We bring you a small compilation with 8 tricks to take better photos on your Android phone. It is a series of basic tips to help you, if you are an amateur who wants to improve a little on those photos on your social networks or the trips you make, you can do it without needing an expensive camera or any equipment that goes beyond your phone.
In these tricks, we’re going to talk you through some of the basics you need to know about your phone and its camera. We’ll also give you hints on how to start improving your photos using light or the grid. Don’t be scared, because they are all simple tricks to understand even if you have no idea about photography.
Know the hardware of your cell phone
The first step is always to stop for a while to get to know the features of your phone, especially in terms of its camera. Not all phones are the same, and yours may have functions that another does not have, features that you can exploit, or it may be the other way around and lack some things that you should know you can not count on.
The best thing to do is always to look it up on the manufacturer’s website looking for your model, or if you want something more in-depth, look at the Techidence reviews. You are interested in knowing information such as the size of the sensor or the size of the camera pixels, knowing how many cameras your mobile has and what each one does. For example, it is useful to know the maximum optical zoom that they will offer you to know that from there you can lose quality. It is also interesting to know other things such as whether your mobile has a shutter button or allows you to shoot with the volume keys.
No zoom if it is not optical
In the previous point, we mentioned optical zoom, and it is something that deserves a better explanation. Your mobile will offer you two types of zoom, optical and digital. The optical zoom is the one you get through the lenses that your phone may have. If it has two or three rear cameras, it is possible to implement it. Digital zoom is achieved with software.
The thing is that digital zoom is not a real zoom, and no matter how well processed your phone is, it will never give as good results as optical zoom. Therefore, it is best to always avoid using digital zoom. If your phone has a 2x optical zoom, try not to zoom in further because you will lose quality significantly, and the result is the same as you can get later by cropping and enlarging the photo in an editing app.
Keep the lens clean
There’s nothing worse than being able to pull out your phone and take a photo of that unrepeatable moment only to find out that… the photo is blurry because the lens had a fingerprint on it. That’s why it’s important to remember to clean the lens frequently, and it never hurts to keep an eye on it when you’re taking important photos.
In the end, it’s all about routines. We can’t avoid accidentally putting a finger on the lens from time to time, but we can try to internalize the habit of checking to see if it’s clean. In addition, it is equally important to try not to scratch the lens, something that could cause the photos to never come out right again unless you take it in for repair. Just be careful where you keep the phone, and that there are no near or touching objects that can scratch it. No cell phone in the same pocket as your keys.
Also, know your software
If the hardware of your mobile is important, it is also important to know the camera application of your mobile. Generally, auto mode is fine for most cases, but there are others where it will help to have a manual mode to change ISO, exposure, white balance, and these kinds of features that can greatly improve your photos.
Here are some things to keep in mind. The higher the shutter speed you set, the less light you will capture, but the sharper the moving pictures will be. If the shutter speed is slower, you will get more light but it will be more difficult to take sharp moving pictures. Also, you may need a tripod to get it in focus. However, more light comes in, and this is a perfect mode for nights.
It’s also important to know other features and try things like HDR in the camera app, resolution settings to make sure you get the most out of the camera sensor, and different preset modes like night mode, macro, or portrait mode. You may also be curious to know if it has filters, countdown, or some kind of level indicator to tell you if you have a crooked camera. And if you are not convinced by the app, look for other third-party apps.
Use natural light whenever possible
Light is one of the most important elements of photography. This applies to everything, and the result of your photos will largely depend on the light you are capturing. This means that artificial light, even if everything looks good to your eyes, can make the photo look worse.
Therefore, it is important to always look for a natural light source even indoors, since it is a light that is usually abundant and diffused, which favors the photos. And if there is no natural light, it is best to make the artificial light source as diffuse as possible.
For example, if you have a photo, it would be useful to put a diffuser in front of it so that the light it emits is more natural. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can put vegetable paper or bubble wrap on your lamp or lamp to diffuse the light. Just don’t put it too close to the bulb, lest you burn it.
Try to avoid using the flash
A flash can completely ruin your photo, and sometimes it is even better to take a photo with low light than with flash. This is because the flash emits a very harsh light and creates harsh shadows, so it’s best to avoid using it unless necessary.
If you are indoors, try to use a spotlight with diffused light as we have said in the previous point, as the results will always be much better than with a flash. The best thing to do is to deactivate the automatic flash on your phone to leave it off by default, and only activate it in those moments when you consider that there is no other choice but to use it… although always try to take another photo of the same thing without flash just in case.
Night photos, with a tripod
Many mobiles have a night photo mode that gives good results, and if you have photographic knowledge you can also get very good things with the manual or professional mode that your mobile may have. However, no one has an iron pulse, so it is always possible that despite these modes the photo ends up coming out a little blurry or not quite in focus.
To avoid this and get the best night photos possible, it is best to use a tripod to keep the phone steady when you take the picture. And if you don’t have a tripod, try propping it up on a bench or anything you find on the street. And if you don’t mind spending a little money, in some online stores you can find selfie stands with a handle that opens like a tripod, something useful to take with you on your travels.
And while we’re on the subject of night photos, a little note. If you want to take those famous photos of moving cars with halos of light, play with the shutter speed to lower the parameter, always having the mobile well supported to make it perfect.
The grid is your friend
And after talking about light, another of the basic aspects of photography is composition. Just point and shoot does not guarantee the best photo, and sometimes you have to take into account things like whether you want to take symmetrical photos, play with reflections in lakes or rivers, or move the center of the photo so that the important thing is not right in the photo.
In the latter case, you can apply the rule of thirds: that if we divide our photo into three parts, what we want to highlight should be in one of those imaginary lines instead of the center. But of course, not all of us can imagine the lines of a three-part division, so it comes in handy if your phone allows you to activate grids in the camera. Almost all phones will allow you to enable it in the camera settings menus.
With this grid, the photo will be divided into nine parts, and the dividing lines will be displayed. With this, you’ll have a much easier time creating your compositions and trying to play with them. And don’t be ashamed to look at the photos taken by professionals and uploaded online or on social networks, because you may come across some good composition ideas.