Smartphone photography tips

Your smartphone has developed from a camera wanna be to a powerful compact photographic tool in recent times. Whilst it is still perfectly acceptable to point and shoot with auto turned on, there is a whole host of settings for the amateur photographer to play around with.


In our smartphone photography tips article we are going to look at the camera settings, when to use them and how to use them.

High Dynamic Range


This setting is one of the most useful to be aware of and if you learn nothing more about smartphone photography than this, then you will still have transformed the results you can get.


Labeled as HDR in your camera settings you simply need to switch the feature on or off. When you turn it on the camera takes two pictures of your scene at two different exposures. This basically means that your camera will capture the detail of bright elements in one photo and the detail of dark elements in another. The camera then blends the best bits from both into one result.



Depending upon the model of smartphone you have you may also be able to to keep both the standard result and the HDR result to compare. However, HDR isn’t the best choice in every case. If objects are moving in your scene then you may get a slightly blurred result as the two images are taken successively.



The ISO setting simply adjusts your camera’s sensitivity to light. Unfortunately the LED flash on your camera doesn’t always deliver great results. You could however use this setting and turn your flash off and in many cases you will get a better result.






The Exposure Value setting is useful when everything in the scene is bright or everything is dark. A common issue that many amateur photographers experience is a greying of the whites in a bright scene such as a snowy scenery shot. This is due to the camera balancing the colours mid-way between white and black, hence the grey result. To get a great result simply increase or decrease the EV until the colours are as your eye perceives them.

Exposure Value




The Auto White Balance setting tackles another common issue. Have you ever found that your pictures taken under indoor lighting look yellow? Well this setting corrects this effect for a true colour reproduction.


The issue that your smartphone camera has to deal with is that under different types of light the image looks different. You may have heard the term Light Temperature before and this is the effect. Lighting from the sun, a candle or fluorescent lights all cause different effects. You can’t see them with your though as your brain adjusts for this but you will see the result in your final photo.


Auto White Balance


If you choose to manually adjust the White Balance you can put a piece of white paper into the scene and then adjust the setting via your viewfinder until the white paper looks white. Then remove the paper and take your shot.


So there you have it; 4 smartphone photography tips to help you capture those special moments just as they appeared to the eye.


Written by: Michael Brown

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