There is an amateur photographer in all of us. For years, iOS devices have consistently outperformed many Android devices in terms of camera quality and built-in camera modes. But that is about to change.
Now that Android phone cameras are equipped with better hardware and software, you can take great DSLR-like photos. This guide will teach you how to unlock features on your Android phone, frame your photos, and create share-worthy photos that look very professional.
Whether it’s spectacular scenery on your vacation, your favorite people, or anything in between, keep reading for tips and tricks to help you capture the best photos possible on your Android phone.
1. Basic tips before you start taking photos
Before we can go into photography mode, there are a few things we need to get in order first. Follow these quick setup tips so you can focus on the fun part without running into any issues.
Clean your camera lens with a microfiber cloth
Microfiber cloths are great because they don’t scratch the lenses. Wipe your lens for 10 seconds to remove any dust or debris. Always store your phone in a case or bag that minimizes the risk of scratching the lens.
Find your camera specs
Your camera specs will impact the type of photos you can take. Find out in what megapixel (MP) resolution it shoots and if it has high dynamic range (HDR). The optical zoom will also be useful; digital zoom is not. You will find the specifications in your phone’s manual. Don’t have it handy? Tap or click to access thousands of free textbooks online.
Check your storage space
When the correct settings are enabled, high-quality photos add up quickly and take up a lot of space. Check your phone’s internal storage and take a workout photo with your correct settings. Check the photo file size to give you a rough idea of how many you can take before you run out of storage. You can always expand your phone’s memory with a micro SD card.
Now that you understand the basics, let’s move on to some professional photography tips.
2. Use natural light whenever you can
Natural light beats artificial light in all situations. Depending on the subject of your photo, a natural light background creates a much more appealing and authentic atmosphere.
You want the light to separate your subject from the background of the photo. Tilt your phone so the light hits the subject and illuminates the back of it. This highlights the purpose of photography.
3. Consider using a gimbal to take even photos
A gimbal is a small device with a handle that you can clip to your phone. These also exist for larger DSLR cameras and usually come with phone adapters.
A gimbal uses three-axis stabilizers to keep your camera completely level. If you’re having trouble taking shots that appear steady, a gimbal can help. These also work well if you’re trying to get an angle that may be awkward to position yourself.
If you want to take a photo from a low angle (the ground for example), hook your phone to the nacelle, lower it on the handle and take the photo using a timer or a small joystick. Gimbals help transform small photography spaces into an array of endless possibilities. Tap or click here for great gimbal options on Amazon.
4. Rule of thirds
Almost all cameras have a grid option. This places a 3×3 grid on your screen (don’t worry, it won’t appear in the photo). Use it to center the subject of your image.
Your subject does not have to fit perfectly in the central box. Instead, use it as a guide. Large subjects such as trees or buildings should appear to join the top corners of your center box. Smaller subjects should start with the bottom line of the center box.
5. Burst photography (because some photos are still blurry)
Phone cameras aren’t perfect. In your camera settings, find Pro Mode. Here you can change a setting called shutter speed. A high shutter speed reduces image blur but darkens photos. A slow shutter speed captures more light but increases the chance of blur.
If your subject is flooded with natural light, a high shutter speed can help balance it out while reducing blur. Low-light situations almost always require a slow shutter speed (and a steady hand).
Take multiple photos back to back. This reduces the number of blurry images and allows you to take different angles to decide what works best.
6. Simple filters make a huge difference
You will see a list of half a dozen filters in your Android photo editor. These make small, subtle changes to your photographs with color balance, correction, and dynamic range adjustments.
Since you’re taking photos with a phone, you may be in areas with less than ideal lighting conditions. Filters can give the impression that you have taken photos in the studio. Make multiple copies of your favorite images and see which filters help improve them. Tap or click here for free photo editing tools.
7. Get closer if you have a less megapixel camera
A 12MP camera can shoot in an incredible 4247 x 2826 resolution. This gives you plenty of room to have fun in post-production.
Low-end Android phones may have lower pixel density. If so, get closer to your subjects and practice shooting up close. Large objects from a distance lose their definition with low megapixel cameras.
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