by Matt Ayres
It’s something we take for granted nowadays, but most of us carry around cameras in our pockets. That’s right: the little lens on your smartphone. These might not have the same capabilities as professional photography equipment, but they do carry the potential to take some surprisingly good shots.
The good news is that anyone can perfect their phone photography with the right techniques. Here are a few handy tricks that you can adopt to impress your Instagram followers.
Phone cameras have come a long way since the early days, but without the bulky telescopic lenses of conventional cameras, you’ll have trouble capturing quality shots from far away. The best approach is to avoid zooming all together – you’ll have more fun experimenting with images if you ignore this function and simply focus on the cool looking stuff that’s nearby.
Shoot first, edit later
There are all sorts of weird and wonderful apps around that place effects on your photos as you take them. It can be fun playing around with these, but for maximum versatility you may want to leave the filters and superimposed cats for post-production. An after-editing app like PicLab HD (£1.49 for iOS) or Handy Photo (£1.49 for iOS) will provide a wide range of options while retaining the original, should you decide that your snapshot looked better with #NoFilter.
Look for the light
It goes without saying, but light is an integral part of any photograph. If you’ve ever tried to take a photo at a gig in a dark room to find a blurry and unclear impression of the star on stage, you’ll realise the importance of using light to bring out the best in your photograph. Some of the most memorable moments happen after dark, so get creative with what little light you have available. Low-light situations can actually create some interesting images – try using candles, lamps, lanterns or spotlights to striking effect. And resist the urge to switch on flash, which will more than likely flood your photo with artificial colour instead of capturing your surroundings naturally.
Avoid the obvious
You don’t want to be the annoying Facebook friend who assaults other peoples’ timelines with bathroom selfies and takeaway lattes, do you? Think outside the frame by looking for inspiration in less likely places. Symmetrical architecture, unusual patterns in everyday objects, dramatic street art or well-dressed strangers who don’t mind a cheeky photo could all create something artsy and intriguing to inspire your pals on their lunchbreaks.
Take more photos
By taking multiple shots, you increase the chances of snapping something spectacular. Small changes to your lighting or surroundings could affect the first photo you take, so grab a few stills if you can and pick out the best to share on your social networks. Even better, shoot the same thing from different angles. You might be surprised at what a different perspective can reveal about your subject.