Top Tips for Taking Photos with a Mobile Phone

July 13, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Many of us have discarded standard digital cameras in favor of mobile phones with built in cameras for all but the most important occasions, and this rise in mobile snapping has resulted in people taking far more photos than ever.

Unfortunately, many of them are pretty poor. Whether you’re plagued by washed out, over lit snaps or endless blur and shake, these tips have been compiled to help you to get the best results when snapping with a mobile phone.

Top tips for taking pictures on a camera phone

Kill the Blur

The first thing you might have noticed when snapping photos with a mobile phone is that more of them are blurred than usual. There are two reasons for this: first, a mobile phone such as an iPhone is lighter than a standard digital camera, and second, they use a slower shutter speed in poor light.

As such, you might be holding the device for longer while snapping, and resulting in blurred images. For the best results, you should brace your camera phone by tucking both elbows into your sides while preparing to take a photo, or using a wall to rest the device on.

Focus and Zoom

One of the other problems with taking photos on a mobile phone is the lack of focus. This can be a problem regardless of whether the camera is a low quality 1 MP device or 7 MP, but you should usually be able to work around this when taking a photo by lightly “half-pressing” the shutter button in order to force the camera to focus before you follow this up with a full press to take the shot.

Similarly, zoom is often misused, and can result in shaky, out of focus shots. The best thing you can do with zoom is avoid using it unless you cannot physically get any closer to the subject. Instead, move closer to get a genuine closeup, and perhaps change the angle or direction of the intended shot for something that can prove more interesting.

Use a Tripod!

This might not seem practical for mobile phone snappers, but there are plenty of tripods available that can be used for a variety of mobile devices. These are usually standard tripods with the standard fixed screw connector to which a bracket device is attached.

Some tripods are standard three-legged devices, while others have useful appendages that can be used to secure the tripod to any surface such as a pole or tree, as well as the more common “standing on a table” position.

The benefit of tripods is that not only do they complement the use of timed photographs, they’re also great for setting up close-up shots.

Forget the Flash!

One final top tip for getting the best digital photos from your mobile phone camera is to disable the flash.

Rather than making your snaps too dark, killing the flash can add some much-needed warmth and atmosphere to your photos. This is usually preferred to washed-out, apparently over-exposed images that have been bleached by powerful LED flashes.

The flash is best left for night time close-up shots or any location where it is pitch black; generally, a mobile phone camera should get good results in dim lighting by disabling the automatic flash.

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