When you travel, it is most likely that you will take many photos to capture the once in a lifetime memories. However, the thought of carrying a DSLR camera really puts me off, especially if you are a shopaholic like me and you don’t want to end up carrying all your stuff and having to worry about losing/scratching or even carrying the extra weight (as if the things I buy are not heavy enough) But there’s always a doubt about leaving the camera behind as you wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity of capturing these special moments during the trip.
Well, with smartphones becoming more high tech, you can now take photos just as gorgeous as your DSLR pictures!
Here are some tips and tricks on how to achieve stunning pictures with just your smartphone:
1) Browse Instagram or Pinterest for inspiration
My top 2 go-to platforms for inspiration or ideas. There are many photos on these platforms that you can learn a tip or trick from; different angles you can try or what you should do or not do to improve your photo taking skills.
2) Set the focus
- It is important to get a sharp focus of your picture, it really helps to make a difference in what you are trying to tell your audience
- Simply tap on the screen and object that you want to focus on (You can even lock your focus with iPhone by holding on for a few seconds)
- If you carry the newer iPhones (iphone 8 plus and iphone X), they also have a Portrait mode which allows you to blur the background and focus on your subject like the picture example above. If not, you can also download SNOW app, they also have a similar effect called ‘blur’ but do take note they only work for human faces
- Rule of Thirds
- This rule helps to frame your shot correctly. Using the rule of thirds draws the viewer’s eye into the composition, instead of just glancing at the center. Learn more about the Rule of Thirds
- You can turn on the Grids on both Android and IOS:
- On Android, tap the menu button and choose Settings then Show grid in viewfinder; on iOS, go to Photos & Camera in the main Settings app and toggle the Grid switch to on.
3) Make use of natural lighting
Your photos won’t turn out looking as good in the dark as compared to taking pictures in well-lit areas as chances are, you are going to get grainy photos. Avoid using flash too as they rarely give you nice pictures. Make use of golden hours in the morning (9am or so) and evening (4-5pm or so) as it will help to enhance your images.
4) Find a steady support
To get the perfect shot with the right angle, it is recommended to use something as a support (tripod/ place your phone on a table) so that your hands won’t get wobbly and ruin your picture.
5) Take burst photos
This is especially useful if you want to capture a fast scene (dog running etc.) Just press and hold on your shutter button and select the best photo after that.
6) Optimise the HDR mode
HDR is when your camera takes 3 different shots at different exposures to create a beautiful image with shadow and highlights. It provides a range of the brightness between the lightest and the darkest point in your photo. HDR will help smooth the contrast out. Here are some do’s and don’ts when using HDR:
Use HDR when:
- Your subject is in direct sunlight – Your photo can appear overly bright, HDR will help balance out your picture
- Shooting landscapes (scenery) – HDR mode will help contrast brightness so that the land and the sky is not overexposed
- Backlight (when light is coming from your back) – Using HDR mode will prevent the bright background from overexposure by brightening the foreground
Avoid HDR mode when:
- Low light conditions – your photo will turn out blur and discoloured
- Subject is moving – as HDR takes 3 different shots, any movement will make your subject appear blur and ghostly
- Taking subjects with vivid colours – using HDR will make your photo look unnatural and fake
Editing is an important step in producing good photos. You can do touchup and enhance your pictures to achieve a beautiful shot. Don’t edit too much as it could ruin your photo. Some of the editing apps you can use are VSCO cam, Afterlight and Snapseed (Top 5 best photo editing app)
After taking these photos, you can print them with us to store these oh-so-beautiful memories! www.printforfun.sg