Hints for better phone photography…light, macros, and the unusual

Posted: October 30, 2014 in Miscellaneous, Photos
Tags: , , ,

In my first post, I covered four basic suggestions for better phone photography.  Today I’m getting more specific.

Number five: Light can be an issue.

I’ve found light to be something that takes practice and that doesn’t always come out right
with a phone camera. Depending upon where I tap, ground or sky, the photo might be darker
or lighter than it actually is. Take one each way and see what you think. This is also a good
time to use editing to adjust the light to the way it really was…or just to the way you want
think it looks best.  The following photos are unedited so you can see the difference.



or dark

or dark

Number six: Phone cameras can take great macros. But it might take some work.

Sometimes it takes a bit of work to get the focus right. You may have to tap on the spot you
want several times or you may have to start with the focus a bit further away, then move in
and tap again, rather than just zooming in and shooting. Don’t be discouraged. Check your
photos after taking them to see whether or not the focus is correct. I have to take along my
reading glass in order to be able to do this!


Number seven: If you’re trying to get the focus on something thin, you may have problems
and it may take extra time. It’s even possible you won’t get the shot you want.

The camera wants to focus on the biggest thing and that’s usually the background. Keep
tapping on what you want to photograph and don’t be discouraged. A few days ago, I was
attempting to take a photo of the coils of a grapevine. It probably took me 2 or 3 minutes to
get the camera to finally focus and get the picture I wanted. Sometimes it just won’t happen.
Go back with your SLR camera and adjust the focus if you really want that shot!


Number eight:  Try turning your camera upside down sometimes.

Sometimes a shot from above isn’t all that interesting or doesn’t show depth. You can’t
always get down low enough to compensate. Turn your camera upside down and take the
photo. You’ll be surprised at the different it makes.  The first photo is taken from above.


I got this photo by turning the camera upside down.  I like them both, but the upside down photo gives a very different look.

photo 1(122)


Number nine: (Related to number eight.) Try taking the shot from a lower level than
you’d usually use. Put the camera waist-high and see the difference.

Everyone take photos from face height. That doesn’t make it bad but you can sometimes
get a more interesting shot if you take it from waist-high, especially when taking landscape
shot. Try it both ways and see the difference.  These photos show the difference.  The first is taken from a normal view, standing with the camera at eye level.  In the second, I’ve lowered the camera and the shot becomes more interesting.



Saturday I’ll wrap up my hints.  See you then.

  1. Steve says:

    More great tips. Thanks. I like the one about getting lower down. Nothing beats lying in the dirt with a camera lol

  2. Some great tips here, and what a difference on the last set! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  3. Awesome tips. Thank you!

    • My pleasure! I’m just finishing up (maybe) the third and final part that will be posted on Saturday. I’m glad you’re enjoying them and hopefully they’ll help you take better photos.


  4. Nicely done–certainly there is a difference between a bird’s eye view and a worm’s perspective.

  5. LavendarLadi says:

    Reblogged this on Patchwork Ponderings and commented:
    Good Tips!

  6. […] Hints for better phone photography…light, macros, and the unusual | This, that and the other thing. […]

  7. Great tips and photos. I have a few duds but the fun is in working out the best angle, and not giving up. 😀

    • Everyone has duds, Raewyn. It’s the only way we learn. Sometimes a dud in only in the eyes of the beholder or because it doesn’t fit with a certain goal. Some are just duds. But so what? Press “delete” and no one will ever know!


  8. storydivamg says:

    Good tips, Janet. I’ve been playing a lot with my camera phone lately and have learned a lot from just running around shooting pics. The tips on perspective are, I think, important regardless of what type of a camera is being used.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

  9. […] Hints for better phone photography…light, macros, and the unusual […]

  10. […] 920.  Not only did I shift to include another flower but I switched focal points. I was reading this series on This, That and The Other Thing and thought I’d try tapping on the screen at […]

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