3 Simple Rules to Follow When Shooting Photos on Your Smartphone

Ever since the first iPhone was released back in 2007, smartphone cameras have improved dramatically. We've gone from basic 2-megapixel cameras to state-of-the-art 12-megapixel cameras that are on par with high-end point and shoot cameras. It's never been easier to capture amazing, vivid photos with your smartphone. But you have to know what you're doing – having a great camera doesn't automatically make you a great photographer.

Regardless of your experience, here are some tips that will help you improve your smartphone photography.

The Light is Both Your Friend and Your Enemy

You know light changes throughout the day, right? During sunrise and sunset, it gives a very soft warmth to your photos. But during midday shoots, it's harsher and creates shadows. And at night, it's virtually nonexistent, which makes photography very difficult. Regardless of when you're shooting, you should plan your shots around whatever light is available so that you don't get grainy, poorly lit photos.

Also keep in mind that when people look at a picture, the first thing they tend to see is whatever is brightest. So if you want them to focus on the left side of your subject's face, you should adjust your shot so that the light shines brightest there. Otherwise, people will focus on a different part that you might not have intended.

The Use of Space

When the subject of your photo is placed in the middle of an empty space, it creates an area called "negative space." Negative space is useful because it eliminates distractions and brings the focus of the photo back to the subject. This is particularly useful for shots that feature the sky or a contrasting colored wall because it gives the photos a nice balance.

The Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a principle for taking shots where the subject isn't centered. It posits that you should divide the screen into a 3-by-3 grid with two horizontal lines and two vertical lines and then place important compositional elements on the lines or at their intersections. By doing this, you'll create more interesting shots than a traditional centered shot.

Most smartphones let you lay this grid on top of your frame so it's easy to line up your shots with the rule of thirds. If you're shooting in portrait, use the vertical lines for alignment. But if you're shooting in landscape, use the horizontal lines for alignment instead.

The rule of thirds may sound strange and arbitrary, but once you understand it, it'll become intuitive and you'll immediately start applying it to every photo you take.

These tips may help you learn some of the basics of smartphone photography, but if you want to really master it, you should consider an online training such as the Learn to Become a Master Photographer 2017 Bundle.

This bundle teaches you how to master compositions and use Photoshop for professional retouches and color grading. It also helps you get better at using other cameras like the iPhone selfie camera or a stand-alone DSLR camera.

You'll examine other types of photography like landscape photography and night photography, as well, and once you've mastered everything, you'll learn how to put your newfound skills together to potentially even make some money by shooting your own studio photos on the side.

The Learn to Become A Master Photographer 2017 Bundle is on sale for Curiosity readers now for just $29.

The Polaroid Camera: Quick Photography Before Instagram

Written by Curiosity Staff August 11, 2017

Curiosity uses cookies to improve site performance, for analytics and for advertising. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies, our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.