How to Take Solid Pictures, with your phone

I’m not one to say that I am the number one go-to guy when it comes to photography but, I have had my experience with pictures. Clear pictures, filters, editing, I’ve gone through it all…with my phone.

Many of us can’t afford a $1000 DSLR Nikon camera, if you will, that will give us the clearest picture and coolest effects. Our main source of capturing moments usually comes from our phones. But, we just snap the picture sometimes not caring how it looks. If you’re like me you absolutely hate bad quality and blurry pictures. But if you’re also like me you only have 5 dollars in your pocket and can no where afford an actual photography camera. So, here’s how to take awesome photos with just your iPhone or Android.

1) LANDSCAPE ONLY

If you’re looking to get a very nice scenic picture, turn that phone sideways. No one likes vertically rectangle pictures. Same with videos. Ever watched a Youtube video that was filmed with a phone and the guy didn’t turn his phone sideways? It’s like you can’t even see anything because the space is so small. If you turn your camera horizontally, the view is much wider and overall better. Plus if you want to crop, you can crop from the sides. But, obviously if you are jus taking a selfie that do whatever you want. But, if you plan on taking a great photo to put online or show friends, turn that camera 90 degrees.

2) Focus

Sometimes when you point the camera at whatever you’re taking a picture of, it sometimes comes up blurry. For most phones, all you got to do, is touch the screen. This will make the camera focus on where ever you want to focus it on and the picture will become clear. This is very important especially if you don’t want blurry pictures.

3) Lighting

Lighting is also pretty significant as to what the picture will be like. Many professional photographers use light to be able to create different styles and moods. Having proper lighting is very important and will also reduce blurriness. The picture will become more clear with lighting. If you take a picture outside in the blue sky verses taking a picture in your room that just has one lamp lit, the difference in look and quality will definitely show.

 

Some ways photographer use lighting are in pictures called silhouettes. This involves having a light behind the object, and the object will appear in a black shape while the surrounding area is slightly lit. It looks very nice in bringing landscape or scenery pictures especially if you want to bring notice to a certain thing for example, palm trees. The sun is often a good source of light to put an object in front of to create a silhouette.

silhouet

Also make sure the lighting doesn’t create any unwanted shadows. One time I was taking a picture of an object from an aerial view and the light from above casted my shadow of me holding the camera up and it showed in the picture. Experiment with light and having light in different angles and take note of the effect that light can have on a picture.

sk philosophy

As you can see, I was taking a picture of this book, and you can see my shadow of me holding the phone which is very tacky.

4) FIILLLTTEEERRSS

I love filters. Sometimes taking normal pictures isn’t cool enough. Add a filter and you got yourself and awesome, smooth feel to your picture. But, choose wisely. You also have to be able to choose filters according to the already existing brightness of your original picture. For example, if your picture is already dark and gloomy, don’t go ahead and pic a filter that will make it even darker. Trying different filters is the best way to find which best fits your picture. Also choose filters based on the theme of your picture. Don’t take a picture of a Lamborghini and give it the Vintage filter. What would better work with the Vintage filter may be a picture of a wooden rocking chair on the porch of an old countryside house. Even a picture of a retro Casio watch or polaroid camera would work. Furthermore, if your picture includes bright contrasting colors, don’t go and choose Black and White or Sepia. Know when to need filters and when to stick with the original picture.

5) Intentional Blur

So you know how I said blur is bad? Yea well you can actually use it to make your picture really artsy. A great way to intentionally use blur is in a close up picture where you want to emphasize a certain thing in the picture. Say your taking a really close picture of a drop of dew on the tip of a leaf. A great way to edit this picture is to focus on the drop of dew and blur the rest of the background. With the combination of lighting and filters, bam. You got yourself a totally professional looking, amazing photo.

water drop leaf wallpaper

 

6) Color Isolation

Have you ever seen those picture that are black and white, but then there’s one aspect of the picture suddenly in color? I’ve seen a picture of a lower half face of a women where the entire was black and white but the lipstick showed red. Or a picture of a flower where the entire background and stem is black and white but the flower itself is in color. It’s like the coolest thing ever and you might think it’s hard but it’s actually quite easy. Using a great editing website called PicMonkey, you can turn a picture to black and white and use an eraser tool to erase the black and white and turn the area you erase back into color. So basically just “erase” the area that you want in color. Obviously you are doing this with a mouse so it may be hard to get the fine lines of the object but, with some practice, it’ll be easy as cake.

color isolation rose

 

7) Background

The background is equally as important as the main focus of the picture itself. Imagine an exotic luxury car in the middle of a forest verses and the same car in front of a black background and under a spotlight. Obviously the black background and under the spotlight is the better fit for the car. But maybe a picture of you meditating near a waterfall is a great way to use that forest rather than a luxury car. Giving thought to the theme and feel of the picture will give you a good understanding of what the background should be like.

car forest 1 car forest car forest2

If you think about it, why would these cars just me sitting in the middle of nowhere.

OR

carrcar2

These look WAY cooler

 

 

 

 

All of my techniques here don’t have to all be present in every picture. Mix and match different techniques and styles to create the best looking picture. Remember, every picture is different, so try new things. With time and practice, you can look at your picture and already determine how you want to edit it. I’ve only listed the basic key components and included some of my personal favorite techniques. There are way more picture editing features out there such as fish eye, blemish, picture distortion, etc. You just got to go out and experiment with them. After a while of working with pictures and editing them, you’ll get a good sense of what a good picture is and how to achieve it. There’s a lot of detail that goes into making a great picture and just keeping them in mind and acting upon them will already lead to a better picture.

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2 responses

  1. Good advice, you might want to check out this blog post for advice on taking picture of people: http://thereadinessisall.com/2013/12/22/i-love-people-how-to-shoot-them-properly/

    Like

    January 25, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    • justininspireface

      Cool, Thanks. I’ll definitely check that out.

      Like

      January 25, 2015 at 9:48 pm

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