Smartphones have gone under lot of transformation in terms of Display and Camera
Gone are the days, when VGA camera was part of Premium Phones. These days, you can easily get a 13 MP camera in any smartphone below INR 10K. Today, very rare persons except photographers – all categories , prefer to rely on DSLR. Standard person either prefers to use Smartphone or Point & shoot camera.
The real fact about photography is, Cameras do matter but more than cameras , its the photographer inside you. Even the best cameras fail, if you do not know how to operate it.
Here are certain Tips and Tricks for taking some good pictures :
1. Clean the Lens : When ever we take pictures, first most important point is to clean the lens. You might have noticed hazy pictures or pictures not getting proper focus, the first basic reason could be either scratch or dirt on lens.
Wipe the lens with the proper cloth and solution, like you use for DVD Lens cleaners.
2. Proper Lighting : Always remember, you are not using a DSLR which can accommodate light conditions. The basic rule is, object should be facing light, not otherwise. Most of the smartphone cameras ( even Galaxy S6 Edge) fails to accommodate low lighting conditions or if the light is not focused on object.
3. Avoid Digital Zoom : No camera can take good pictures, if you go for intelligent zoom ( Digital Zoom ). Do not confuse, Digital / Intelligent Zoom with Optical Zoom.
4. Higher Mega Pixels : If your smartphone memory allows, Always take pictures in Higher MP. Even if you want to reduce size, you wont loose clarity, but when when you want to make a bigger picture from Low MP, you will always loose clarity.
5. Use Flash only if required : Some times using flash may cause extra exposure. Do not use flash every time. Some times, in-built settings like Exposure can adjust low light.
If you find that you still need the flash, you can also soften it by placing a thin white sticker over it, like a small piece of tissue or white label. You’ll still have some light from the flash, but the sticker will take away a bit of the harshness that tends to make people look ghostly.
6. Distance with the Object : Another caution is how to maintain a proper distance between object and camera. If the Distance is high, quiet possible Object may be dark and if it’s too close Object will become too big and you may also loose the back ground and surrounding.
7. Clicking Pictures : Always try to take pictures with Volume button, as it will avoid shaking and also keeps your fingers away from lens. More over its very hard to take selfies with screen Touch.
8. Selfie Stick : This is a very useful tool for taking Group pictures and specially for adventure sports.
9. Lens Effect : Now-a-days you can find different lenses for Smartphones like Wide angle or Macro lens. You can use these lens effectively for taking Great Pictures.
10. Focus : No setting will work, if the object is out of focus. This is one the area where I can take all the precautions. In most of the smartphones, you can adjust the object and light just by simply tapping on the Display Screen.
Most Android cameras also offer the ability to manually and dynamically focus on different areas of an image by tapping on your smartphone display. This reorients the focus and can often be deployed to create interesting effects. The popular bokeh effect is created when the subject of a photo is in focus while the background is artistically blurred. True bokeh images are hard to capture with smartphone camera hardware, but apps like Google Camera have special capabilities built-in to simulate the trendy look.
11. 3rd Party Apps : I always prefer 3rd party apps for getting manual settings on the Smartphone Cam. Most common used apps are
- Manual Camera
- Google Camera
- Camera FV-5
- A Better Camera
- Pro Shot
- Pro Cam
- Slow Shutter Cam
- Camera Zoom FX
- Camera 360 Ultimate
12. Exposure ( Manual Mode ) : Exposure in simple words is ” Amount of light entering inside camera “. you can simply adjust the exposure by sliding bar up and down and make the pictures bright and dark ( available in iphone ).
For the typical Android smartphones stock camera software, users are not provided with much in the way of manual exposure adjustments. Aperture and shutter speed are usually locked in and overall exposure is determined automatically based on the cameras focus. If anything, a manual adjustment simply labeled Exposure might be available. This control in most cases operates similarly to a manual ISO adjustment. The Exposure control takes the form of a simple slider that can be moved to adjust the overall brightness of an image before a photo is taken.
13. White Balance : Most Android camera apps offer some form of white balance adjustment, though the level of manual adjustability varies. White balance is an important parameter for capturing colors accurately, determining the baseline temperature for white given the light source. Users are typically able to pick from a variety of preset white balance options based on various lighting conditions in addition to an auto mode that will adjust white balance dynamically.
14. AF/ AE Lock ( Auto Focus / Auto Exposure ) : This is one the best features of iPhone. You can do this by tapping and holding on the subject in question until you see the yellow AE/AF Lock alert. This means that the automatic exposure metering and automatic focus metering have been locked on your subject; to remove the lock, just tap anywhere else on the frame.
15. Follow the Rule of Thirds : If you have Grids available on Display screen, Use them to position your object. The rule of thirds is simply a guideline that states that a photo is compositionally more interesting if the important elements of the image lie on one of the grid lines or their intersections.
16. Special Tip for Action Pictures : Use Burst Mode
17. Special Tip for Sun set and Sun rise : This is the most beautiful moment when you take stunning pictures, whether Sea or Mountains. This time in photography is known as ” Golden Time “. If possible take these pictures in ” HDR ” Mode to utilize the effect of high Contrast.
When taking photos of sunsets, it’s alway more interesting to involve a silhouette, so that’s what I decided to do with this tree. Most of the time, you would want your silhouette to fall on one of the grid lines, but it wasn’t working with this tree — there was something awkward about it. So, instead, I decided to use the rule of thirds on the sun. Again, it’s lying on the intersection of the bottom and left grid lines and the photo came out great.
18. Special Tip for Portrait : The most important part of the Portrait is the ” Eye “. This is the focus point for taking stunning portraits. Again Try to follow Rule of Thirds here.
19. Make your own Rules : If you like hit and trial, break the Rules and go ahead. Try different Modes and be experimental.
20. Last but not the least, Always keep spare memory cards and yes battery or power back up.
Have you found any other tricks, feel free to share.