Having a smartphone makes photos a no-brainer. Whether it's a holiday or documenting something for work, most people don't think about a camera, they just use their phone. That means you can take all those unused brain cycles and use them to make the photos better!
Here are five tips for taking better smartphone photos.
1. Consider some tools. Smartphone tripods are lightweight and can help keep you from taking shaky photos. And if you have the option, use a volume button or headphone button to take the photo instead of the on-screen button.
2. Look at the light. Natural light makes the best photos, so try to get as much of it on your subject as possible and avoid using a flash if you can. Remember light will be brighter and shadows darker in a photo—adapt accordingly.
3. Think about the angle. If your camera app allows it, turn on gridlines that divide the frame into thirds. Position the important elements so they sit on the lines. And don't just position yourself directly in front—go from up high or down low.
4. Watch the foreground and background. People are less likely to appreciate that perfect picture of the factory prototype if there's someone's nose sticking in the frame in the front and a cat screaming off in the background.
5. Don't be afraid to touch it up afterwards. You can correct for suboptimal lighting, bring out details in the subject, or even edit out the distracting cat. It's all fair and makes the photo better.
Pictures tell a story, and better pictures help you tell a better story.
If you want more details on smartphone photos, check out the "4 secrets: How to take professional photos with your smartphone" article by Jason Hiner and video by Derek Poore.
- Gallery: Best photographic accessories for your smartphone (ZDNet)
- Pixel 2 XL, iPhone X make taking vacation photos so easy (CNET)
- 25 iPhone photos that show off what a smartphone camera can do (TechRepublic)
- How to handle exposure in your smartphone photography (TechRepublic)
- A free Photoshop alternative: No, it's not GIMP (TechRepublic)
- Getting started with drone photography (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
Tom is an award-winning independent tech podcaster and host of regular tech news and information shows. Tom hosts Sword and Laser, a science fiction and fantasy podcast, and book club with Veronica Belmont. He also hosts Daily Tech News Show, covering the most important tech issues of the day with the smartest minds in technology.