You’ve probably heard photographers saying that the size of the camera doesn’t really matter if the person behind the camera has no idea what he’s doing. I personally believe this is true and we can all agree to the same.
I started my journey into mobile photography a few months after the Covid-19 pandemic struck and I was left indoors with nothing to do. Just a smartphone in my hand and a lot of free time. As I was scrolling through Instagram an idea struck me. I decided to turn my Instagram profile into a mobile photograph page.
image credit: smart_lens_world
At first it was tough, my shots were really dull, unfocused and were not catchy in any way. It was somehow frustrating when I compared my pictures with some other mobile photographers on Instagram.
After days of scraping through the web searching on ways to improve my mobile photography, I came across a lot of ideas. Most of them were targeted towards people who were actually using powerful cameras for their work. It was a real struggle trying to find solutions to my rather poor photography.
That’s why I decided to prepare this list of 5 things you should consider when starting your mobile photography journey. These 5 things will help you improve the quality of pictures that you shoot no matter the size of the camera on your smartphone.
1. Avoid Zooming
As much as you would like to zoom into that distant object or animal, try to avoid it as much as possible. Unless you’re using a Huawei P30 Pro, just avoid zooming. Zooming will reduce the quality of your image and it will be less detailed. This is not something you want in your image.
Instead, try to get closer to the object if you can and only if it’s safe. Don’t try to get near a bear just because you wanna get a good shot. That won’t end well. If you can’t get close to your object, try to focus on it. This makes the other areas a bit blurred and it will also give it an appealing effect.
2. Use the professional mode
Every smartphone camera nowadays has the professional mode in its options. It might look a bit intimidating at first but I assure it isn’t. You actually don’t have to learn all the terms in the professional mode. Just focus on trying to understand what is Exposure Value and ISO.
The Exposure Value(EV) allows you to overexpose your image or underexpose it. The ISO actually works almost in the same way as the EV, as it allows you to increase or decrease the light sensitivity of your sensor.
In simpler terms, if you want your image to appear brighter, increase the exposure value, and if you want to reduce the brightness of your picture, reduce the exposure value to your liking. The same applies to the ISO.
If you can learn to balance these 2 factors, it will be a good start in your mobile photography journey. Just know that it takes time and practice to know which type of settings work for a certain area, objects, or a view.
3. Always Focus on your object
This is very important especially in mobile photography or small objects like leaves, colors among other things. Anytime you stop to take a shot of any object, I would recommend making sure that your camera is focused on the object. In most smartphones, manual focus is very easy to apply, just click on the part of the picture where you want the camera to focus on.
If your object is focused, you notice the object is more detailed and it’s much clearer than before. This will also give the surrounding areas of your picture a blur effect which will make your picture look even cooler.
4. Viewing angle
Not all pictures will appear attractive or catchy if you take your shot from a dead center angle. Try to be creative. See the object from a different angle. This will also communicate something to anyone who views the picture. Don’t be boring. Try different angles.
Take as many shots as you need from every angle. Try to convey a new meaning from your view of the object. This will also make your shots picture more unique and attractive. Not just a plain, normal photograph.
5. Edit your pictures
I know some people are against editing of photos but I think this only applies to self-portraits and selfies because it gives an impression of someone who you’re not.
My advice to you is don’t bore your followers or audience with plain, dull-looking photos. Edit your pictures as much as you want. I know some editing might be too much but as long as you’re not working for a company or it might get you fired, edit your image to your liking.
If you’re not very familiar with picture editing Softwares, Fotor is a really nice software to start with. It has a lot of free features that you wouldn’t get them for on any other software for free. If you’d prefer to do your editing on android, Snapseed and Lightroom are the best apps for that.
And if all this is too much for you, just increase the vibrance of the colors in your photos. This is the easiest way to make them appear more attractive.
Mobile photography might seem a little intimidating at first especially if you don’t own a high-end smartphone with a really good camera. However as I started by stating, the size of the camera doesn’t matter if the person behind it is clueless. All you have to do is practice and during that period, you will learn new things that will help you improve your mobile photography skills.
I started my mobile photography journey on an Infinix Note 4. It’s a cheap smartphone with a single 13 MP camera at the rear but I’ve managed to snap some really great shots. Like the ones are used on this post. To view the pictures of my mobile photography journey, you can visit my Instagram profile using this link. https://www.instagram.com/smart_lens_world/.
I hope this list helps you in your journey of mobile photography or any type of photography you’re into. Leave a comment if you liked it and share the knowledge.
NOTE: All Pictures Used In This Post Were Taken By Me.