I almost always carry my DSLR around with me so I’m always ready to grab a great shot. As much as I hate lugging around all that extra weight, it’s a good habit that helps me shoot more and take better photos. That being said, there’s always going to be times when the perfect photo opportunity presents itself and I just happen not to have my DSLR with me.
In times like that, I will resort to shooting with my smartphone, because a smartphone photo is still better than no photo at all. Not to mention, smartphone cameras are getting really good and you can take some excellent shots with them. Knowing how to fully utilize your smartphone’s camera can help you make the best of situations like the one I just mentioned. Which is exactly what we’re going to be talking about in this article—how to shoot with your smartphone like a total pro.
Explore The Menu Settings
Since different makes and models of smartphones will have different features and functions, it would be impossible for me to list them all here. One great way to learn about your specific phone is by doing a little exploration of its menu settings. Go ahead and grab your smartphone, open up the camera app, and take at look at the menu and all its different settings.
You might be surprised to find some really useful features there such as white balance, ISO, and even HDR. Some smartphone also feature different shooting modes such as panoramic, fast action, and others. Test out some of the options and familiarize yourself with the menu so you can change them quickly and minimize the chance of you missing a shot because you were fumbling around trying to find the settings.
Try To Give Your Shots As Much Light As Possible
If you’ve ever tried taking a shot in low light with your smartphone, you probably noticed how much noise was introduced, making your image look bad. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot you can do about this as it is a result of the tiny sized sensors your smartphone comes equipped with. You might be tempted to use your camera’s flash, but this typically results in unsightly bright spots in the image, which can sometimes make things even worse.
When at all possible, try to shoot in the best quality light possible to maximize the results. Metering Many smartphones offer a tap to meter feature which enables you to tap the screen in a certain area to tell the camera to meter for that area. In many situations, it works great, but there will be times when it causes more problems than it fixes. The issue is, when you tap the screen, it also tells the camera to focus in that area as well. Given the small aperture of most smartphones, this can cause issues. To avoid this issue, shut off tap to meter and resort to auto metering. While you are ultimately giving up control to the whim of the camera, there will be times when it works best.
There Will Always Be Limitations
While they are improving, smartphone cameras are still far from perfect—or at least up to the quality of a DSLR. Understanding the limitations of your smartphone will better enable you to find workarounds and give you a better chance of getting a good shot. Just like with your DSLR, using the smartphone camera and practicing with it will improve your shots drastically!