How to Take Good Photos with Your Phone - Part 2

Part two of a multi-part series


[Part one is available in last month’s issue or at my website https://www.mrefoto.com/blog]

Note that all images appearing with this article were taken with my iPhone 7 Plus.


8. Look for symmetry.

It’s one of the simplest and most compelling ways to compose a photo. In photography, symmetry usually means creating an image that can be divided into two equal parts that are mirror images of each other. That's a bit different from reflections In a symmetrical composition, the two halves of the image are mirror images of each other. Such a composition automatically creates a sense of harmony and aesthetic balance. Remember — use those grid lines from tip #1 to line everything up perfectly.


9. Keep an eye out for repetitive patterns.

Repetitive patterns are very pleasing to the eye — they appear whenever strong graphic elements are repeated over and over again, like lines, geometric shapes, forms, and colors. These patterns can make a strong visual impact, and photographing something like a beautiful, tiled floor can be enough to create a striking image.


10. Play around with color blocking.

Isn't it cool when an entire photo is black and white, except for a single object? It turns out that there are apps for that. One of my favorites is Touch Color — an app that automatically converts a picture to grayscale and lets you fill in the parts you want to colorize. Color blocking can help to highlight the elements of a photo that you want to stand out.


11. Avoid zooming in.


When you take a photo from a distance, it's tempting to zoom in on something specific you're trying to capture. It's actually better not to zoom in — doing so can make the photo appear grainy, blurry, or pixilated. Instead, try to get closer to your subject — unless it's a wild animal.


12. Capture small details.

You may have heard the phrase, "It's the little things." Sometimes, that also applies to photos. Close-up images that capture small, intricate, and delicate details can make for really compelling visual content. Keep an eye out for textures and patterns like peeling paint, a gravel road, or a tile tabletop.


13. Use natural light.

It's hard to find a great Smartphone photo that was taken with a flash. Most of the time, they make a photo look overexposed, negatively altering colors and making human subjects look washed out. Take advantage of the sources of natural light you can find, even after dark. This gives you a chance to play with shadows or create a silhouette with other ambient sources of light, like traffic and surrounding

buildings.

Once you've taken the photo, play with the "Exposure" tool to see if you can make the image slightly brighter, without making it too grainy.


14. If you use flash, only do so during the day.

Sometimes, using your camera's flash can improve a photo — but rarely does it do so at night. Because dark shots reveal a much sharper contrast against your phone's flash, it can make any flash look invasive and uneven

In already well-lit spaces, however, a flash can help to soften some dark shadows behind or beneath your main subject.

When framing your next shot, look on the ground or against vertical surfaces for any dark shadows you might want to remove. If you see any, flip on the flash manually in your camera app. Setting your phone's camera flash to "auto" won't guarantee that your phone will notice the shadows you want to get rid of. Just remember to turn the flash off again when you're done.

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