Top tips for holding improved smartphone photos

June 5, 2016 - photo frame

The best camera, as they say, is a one we have with you.

And if that happens to be your smartphone, and chances are it is, during slightest these pocket-sized inclination are removing softened during photography all a time.

Not usually has a peculiarity of a photos (and videos) softened over a years, smartphones are also ideal for modifying your work, adding fun filters, and wirelessly pity those memories on a spot.

To assistance we get a many out of your summer “phoneography,” Surf Report held adult with Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY record columnist, Talking Tech podcast host, and Manhattan Beach-based mural photographer.

Top tips for holding softened smartphone photos

Shoot sideways

“While it competence be some-more gentle to reason a phone vertically, reason it horizontally, as photos will demeanour softened when on a mechanism or radio screen,” says Graham. “You substantially don’t wish those black bars on any side of a photo, and you’ll remove about 40 percent of a image.”

Horizontal (“landscape”) course is softened for organisation photos and inlet shots, too, to get some-more in. Speaking of scenery, also play around with a phone’s breathtaking mode for ultra-wide photos, if this underline is offered. 

Graham says there are exceptions: “Unless you’re holding a design of a Empire State Building, or a peculiar mural of someone, reason a phone sideways.”

Get adult tighten and personal

A good order of smartphone photography? Don’t be shy.

“Get in people’s faces. The usually approach to get adult tighten and personal is to get adult tighten and personal,” says Graham. Unless we wish a lot of a background, fill a whole support adult with your subjects.

This is since your smartphone lacks visual wizz – where a lens physically moves closer to a subject, like a point-and-shoot or dSLR camera – and so we need to physically pierce yourself towards a subject. “In fact, a phone’s optics work best when we get in close,” says Graham,” and we don’t wish to use your phone’s digital zoom, as it dramatically lowers a resolution, and won’t demeanour good if we blow it adult later.”

Going in closer also means we can constraint some-more facial detail, such as light freckling, a desirable cavity or soothing dark blues of a iris. 

But play around with how tighten is too close, as that “macro” shot of, say, a flower competence demeanour becloud when we demeanour during it after on.

Use a light around you

Because we wish to equivocate regulating a peep wherever possible, use a light you’ve got permitted as a tool, either it’s beyond lighting while indoors, or preferably, a object outside. 

“Better yet, if you’re outside, try to fire in a shade,” suggests Graham. Cloudy days are also ideal for photos as they disband a sun. If a object is out, be certain your behind is to a object – and not your subject’s — or else they’ll demeanour like a silhouette.

“Same goes for a window while indoors,” adds Graham. “Never fire your theme by a window or a camera will display for a window and you’ll have a conformation of your crony – so make certain your back, as a photographer, is to a window.”

Going steady

Some phones have visual design stabilization, that could assistance solid your shot, though we can also do your partial to revoke a contingency of a becloud photo.

Graham says to put both hands on a phone, use a sourroundings if probable in low-light situations, for even some-more stabilization. “If you’re a party, for example, rest your phone on tip of a chair or table, if possible.”

Another tip: see if your phone has a earthy symbol on a side, such as a volume button, use this to work a shiver — instead of drumming a touchscreen, as that will means a phone to shake when we press it. 

When sharpened video, have fun with modes like time-lapse, and slow-motion, “because we can,” says Graham, who penned a book, Video Nation: A DIY Guide to Planning, Shooting, and Sharing Great Video. “Speaking of video, ask yourself if a impulse can be best prisoner by video, and afterwards squeeze a still support of it later.”

Position for composition

Instead of fixation your subjects in a center of a support all a time, pierce them to a left or right to make your photos now turn some-more powerful. Better yet, go in on an angle to supplement some additional appetite to a shot. 

“How do we get people to grin naturally?” Graham asks, rhetorically. “Ask them to giggle out shrill and do it with them, and a healthy grin will emerge…and you’ll have fun, too.”

Don’t always take photos of people posing for a camera as their countenance can demeanour forced and unnatural. Candid shots are great, though be certain to get their accede before uploading to amicable media sites.

Don’t be stingy

Take a ton of photos, since someone in your organisation is blinking, or your nephew is giving grandma a rabbit ears.

Your phone expected has a ton of storage, so remember a some-more photos we take, a softened possibility we have to find a winner.

For 3 reasons, don’t undo photos off your phone while you’re out shooting: it competence be a good shot after all, when we demeanour during it on a incomparable screen; you’re wasting your phone’s changed battery by deletion photos while out for a day; and we competence skip an extraordinary impulse to constraint since you’re spending your time looking during photos to delete. Do it later.

Columnist Marc Saltzman writes on tech inclination and trends for USA TODAY. Follow Marc on Twitter: @marc_saltzman. E-mail him during

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