Smartphone photography. Now basically smartphones are very portable. Every time you’re not carrying a bulkier camera with the bulkier lens but every time you have your mobile phone in your pocket. So smartphones are very versatile devices to capture images. Since the smartphone cameras are getting better and better you actually have a very powerful camera in your pocket. In this post we will talk about smartphone photography and give you some tips to capture better images with your smartphone, doesn’t matter what smartphone you’re using. So let’s dive into some tips to actually capture better images with the smartphone you have.
Clear Your Smartphone Camera Lens
The first tip is to clean your smartphone camera lens. Now, this might seem very obvious but if your smartphone camera lens is not clean enough you won’t get the best images. You might have your smartphone in your pocket or your bag or it is exposed to some kind of dust and then basically your smartphone camera lens will have some kind of smudges or dust.
You can use a microfiber cloth to clean your camera lens or if you feel the dust is actually a bit more you can use a cotton swab and just moist it a bit with water and clean the lens gently. Make sure you don’t spray any kind of liquids on your mobile phones because it can damage the lenses and also the mobile surface. Make sure you clean your camera lenses regularly to get the best images out of your lenses.
Use The Least ISO Possible
The next tip is to use the least ISO possible. Now don’t misunderstand me I said least ISO but which is possible. The concept of ISO is if you shoot at the lower ISO you get better images because the grains are less and you get sharper images too. But the thing is if you shoot at the lower ISO you will get darker images. When you want to shoot at the lower ISO you actually have to combine that with a slower shutter speed to get properly exposed images. In case you’re using a less ISO at low light situations may be the shutter speed is slow and you are not getting sharp images. In a low-light situation, you have to make sure that the shutter speed in is about 1/10 or 1/20 of a second and then you adjust the ISO according to the exposure.
Make sure that just because you want a low ISO you’re not shooting darker images. Because once in post-processing you try to boost the exposure basically the image quality will get worse and worse. So make sure you’re capturing better exposure with a slightly more ISO but also slower speed.
Use A Tripod
The next step is to use a tripod while doing smartphone photography. Someone said that “even the most stable hands are not as stable as the least stable tripods” and it is hundred percent correct. When you’re shooting with a shutter speed that is slower maybe than 1/10 of a second something like 1 second or 2 seconds you actually need a tripod. So maybe you want to shoot a longer exposure of 10 seconds or 30 seconds or in low-light situations or off about 2 to 5 seconds you definitely need a tripod to get sharper images.
When you use a tripod you won’t actually feel that the difference is much. But when you zoom in you will see that the images are much sharper and it’s exactly what you want. If you haven’t invested you can actually buy some cheap tripods or if you have a tripod I don’t see any reason of not using it. So make sure if you have a tripod or if you haven’t get it and you start using a tripod to capture sharper images with your smartphones.
The next step is to not zoom. Basically, when you’re zooming in with your smartphone you’re actually digitally zooming in and not optically zooming in. When you’re digitally zooming in you’re actually cropping your sensor and not using the full resolution of your smartphones. When you’re optically zooming in whatever be the focal length you’re actually using the full sensor. But in the case of smartphones if you don’t have a telephoto zoom lens basically you are just cropping the image. It’s not going to be useful because you’re just losing details.
There are two solutions for this situation. The first one is if you want a tighter crop maybe you move in by yourself you can move forward or backward and try to compose the shots. If that is not possible but still you want to try the crop, of course, you have the flexibility of cropping in when your post processing the images.
Now the question is if we are cropping in still we are losing resolution then what’s the help? The thing is in post-processing when you’re cropping in, of course, you’re losing details and losing resolution. But then you have the flexibility of changing the crop and changing the aspect ratio. Once you zoom in with your smartphone and took the image you don’t have the wide-angle shot with you to later change in post-processing. If you actually want to zoom in then use a wide-angle shot and later in post-processing you can obviously change whatever you want to.
Shoot In RAW
The next tip is to shoot in RAW. I have always focused on shooting in RAW because when you’re shooting in JPEG whatever smartphone you are using whether it be Samsung, iPhone, Xiaomi, or Huawei all the company manufacture have a software processing that actually processes the RAW image that your mobile takes. I’m not a big fan of internal software processing. I like to capture RAW images and then post-process it by myself. If you don’t know what’s the exact difference between JPEG and RAW there you can read our other article about RAW files.
Basically, when you are shooting RAW images you have the flexibility of changing the highlights, the shadows, the colors, the details of the image in post-processing. Instead of depending on some other software you are actually tweaking the image as per as you want. And you will see you are actually going to get better images just by shooting in RAW format. If your stock camera application is not allowing to shoot in RAW there are different applications that allow you to shoot in RAW. So make sure you’re shooting in RAW and you’re following these steps to capture better images with your smartphones.
The applications I mentioned above for shooting in RAW format with your camera;
In conclusion, these are some basic tips about smartphone photography. Even though these are very basic tips I am pretty sure that if you follow all of them when you’re shooting with your smartphone you will get better images next time.
Do you have any other information about smartphone photography? Left your ideas and questions in the comments section below! and please don’t forget to follow kuulphoto.com on Twitter @kuulphoto