A huge part of traveling is taking photos. Let’s face it, photographs are the way you can look back months or years after your vacation and relive those moments.
For most people, professional camera equipment is out of reach, but recent years have seen phone cameras improve to the point that they are capable of capturing fantastic photographs.
By bearing some simple tips in mind, then you can take phone photos that are almost indistinguishable from those taken with a professional camera.
This way, you can save on packing space and leave the camera at home.
Pick the Right Shot
It seems obvious, but the perfect photo needs the perfect shot. However, this isn’t as simple as finding a nice view and snapping a picture of it. You do have to consider certain aspects of the shot itself.
First of all, you should aim to be basically competent at using your phone as a camera. The only real way to do this is practice. Get used to using your camera phone, and taking pictures that aren’t blurred, overexposed, or that are blocked by an invading thumb. Once you have these basics down, you should be able to take decent pictures of anything.
Once you have the basics sorted, you should also select the right subject and position yourself correctly for a nicely composed shot. You can learn some tips about composition and basic camera proficiency by taking online photography courses, but one quick tip is to follow the rule of thirds.
The rule of thirds uses the grid which sometimes pops up when you’re taking the picture. By positioning the most interesting parts of the scene or image near the corners of these grid sections, you can get a more natural and fluid look to your picture.
Or, you can aim for a very symmetrical shot, which has a completely different atmosphere. Once you become better at taking pictures, you will become better at representing a desired tone and feeling in the scene.
Finally, what’s the lighting like? A poorly lit picture can look dull or overly exposed, but good lighting is the easiest way to get a good photo. An easy rule of thumb is that natural lighting is almost always preferable to artificial lighting.
Smartphones tend to take better pictures with outdoor natural lighting than anything else.
Take Multiple Photos
Another easy way to get amazing shots with your smartphone is to take multiple photos of the subject. The burst feature, if you have it, is a great way to capture shots while your subject is in motion.
Or you could take multiple photos the old-fashioned way, by repositioning slightly each time. If you’re taking pictures of a sunset or sunrise, then each picture will have slightly different lighting. Group photographs will change with each shot, especially if people are laughing or otherwise in motion. Even still landscapes might benefit from an extra photo or two being taken.
Yes, not every one of these pictures will be amazing, but by taking multiple photos, you increase the chances of one of them being perfect.
Once you’ve taken a bunch of photos, then you can go through them and pick out the best. There are apps that help you to find duplicate photos easily and can even detect blurry or low-quality images. This will help you to save precious memory on your phone, and to treasure even more precious memories in your mind.
Play With the Settings
Finally, your phone camera isn’t as simple as it seems at first glance. The best way to take full advantage of its capabilities is to mess around with the different settings on offer. Go through the different photo modes and figure out how to alter the contrast, lighting, and focus on the fly.
While you’re at it, check to see that you’re using the HDR mode, otherwise known as High Dynamic Range. This feature adds detail to dark and light areas alike, resulting in a more balanced photo. While not every phone has this mode, it’s becoming more common with the high or mid-range models.
Once you’ve taken the picture, the fun isn’t over yet. Certain editing apps can turn a good photo into a breathtaking one, bringing out color and details which were otherwise obscured. Almost every professional photographer uses editing to emphasize their pictures, so it’s worth giving it a try for the photos that you hold most dear.
Feel free to experiment with it, as the original picture will be safe.