I just read a great article on life hacker with some tips and tricks on how to get some really good photos with your smart phone.
In particular three of those tips are what I consider to be the cornerstone of taking a great picture. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using expensive camera gear professionals use or you’re just pulling your camera phone out of your pocket. If you don’t do these three things you’re probably not going to get a great picture.
Lighting is Key
Cameras in general do not perform well in low light. This is especially true of a camera phone. Make sure your subject is adequately lit. Avoid using your flash unless it’s absolutely necessary. I use flash in most of my photography. However, I never use my camera built-in flash. The built-in flash tends to create some really harsh light that is not very attractive. So turn your flash off if you can. If you absolutely have to use your flash a good tip the article provided was to put a small piece of tissue paper or a thin white sticker over it. This serves to diffuse the light and make it softer. Very similar to the same way I put my flashes inside of a big soft box.
Avoid digital zoom
The digital zoom feature doesn’t really increase the resolution of your picture. You could get the same effect cropping the photo that you took from a distance. If you need to zoom get closer to your subject instead. Otherwise, just take a picture and crop it later on. As the article says you can always crop in but you can never crop out. Also be sure to take all of your pictures at the highest resolution your camera offers. When I’m using a DSLR camera on a professional photo shoot I always make sure the images that I take are at the very highest resolution that camera is capable of. That same principle applies to your camera phone. Higher resolution equals higher quality.
Breathe like a Sniper
The biggest key to a photo that is crisp and in focus is to avoid camera shake or your subject moving. Whenever possible I use a tripod on a shoot. This enables me to be sure my shot doesn’t come out blurry because I moved when I took the shot. Resting your elbows on a stable surface and breathing like a sniper should help you get a steady shot. The article also talks about settings on your phone that may help you to get a more stable shot. Expensive camera lenses offer features like vibration compensation to help with this. Many smart phones have similar features. Make sure to check out what types of features your phone offers.
Stay tuned and I hope to offer more tips and tricks in the future.