higher, if you can.

 

Find The Best Natural Light

 

Lots of wedding pictures are taken in the late afternoon when the lighting is ideal so the bride looks her best!

Smartphones will always take blurry photos if there isn’t enough lighting.  Brighter lighting allows the shutter to be able to stop the motion more effortlessly.  That said, not all types of light make for good photo taking.  When taking landscape shots, the best times of day are in the early morning or late afternoon just before sundown.  When the sun is directly overhead, the lighting is flat and ruins the texture of the landscape, or produces a white flash so bright the object of the photo is washed out entirely.  These rules apply to portrait taking as well.

 

Editing

 

What Snapseed looks like on an iPhone.

While the best app for taking pics is camera+ (see below), Snapseed is a favorite editing tool among photographers.  The options are unlimited:  brightness/contrast and spot adjustments, sharpening, tilting, and anything else you can think of.  Oh—and it’s free.

 

After Dark Photos

 

Night Camera app in HD.

One thing smartphones (and inexpensive cameras) struggle with is taking clear, color contrasting photos at night.  Thankfully, there’s an app for this.  Download Night Camera, an app that allows for time-delayed night capturing.  Simply set your camera down in place and pose.

 

Other Camera Apps

 

Camera + for the iPhone.

These are some app suggestions from the blog GrumblesandGrunts specifically for the iPhone: Camera+, Vscocam, and Afterlight.  Camera+ is a great app to take photos with—there’s exposure control, filters, and image effects.  Similarly, Vscocam also can be used to snap iPhone images with its filter options.  Afterlight is convenient for those smartphone users who don’t want to switch between apps.  It can be used to take photos and offers editing and cropping features.

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Dr. Sam Sadati is the owner and practitioner of The Sadati Center of Aesthetic Dentistry in West Palm Beach and a leader in the world of cosmetic dentistry and smile design. He is the only accredited cosmetic dentist in all of South Florida and is one of only forty dentists in the world to receive an Accredited Fellow honor from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).  Apart from creating beautiful smiles, Dr. Sadati enjoys photography, travel, and the opportunity to tell a good joke.  If you have a question or comment, dental-related or otherwise, connect with us on Facebook orTwitter. We always reply to our fans and followers!

 

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