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15 TIPS FOR TAKING BETTER PHOTOS WITH YOUR PHONE

They say the best camera is the one you have with you, and as smartphone cameras have improved we find ourselves regularly leaving our DSLR at home and taking photos with our Smart Phones. Here are fifteen of our tricks and tips that will help you capture our stunning pictures with your phone.

1. KEEP YOUR LENS CLEAN

When you're out and about there are plenty of opportunities for your phone's lens to get dirty, sweaty, and gross. Carry a small lens cleaning cloth, use your shirt, or just a clean tissue to clean the lens periodically. 

2. TAP TO FOCUS AND HOLD TO LOCK FOCUS

This feature can create fantastic results when you are shooting subjects at different distances, for example a model with mountains in the distance. Tap the model and they will be in sharply focused against the background. Or trying to take a macro shot of a your favorite product? Tap and hold to lock focus on the product for a crisp and detailed macro shot. When the focus is locked the focus square will pulse and the AE/AF Lock alert will appear on screen.  

3. USE THE ON-SCREEN GRID

One of the basic principles of photography is The Rule of Thirds. Your iPhone has an optional grid overlay that can be helpful when you're framing the perfect shot.

Go to Settings > Photos & Camera and toggle the Grid switch on. Your iPhone camera screen will now show a grid to help you visually align each shot until you get a feel for it.

 

4. BE READY FOR UNEXPECTED PHOTO MOMENTS WITH THE CAMERA SHORTCUT

Using the iPhone camera shortcut saves valuable seconds, allowing you to swipe up from the lock screen to access the camera without worrying about a pin code. Don't be that person that claims to have seen Bigfoot but didn't get a photo ;)

5. ADJUST THE BRIGHTNESS WITH THE EXPOSURE SLIDER

Your iPhone lets you adjust brightness after snapping a photo, but for the best results adjust the brightness as you shoot. Simply Tap the screen to focus and bring up the Exposure Slider and then slide up and down to adjust as needed. 

6. ZOOM WITH YOUR FEET NOT THE DIGITAL ZOOM

Your iPhone doesn't have an optical zoom, so when you use the digital zoom function you create a lower resolution image. Instead, try and get closer to your subject on foot to get a full resolution photo with clear details.

7. BINOCULAR ZOOM HACK

Do you carry binoculars when you go out exploring? Your phone has an auto focus sensor that works similar to your eye. Which means you can hold your lens up to your binocular for a DIY telescoping lens. Its a bit tricky but can create some incredible close ups of that surfer catching a wave at the beach or a deer you spotted while out hiking. 

8. USE A TRIPOD

If taking the best photos is your goal, a tripod is well worth the added time to set up. A tripod will help you keep your phone steady for a crisp and clear image every time. With a tripod you can also use the timer setting to put yourself in a shot without it looking like a selfie. A tripod is also a must for time-lapses or long exposures using 3rd party iPhone apps.

9. CAPTURE THE MOMENT WITH THE IPHONE'S TIME-LAPSE FEATURE

You used to need a high-end camera and editing software to convert a series of photos into a time-lapse. Now you can capture that beautiful hour long sunset on your iPhone, and with the time-lapse mode introduced on the iPhone 6 it will automatically turn it into a brief time-lapse.

10. USE PANORAMA MODE TO REALLY CAPTURE THE SCENERY

The iPhone allows you to create amazing panoramas by switching to Pano Mode and following the onscreen arrow to align the shot. Make sure to check the results to be sure everything stitched together properly, as it can be tricky and sometimes take a few tries to get it right. 

11. SNAP PHOTOS WITH A REMOTE

This tip may seems simple but by using a remote it can help you keep the phone steady as you shoot for clearer pictures. Camera shake is one of the main causes of blurry photos. 

12. USE AUTO HDR

HDR is short for High Density Range and is a software feature that can help make your photos better. In HDR mode your phone takes a series of photos at different exposures that are combined together to create a single photo that captures the detail of the dark and bright portions of the photo. This is especially useful for shots with contrasting light, such as the bright sun setting behind a mountain ridge. Turn on HDR Auto and your phone will automatically use HDR mode when needed to make sure you get the best results with every time.

13. CAPTURE THE ACTION WITH BURST MODE

Ensure you get the perfect shot by utilizing your phones Burst Mode. Simply hold the shutter button for as long as you would like to capture, and your phone will take a series of photos, catching all of the action. This is perfect for getting the perfect shot of moving wildlife, action sports or kids. 

14. SOLO? TAKE A SELFIE!

How else are your friends supposed to know what awesome things you are up too? Maybe invest in a selfie stick if you want to up your selfie game, we make a great travel selfie stick kit for pictures on the go. Check it out here!

15. TRY SOME CLIP-ON LENS FOR YOUR PHONE 

One of our secrets to incredible phone photography is a collection of keychain-size lenses that attach to my phone whenever you need them. Capture everything from concerts, landscapes, your fancy latte, sunset selfies, to details of your outfit. These simple clip-ons help the basic lens built into the phone zoom in or get a much wider view creating more dynamic and interesting pictures.

Get your own here!

 

GO TAKE SOME PHOTOS!

All these tips and tricks are great, but the best way to take better photos on your phone is to get out there and start shooting. Get exploring, vlogging, or just out having fun with friends and family and start using your phone to capture your adventures. Then visit us on Instagram and share your favorite phone photos with us  @socialitelighting!

Good Luck! 

~The Socialite Team