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Senior couple taking a selfie, mastering smart phone photography

Smartphone photography tips

Smartphones have transformed our lives in many ways; they have even revolutionised photography enabling us to quickly capture life’s precious moments.

These days, there’s not much a digital camera can do that a smartphone can’t. But how do we make the most of this incredible tool and capture perfect photos?

Sam Oster, a professional photographer of 30 years and the woman behind the lens for the front cover shoots for Issue 11 of Good Lives Magazine, shares her advice for capturing sensational smartphone snaps.

But first, focus

“Don’t always assume that your phone camera can identify the main subject in the frame,” Sam said.

Before snapping the shot, simply tap on the desired subject of focus on your smartphone touch screen. Your camera will automatically focus on this element and will even adjust the exposure for that area of the frame. With this trick up your sleeve, you’ll never take a blurry photo again.

Lights, camera, action

“Observing the light is one of the best ways to improve your smartphone photography,” Sam explained. “If the subject is backlit, you may encounter an unwanted silhouette. Instead, try moving so that light is either hitting the subject from the side or from the front.”

Once you’ve taken the shot you can further tweak the lighting through adjusting the ‘exposure’ on your smartphone photo editor.

Compose carefully

“Composition involves the arrangement of elements within the frame that tells a story,” Sam said.

Magical photo of a field of sunflowers and a person capturing the scene of their smartphone.

Try exploring the following tips for great composure:

  1. Use the ‘Rule of Thirds’ (place your subject in the left or right third, leaving the other two thirds more open) to avoid boring composition.
  2. Avoid placing the subject in the middle of the frame.
  3. Look for balance and symmetry.

Get familiar with your phone features

“Take the time to explore your phone’s camera settings – click on the various buttons and try the many modes available,” Sam suggested.

Most smartphone models offer interesting options and even some groovy special effects. You will find that your shots are immediately enhanced by these features.

Adopt some apps and add-ons

“Identify what your smartphone camera cannot do and the chances are you can find an app or accessory that can fill that gap,” Sam said.

Sam recommended editing and enhancing your images with apps like Snapseed and Pixlr.

Sam’s final piece of advice: “Most importantly remember to play, have fun and don’t get too hung up on creating the ‘perfect’ image.”

This article was published in Good Lives Magazine – Issue 11.

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