Picture Perfect: Smartphone Photography Tips

Spring is upon us, which means plenty of beautiful outdoor photo opportunities. With the advent of smartphones, it’s easier than ever to take and share photos. Here are 10 tips for making the most of every snapshot:

Perfect your lighting

Use natural light whenever possible, with the sun behind you or over your shoulder. When shooting indoors, find the brightest spot in the room and position your subject directly under it.

Forget the flash

Because the duration of a smartphone’s flash is too long, it doesn’t freeze the action in a frame the way a traditional flash does. This results in blurry and poorly lit images. Unless you have no other option, avoid the flash and look for more creative low-light solutions.

Compose your shot

Avoid placing your subject dead center—you create more visual interest if you vary your composition. Keep the horizon as straight as possible unless you are intentionally shooting an angled shot.

Move in close

Small details can often make a photo more interesting—move in when shooting. Avoid using the zoom feature—it enlarges pixels but does not bring your subject closer.

Stay steady

Your photo’s clarity depends on how steady you keep your phone, so support your device with your palm, keep your grip firm and lean against a wall or other support when shooting.

Tap, then snap

Just before taking a photo, tap your subject on the touchscreen—on most smartphones, this will adjust the lighting and focus on the subject.

Use HDR

Turn on the HDR (high dynamic range imaging) setting to enable your device to take two photos—one that focuses on bright areas and one that focuses on dark areas—and merge them for an optimal image.

Keep it clean

Chances are your smartphone gets a lot of use and a lot of smudges, so use a Q-tip to gently clean your lens periodically.

Rein in the rays

To remove glare and soften harsh lines and shadows in outdoor shots, hold a sunglass lens over the camera lens as close as possible.

Style and share

There are a wealth of apps for editing your digital images, so use them! Instagram, Hipstamatic, Retro Camera and Vignette are just a few of the popular tools for perfecting (and sharing) your pictures.

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