Mastering mobile photography

You tend to rely on your smartphone for taking photographs. You know that it is not the megapixel count but the image sensor that matters the most. Although the sensors are increasing, it is nowhere close to what we have on a DSLR. Here are some cool tips
 Nidhi Singal        Print Edition: January 2015
Mastering mobile photography

Some cool tips and tricks that will help you to capture great images.

Resolution Game

Most smartphone images make their way to online platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. While some may argue the resolution doesn't make any difference, it definitely does. Go for the highest possible resolution in the camera settings for sharper, more detailed images as it does not compress the file. The result: better quality images that will look good on a small phone screen, big laptop display or even in print.

Selfies from iPhone

Thanks to the selfie culture, even front-facing cameras are getting better. But capturing a good selfie is still difficult as you usually end up having your arm in the picture. A great way of capturing selfies from an iPhone is to use the earphone accompanied in the box. Just add it to the earphone jack, place the phone on a stable surface and use it as a shutter key to take photos.

Macro Shot Trick

Only a few smartphones are good at taking macro shots, and even have a dedicated mode for the same. If your smartphone isn't like that, follow two simple techniques. You can use the lens of the small, pensized torch and place it in front of the lens. You can attach it using tapes on the side, without covering the lens. Once done, you can easily take great macro shots. If you don't have the torch, then simply add a single drop of water on the lens and it will do the trick.

Crop, not Zoom

Since smartphones don't have optical zoom, it is better to take a photo and then zoom in and crop. Using a digital zoom results in a blurry photo and compromises with its clarity and sharpness. You can also get closer to the object, if possible.

Lighting

For getting better pictures during bright daylight, avoid sunbeam hitting your subject directly in the face. This will make the subject look more attractively lit and happier. If the sun is too bright, make your subject stand in the shade, yet it should be the brightest spot. During sunset and sunrise, the sky looks colourful and offers good exposure.

Underwater Photography

Other than Sony Xperia Z3 and Samsung Galaxy S5, there aren't any phones that are waterproof and can be used for underwater photography (but only for 30 minutes). To use a phone underwater, either pack it in a tight zip lock or special underwater covers. You can also keep the phone upside down in a clean glass and place it in shallow water. Just be careful that the water does not enter the glass.

Low-light Photography

Most camera phones tend to stumble when it comes to low-light photography. So, all you can do is simply stabilise the phone while taking a photo. The reason behind this logic is that under low-light environment, the shutter speed slows down as it allows more light to get in. As a result, it takes longer to take a photo. So, while you hold the phone with both your hands, if possible, rest them on only subject or hold them against the body.

Use Binocular to Zoom

The optical zoom in cameras is good to zoom in without compromising on the image quality. Unfortunately, smartphones don't have an optical zoom. And the digital zoom onboard isn't any good. While there are many zoom lenses available for smartphones, why spend a penny if you have a binocular to do the trick? Simply hold it steadily in front of your camera lens and click. If you don't have one, try using the lens of your compact torch.

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