Taking Great Photos on a Smartphone

PhotographyNow that smartphones with cameras have become ubiquitous, everyone fancies themselves a professional. The truth is, smart-phone photography is trickier than it seems. Celebrity Cruises’ Axess magazine asked photographer Jenna Pimentel to give us the lowdown on why and how smartphones elevate digital photographs into works of art.

Functionally, smartphones like the iPhone come loaded with an HDR (high dynamic range) setting that can be found in the camera mode’s options menu. This feature allows you to take photos in tough lighting situations by automatically adjusting the camera’s settings to brighten shadows and tone down highlights. The camera’s grid helps users compose strong, balanced images by utilizing what professional photographers call the “rule of thirds.” While the grid is on, place just the subject on one of the lines instead of smack-dab in the middle of the picture. The resulting photo will allow the viewer’s eye to flow freely through the image. Smartphones nowadays often also have panoramic capabilities, making it easy to take awesome photos of the entire scenery.

Some Additional Smartphone Photography Tips:

Hold Still

One of the biggest downfalls of mobile photography is trying to keep your phone still. It only takes a little bit of a shake to throw a picture completely out of focus. Yet the problem is pretty simple to overcome. If there’s a wall or a table available, you can use it for support. For easy stabilization, bring your phone in close to your body, pressing your elbows into your sides. This will create a firm, stable grip so you can take clear, crisp images.

Timing

Some of the best photo ops happen when you least expect them. Open your eyes and be aware of everything around you. Timing is everything.

New Perspectives

Change your angles to get new perspectives on your subjects. For example, get low to the ground while shooting children — getting on their level makes the viewer more involved in the image. Or, get close to the subject and focus on it while leaving the background blurry. Something as simple as changing your angle can change the whole concept behind an image.

Don’t Delete

Even if you are not in love with a picture, don’t delete it. You would be shocked how much an image can change with the extensive possibilities of apps and filters. Play with it before you completely give up. You might be surprised at what you can produce.

Charge

Using your camera can often eat away at the phone’s battery life. Be prepared by having a backup wireless charger. Nowadays, you can find inexpensive ones that are no bigger than a key chain. Save yourself sorrow by tossing one in your bag.

Share

One of the smartphone’s greatest tools is its ability to share in real time. You can snap an image and seconds later upload it to your social media platform of choice for your friends and family to see. Share your journey — and talent — for all to see!

For more smartphone photography tips, Celebrity guests can check out the iLounge.

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