We’re not all famed photographer Annie Liebovitz but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to take amazing photographs. Especially since the ability to take a great shot has gotten much easier with today’s smartphones.
But that doesn’t mean that all it takes to get that perfect shot is to just point and click. There are a few things every budding photographer needs to know before they can take better photos from their phone.
So before attempting to take that jaw-dropping shot that gets shared by millions on social media, here are five tips to take better photos.
1. Take Better Photos By Balancing the Shot
This is also known as the rule of thirds. This rule helps to ensure the shot is framed correctly. A photograph won’t look as amazing if the focal point is too far to the left or right of the frame.
To get that perfect shot each time, imagine the intended photograph as being split into nine rectangular segments. Keep the most important elements and objects along these lines or as close to the intersections where they meet as possible.
If that’s too difficult to do without some help, that’s okay. Luckily, there’s an app for that for both Android and IOS users. After installing the app, Android users should tap their menu button and select Settings, then Show grid in Viewfinder. For IOS users, in the main Settings app, go to Photos and Camera and then toggle the Grid switch to on.
For IOS users, in the main Settings app, go to Photos and Camera and then toggle the Grid switch to on.
2. Focus on One Thing
One way to take better photos is to focus on one subject matter rather than many. Having too many focus points makes it difficult for the viewer to really see the shot.
It’s sort of like what happens when someone walks into a cluttered space and tries to search for something. The brain quickly becomes overwhelmed and can’t really focus on anything. The same effect can happen if there’s too much happening within a single photograph.
When doing so, try to ensure that two-thirds of the shot include negative space. That way, the subject matter will really stand out in the shot.
While there is an auto-focus on a smartphone, to get the focus just right, tap the screen of the smartphone where the subject is. That way, it will be focused and lighting will also be optimized.
Don’t forget to use filters and apps to make a subject stand out even more vividly. Apps and filters can also be used to crop the subject matter into the frame better.
Lastly, it’s also possible to use the phone to adjust the brightness, saturation, and contrast of the photo to make it stand out even more.
3. Make Sure the Phone is Held Steady
Many a shot have been ruined by an unsteady hand, especially when there’s low-light. This problem can be especially discouraging to people whose hands tend to tremble.
However, having unsteady hands shouldn’t prevent anyone from getting out there and becoming the photographer they’ve always longed to be. There are some easy tricks anyone can use because even the steadiest of hands can shake from time to time.
To take better photos that are steady each time, try using both hands, rather than just one. If using two hands on their own doesn’t work, try extending both arms out as long as they can go to help steady the shot. Another way is to use both hands but have them supported by a solid object to keep them steady. Another solution is to use a tripod.
If indoors, using something like the back of a chair can help keep the shot steady. When outside, try using a railing or a rock to help keep both hands steady.
Another easy solution for ensuring a steady shot each time is to invest in a tripod. Lastly, use the self-timer whenever possible.
4. Negative Space is a Positive Thing
Negative space is used in a lot of different creative fields. Art, design, architecture, and even website all use negative space to help people focus on the actual subject matter.
Using it helps everyone take better photos that even Ansel Adams would be proud of. The positive space in a photo is the subject matter itself.
Negative space can be anything from the sky, the ocean, and even a wall. This space is there to draw your eye to the main subject and actually helps to define and emphasize the subject matter even more.
Negative space doesn’t have to be fancy, it doesn’t even have to be in focus. It’s there just to serve as a backdrop to the main event.
To ensure that negative space is used correctly, only focus on the gaps in between the objects. In fact, ignore the objects around the negative space altogether.
By doing this, it will force more attention to the composition and help the photographer see both shapes and sizes more accurately. When framing the photo, adjust the composition so the positive and negative spaces feel well balanced with one another.
5. Photograph from Above
Of course, many photos taken from smartphones will include other people or even ourselves as the subject matter. We all like looking great so we should know how to take better photos of ourselves and our friends.
They’ll appreciate it and so will we. So do it right every time by keeping the smartphone slightly higher when taking the shot.
Doing so will ensure that the subject is forced to look slightly upwards as the photo is taken. When that happens, it eliminates the possibility of the unpleasant double-chin issue and unwanted contours.
But avoiding a double-chin is only one part of taking a great selfie. When someone looks up, it forces them to stretch their neck and face, which means everything looks smoother and firmer. This means less time having to use image processing and the beauty mode.
Rather, each self-portrait or photograph of other people come out with everyone looking young, gorgeous, and as slim as possible each time. However, be aware that it is possible to go too far above. If that happens, the subject matter will end up looking like they are from Munchkinland.
Take Better Photos By Learning More
While not everyone wants to sell their work, learning how to take a great photograph is still rewarding.
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