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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

DIY Photography Tips for Taking Better Pictures with Your Smartphone

Smartphone cameras are becoming more and more sophisticated. With dual-camera capability becoming standard, Qualcomm has announced its intent to take one step further and equip future phone cameras with the ability to support Clear Sight, a technology with specialized cameras that divide up the duties of the eye’s rods and cones for unprecedented sharpness. Such innovations will continue to ever more closely approximate actual vision, but even the most sophisticated camera relies on applying good photography techniques to produce a quality picture. Here are a few tips to make your smartphone photos turn out better.
Choosing the Right Phone
The smartphone camera market is increasingly competitive and there are a number of excellent phones to choose from. The Samsung Galaxy S7 has the best smartphone camera currently on the market, in the estimation of Tom’s Guide staff writer Sam Rutherford, who ranks it above the iPhone 7. The S7 comes with a 5 MP front-facing camera and a 12 MP rear-facing camera. One of the innovations the S7 delivers is a 12-megapixel dual-pixel sensor, which enables rapid autofocusing so you don’t miss those rare shots. The S7 also has large 1.4-micron pixels and a f/1.7 wide aperture to let in more light, which comes in handy for low-light shooting.
Considering Your Composition
One of the most basic principles of good composition is the rule of thirds. Imagine two horizontal and two vertical lines intersecting to divide your camera view into nine squares. The points of intersection define where you should place points of interest to capture visual attention. Use the intersections to position your subject in one of the vertical or horizontal thirds of your composition rather than in the exact center of your shot. If this leaves one area of your shot feeling empty, you might consider balancing your main subject against another secondary subject that fills up the empty space elsewhere in the shot. You can also use natural lines such as roads and other patterns in your shot to help organize your composition.
Selecting a Good Angle
While deciding your composition, you'll also need to think about selecting your camera angle. There are many camera angles you can use, but a few are used most frequently by photographers, explains The Beginners’ Lens.
The most common type of shot is an eye-level shot, which simulates the way an object would appear if it were right in front of your face in real life. This type of shot can be used to make the viewer feel as if they're there and to emphasize the details of your subject.
Another common type of shot is a high-angle photo where the camera angles down towards the subject. This makes the subject appear smaller, less dominant and more vulnerable. This can enhance qualities such as cuteness. It is often used for selfies or for shooting subjects such as puppies.
A low-angle shot has the opposite impact, making the subject appear larger and more imposing. It can be used to emphasize the height or stature of the subject. For instance, shooting a skyscraper from its base makes the building appear even taller and more impressive.
Adjusting Your Lighting
Lighting is another key consideration. The simplest approach to lighting is learning to take advantage of whatever natural lighting is available first, says photography author Andrew S. Gibson. One principle of using natural lighting is to generally avoid hard light, which is the light the sun radiates when it is high in the sky, casting deep shadows. Shooting near dawn or dusk will give you softer light that better reveals the subtleties of your subject’s shape and texture. However, hard light can be useful for bringing out very bright colors, so it may be appropriate for some shots. The opposite of hard light, soft light, is the light cast on a cloudy day. It does not bring out much contrast, which can make it useful for portraits and shots in shaded areas. Avoid shooting the sky in soft light, which will make it appear whited out. Backlight, which appears behind a subject, brings out contrasts in a way similar to hard light and can be useful for shots illuminating the outline of a subject.

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Jessica Cassidy said...

What a pretty little photographer your daughter is Sis. My Summer Babe also is my assistant to take photo of myself as I hate taking selfies. Your daughter did amazing on the shots.

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A work-at-home-mom (WAHM) with  two  lovely kids and a loving husband.  Passionate in writing about  family, product reviews, and  other related articles.  A Mom, a Wife,  a Blogger/Writer, rolled into one.

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