The days of grainy and unfocused smartphone photos are long gone. It’s now possible for us to take good pictures with an Android phone. Some smartphone models even have cameras that are almost at par with digital cameras.
Of course, not all camera phones are created equal. But regardless of what Android phone we’re using, there are some things we can do to ensure we end up taking awesome shots.
Are you interested to know what they are? Then read on to learn how to take great pictures using your phone.
Method 1: Clean Lens Help Capture Great Pictures
One simple but sure-fire method to get clear photos is to clean the camera’s lens. We typically place our mobile devices in our hands, pockets, or bags – places where they can easily pick up dirt and germs.
- Wipe lens clean with a microfiber cloth. Most office supply stores sell these wipes for touch screens and camera lenses.
- For dirt that’s harder to get rid of, moisten a cotton swab with distilled water and swipe over the lens. But never use industrial or household cleaners as these can damage the lens.
Method 2: Choose the Right Mode to Use
Most people are content to just use their phones’ default camera settings that they don’t bother with the different modes being offered. However, using particular modes can enhance pictures. There are usually five camera modes on Android phones. Tap on the Camera icon then click on Settings to see them. Choose the mode that’s best for the photo you’ll be snapping and adjust the settings.
Method 3: Adjust Settings for Optimal Quality
Android devices have pretty decent cameras so we can already take good photos immediately. However, understanding some basic techniques and adjusting the settings will .
- Go to Settings and look for the Exposure Value (EV) adjustment, which usually comes in the form of a slider. Move the slider to the positive side to make the picture brighter. Conversely, moving it to the other side will cause the picture to look dark. Make small adjustments to avoid ruining photos.
- We can also adjust the ISO, or the camera’s sensitivity to light. In the camera Settings, look for ISO and adjust the number. Adjust the ISO number to a higher one when shooting in an environment with low light or when snapping a moving subject.
- Change your phone’s aspect ratio to fit your photos. Go to Camera and choose which one to use. The aspect ratio settings will then appear. This is often expressed as 3:2 or 16:9, with the first number pertaining to the width and the second to the height. Most phones come with an aspect ratio of 4:3 and 16.9.
A 4:3 aspect ratio setting results in the conventional photo style while a 16:9 ratio gives photos a widescreen look. Choose this ratio if you want your photo to fill up the screen.
Method 4: Follow the Rule of Thirds
One rule of thumb we should never forget is the Rule of Thirds. This is a compositional guideline used in photography and painting.
In the Rule of Thirds, the image is divided by two vertical and two horizontal guide lines to create nine boxes of uniform sizes. Think of it as a tic-tac-toe board if you will. These lines can help improve the photo’s composition.
- Turn on the grid lines feature on the smartphone. Open Camera app, go to Settings, then Grid Lines.
- Place the point of interest at any of the places where the lines of the grid intersect, even when it’s off-center. Studies have shown that people tend to focus on the areas around the center of the picture, so take advantage of that.
- Check if the view has a vertical or horizontal line. If it has, align it with one of the grid lines. Doing this will give us spectacular shots of the horizon during sunrise or sunset, something we all will do at some point.
Method 5: Give the Subject Room to Breathe
Another rule we should follow when taking pictures with our Android phones is the Rule of Space. Also known as the Rule of Gaze, it states that if the subject is looking out the frame or is not directly looking at the camera, we should for the subject to gaze into.
This method creates intrigue in the people looking at the picture. Studies also show that this technique causes people to naturally follow the area that the subject is looking at.
- Leave negative space in the direction that your subject is looking at. This adds depth and intrigue as it draws the viewer’s attention to the area and leaves them wondering what’s happening outside of the frame.
- Convey speed and movement when taking shots of a vehicle or a person by leaving space in front of the subject. This gives the impression the subject is moving in the direction of the empty space.
- Emphasize the grandeur and vastness of the subject by balancing it with a larger negative space. Place the subject in a corner or in one of the intersections of the camera grid. The subject might appear larger but it will emphasize how little it is in contrast with the background.
Method 6: Take as Many Shots as You Can
There’s nothing more depressing than seeing that the only shot we took of ourselves with the Eiffel Tower in the background is blurry or out of focus. We can avoid this by snapping as many photos as we can until we finally capture what we think is the perfect shot. Don’t worry about the rest; we can discard them later.
Method 7: Look Up For Better Pictures
Most of us love taking selfies but few know how to snap a good one. Research has shown that we can get amazing pictures off our android phones by simply looking up.
- Position the camera at a higher angle. Look up towards it and raise your eyebrows a little. This will make your eyes look larger.
- Push your shoulders down to look more relax and try extending your head away from your neck to have a more defined jawline.
Method 8: Use Proper Lighting
Always remember that proper lighting is a major factor in photography. We have to consider the color, harshness, and direction of the light source if we want to have good pictures using an Android phone.
- Check that the principal light source, whether it’s a lightbulb or the sun, is located behind you.
- Look for cover (like the shade of a tree) when taking photos under direct sunlight.
- Always check settings for white balance, EV and ISO.
Method 9: Avoid Using Flash
Using a flash when taking pictures with an android phone is not a good idea. The bulb is typically located near the camera’s lens and the illumination often results in a overwhelming glare and poor effects, like brightly-lit skin and red eyes.
If we really need to use the flash, a partially translucent white tape can help make the picture look more natural. Simply stick the tape over the flash to have an instant diffuser. It will reduce the harshness of the light and improve the transitions of shadows.
Method 10: Keep Your Hands Steady
The only way we can take better pictures with our Android phone is if we .
- Invest in a monopod or tripod, especially ones designed for mobile devices. A lot of these gadgets can easily and safely support a phone even when it’s placed on a railing. What’s more, they’re very affordable.
- If there’s no tripod available, we should look for something to support our arms and keep them steady. Barring all else, we can extend our arms to keep it relatively steady.
Method 11: No Zooming
Refrain from using the zoom function on your Android phones. Unlike digital cameras with lens that project outward, the digital zoom in smartphones simply enlarges a picture via software manipulation. While this makes the subject appear close, it also causes a loss in sharpness and fidelity.
Instead of using the zoom function, move closer to the subject. Take a few steps forward and snap a picture. Keep moving forward until you find the perfect zoomed in shot.
Method 12: Edit, edit & edit!
There are numerous apps for cameras, as well as for editing pictures. Never be ashamed of trying out different filters or apps and turn them into works of art.
It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, make your photos as beautiful as they can be by using the above methods.
If you know any other tips or tricks when it comes to taking fabulous pictures from your Android phone we’d love to hear em!