Improve Your Mobile Phone Captures – Discover 10 Tips

Gone are the days, when a mobile phone was being sold as a Calling or Texting Device. Nowadays, the most emphasized feature, as we all know, is the CAMERA or rather the CAMERAS. The front camera, back camera, higher megapixels, better lenses, widest angles, high capacity storage & much more. This is definitely making us take more and more pictures using phone camera, but unfortunately, many aren’t taking them the right way. Here, I’m mentioning 10 tips to improve your mobile phone captures. I believe this would help you Improve your mobile phone captures than before.

1. Clean Lens Gives A Clear Picture

A beautiful sculpture from Aihole, Karnataka, India

Keeping the mobile camera lens clean is a big challenge for all as the usage of phone is a lot more than the dedicated cameras. The lens gets fingerprint smudges on it all the time. Make sure you clean the lens properly & take care that there are no finger print marks, dust, water splashes or any kind of smudges on the lens. Once done, you are good to go.
Using any microfiber cloth or simple cotton can help you get rid of most of the dirt from the lens. Importantly, we keep our phones on variety of surfaces on daily basis. It may result in the lens getting scratches from rough surfaces. Using a good phone cover can protect your lens from such damage.

2. A Steady Click

A bicycle against evening setting Sun

Keeping your mobile camera steady gives you a clearer image, I’m not telling you anything out of the world here but a lot of people rush while clicking with mobile phones and end up getting blurred shots. You can rest your hand against a solid object to help get a steady shot.
When clicking in low light, the shutter speed gets slow which means the camera takes longer time to capture an image, so, one needs to wait for a while before the image is captured, else, the image would shake or get blurred.
Also, the camera needs to be steady when you capture an image using HDR mode because the camera takes a little longer time than normal when switched to HDR mode to capture the whole dynamic range.

3. Frame Your Subject Well

A Classic Portrait of a Clothing Presser from rural India

Make sure you fill up your view finder with the entire subject so that it is well-framed and you do not have to crop or zoom in the image later in editing. Zooming pixelates the image, thus, losing its quality. Pinch-Zooming before clicking also deteriorates the quality because most mobile phones are not equipped with Optical Zooming Lenses & your images only gets stretched digitally. Thus, physically going closer to your subject helps while doing mobile photography.
There are different modes available in the mobile camera, study them & make their proper use.
Eg: Wide Angle mode can be used to capture a monument or a landscape which gives you a wider image. Macro mode helps you capture the tiniest details of your subject. Portrait mode helps you capture the person/s while the background is blurred & the subject is more in focus.

4. Well-Lit Subject

Table top photograph of crayons against hand painted canvas backdrop

A better lit subject makes a huge difference in the image quality. This is an instant tip to improve your mobile phone captures. If possible, shoot in natural light, else, if you are shooting indoor in artificial lighting, please note, that the artificial light does impact the color cast on your shots. In that case, the white balance isn’t maintained & needs to be corrected later. Take control of your cameras Manual Exposure mode, if supported by your camera and try getting better exposure by setting Shutter Speed, ISO and Aperture.
You can also use your mobile camera flash to light up your subject evenly, even in broad day-light to avoid harsh shadows. Please avoid using flash when shooting in low light / no light condition. Intense flash will ruin your photograph for sure.

5. Explore the Color Balance

A beautiful Sunset with silhouette palm trees in foreground

Nowadays, the mobile phones come with adjustable white balance setting. Phones provide a lot of preset options like Daylight, Fluorescent, Cloudy and so on. Explore these present white balance settings in your phone to set different moods for different types of images.
Some phones also offer Kelvin setting, which allows you to set the cooler or warmer color temperature manually for your photographs. This control, if available in your camera, allows you better control over the mood and feel of your image.

6. Begin with Rules of Composition

Symmetric Stepped-Tanks of Hampi, Karnataka, India

The most famous rule of composition is the Rule of Thirds. To make sure you are following the rule of thirds, you can enable the Grids option from your camera setting to know the placement of your subject. You can also look for patterns, leading lines, symmetry in your photographs to make them more interesting and appealing.
Once, you are comfortable with the Rules of Composition, you can consider breaking them & letting the creativity flow.

7. Click More to Explore

A night time decorative photograph of lamps outside of a home

The advantage of digital photography over the traditional film photography is that you can capture a lot many shots in lesser amount of time and resources. Make the most out of this advantage. Capture more images, experiment more & explore more.
The mobile phones also have a wider touch-enabled screen as compared to SLRs, thus, giving an advantage to visualize & compose before you make your click. Allowing you to experiment freely with different, non-traditional angles for different genres of images like Food, Landscape, Portraits, Macro & improve your mobile phone captures.

8. Learn From Your Mistakes

A flat contrast less macro photograph

Do not rush to delete an image which you haven’t got right or the way you want. Remember, good images give you memories, while, bad images give you learning.
Go through the inaccurate/incorrect images, understand what went wrong, improve the angle that you clicked from, try to use better lighting, take control of your cameras settings. Learn from your past images & capture better images next time.

9. Step Up the Resolution

A marble finished lamp lighting and highlighting the rough wall texture

Being a trainer, I have observed, that lot many people are unaware of the Picture Quality / Image Size setting on their mobile camera & it’s unknowingly set at Low / Medium Resolution which impacts their image quality. Remember, the higher the resolution, the better the image. So, make sure, you correctly set the Picture Quality / Image Size in your camera setting.
Also, better resolution images, when shared on social media platforms, don’t get much distorted due to compression of the image size. Images with higher resolution are better performers when you edit them, because editing software gets more data to play with, producing better results.

10. Editing Images

Indian spicy food along with raw spices and ingredients in a balanced composite

There are a variety of good phone apps available for editing like Snapseed, Fotor Photo Editor, PicsArt Photo Editor & so on. Explore these apps they will certainly Improve your mobile phone captures.
Make sure that you capture the image at the highest resolution so that you don’t lose on more pixels later while editing an image.
Also, note that you can turn a colored image to black & white but it is extremely difficult to do it vice-versa, so, capture colored images to keep a scope while editing.

I’m sure these tips will definitely make you improve your mobile phone captures and enhance your Mobile Photography experience. Follow PhotoHelp section of this blog for more such tips on various photography topics.

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Angad Joshi

Angad Joshi

Angad Joshi is a freelance professional photographer. He runs photography studios by the brand name TimeFrame Studios in Pune and Dombivli. He indulges in Food, Fashion, Product and Wedding Photography and has a team of his own. He loves conducting indoor and outdoor photography training programs and photography tours of various genres across India.

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