Thanks to software and hardware improvements, cameras on a smartphone can take great quality photos today. Now, most of you might be thinking that the only way you can get great photos out of a smartphone is by getting the most expensive ones out there such as the iPhone Xs or the Galaxy Note 9. Not really. In fact, even a cheap smartphone that costs below Php15,000 can get you great photos too — you just need a few TIPS for that.
Create Depth-of-field or Simply “Bokeh”
AI has been the main selling point of smartphone cameras for quite a while now. One AI feature that’s literally (almost) available to all smartphones — portrait mode. What it basically does is to keep the subject in focus while the background in a blur — also known as bokeh. By putting all the attention to the subject, it creates an impression on the audience as if the photo was taken on a professional camera.
What’s that? Your phone doesn’t come with portrait mode? No problem. While artificial bokeh makes it easier to isolate the subject, getting that natural bokeh is far better to the eyes and creates a perfect subject isolation. But the thing here is that you really need to get very close to the subject given the limitations of a smartphone camera. The best thing to do here is to put something close to the camera lens. It doesn’t have to be something, it could be anything. By doing this, you’re creating separation between the foreground and the background or depth-of-field as enthusiasts call it.
Edit Your Photos
Whether you like it or not, editing photos generate great photos. By editing, we don’t mean putting a filter provided by Instagram. If you want your photos to look like most people out there, be our guest, but if you want to stand out, spend some time playing around with the exposure, brightness, contrast, and sharpness. In fact, you don’t have to tinker each of the settings. Just adjust a few things that will make your photo pop or unique.
When your photo seems to be lacking in detail or crispness, adjust the sharpness or structure setting but don’t go overboard or it’ll look like a cheap printed photo. When it’s too bright, say, for example, the face of your subject gets blown out by the light, turn down the brightness and highlights. And when you want the colors to pop, increase the contrast bit by bit until you’re satisfied. As a general rule, never go overboard when adjusting these settings. In photo editing, subtle changes generate big changes.
Shoot With Natural Light
Perhaps, the easiest tip that you’ll get in taking better photos with your cheap smartphone is light. You have to understand the limitation of smartphone cameras and sometimes, you just need to adapt. In this case, you want to make use of good light. And we don’t mean artificial light, we mean natural light. Exposing your subject under natural light makes it easier for the camera to capture every single detail. It makes your photos crisper in detail and editing easier since colors are accurate.
Make the effort to choose your shots with the natural light present. Just try to shoot an object under artificial light and natural light — see the difference.
With these 3 easy tips in smartphone photography, your photos will look far better than how you originally shoot with your phone. And the best part, you don’t have to spend Php50,000.