Photography Tips & Tricks For The Mobile Generation

On: March 25, 2014

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Want to take better photos with your phone’s camera? If you’re more often than not left unsatisfied with your snaps, remember that it’s not just because you have a bad camera-phone. Here are a few tips which will help you capture better images; even if you have a 3 megapixel camera or a 41 megapixel camera!

1) Clean the lens: Always clean the camera lens with a cloth and avoid fingerprints for blur-free images. It is hard to believe the number of photographs that are ruined by smudges / fingerprints on the camera lens.

Smudgy lens

Also ensure that you are using a proper phone cover which does not partially hide/cover the lens. You should also avoid putting lamination or any kind of scratch guard that covers your camera lens, as it may affect the image quality drastically.

2) Capture images without filters: Do not capture images using filters like negative, sepia, black and white etc by default. Because you can always add the filter effects later. Also, when shooting in panorama mode, try to move as slowly and as steadily as possible.

3) Always Touch-to-focus before taking an image: It is almost never wise to directly clicking the shutter button as soon as you fire up the camera app. This leaves the focus adjustment to the phone and it may not give you the best shot. Rather, keep tapping on the screen to find the perfect focus/white balance for your image. Tap on the object you want to focus. If you focus on a bright source like the sun then images can appear darker. In such situations, try tapping elsewhere to see if you are able to get a clearer shot.

4) Increase screen brightness if capturing selfies in dark: Taking photos from the front camera may disappoint you especially if you are capturing images in dark. Increasing the brightness to full in this situation will ensure that extra light emitted from the device will help in illuminating your face and thereby capture better images.

5) Prefer clicking selfies from rear camera: The resolution of front camera is generally lower than the resolution of rear (back) camera. The quality of images captured from the primary camera are almost always better as compared to the secondary one. If you want to capture a high quality selfie, maybe it’s better to just point the rear camera lens towards you instead of using the front-facing cam. In this case though, the usage of flash may make your face brighter than any fairness cream can make you. Instead, if you’re standing opposite to the light source, you’ll get a more natural-looking selfies. Some phones come with a dedicated shutter button, while in others the volume key can be used to capture a snap, so would be simpler than trying to click the on-screen shutter button without seeing the screen.

Selfie Rear Camera

6) Do not capture images directly using apps: Apps like Snapchat or Instagram tend to compress the image and thereby degrade its quality, to make it easily uploadable on a  slower connection. So you’d rather want to click the snap in the highest resolution your camera can support, and then choose the image from these apps, should you want to share it. Also, Email your photos rather than sending them through WhatsApp or other Instant Messengers since even IM apps tend to degrade the photo quality badly.

7) Use HDR mode wisely: You must have definitely come across the term HDR if you’ve used today’s smartphone. No, it doesn’t mean High Definition Resolution. HDR means High Dynamic Range which basically captures three images with different intensities of light and then forms a single image by combining them. It is advisable use this mode while capturing landscape with contrasting colours. Using HDR makes your images look alive by creating a better contrast. Do not use HDR for capturing objects in motion, as the phone typically needs extra time to capture an HDR image versus a typical one.


Final advice: If you are still not satisfied with your photos then simply edit them using apps like Photoshop Express, Picsart, maybe even PhotoGrid. These apps are available for popular mobile phone platforms like iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

Harsh Mulchandani

Harsh Mulchandani is the Consumer Electronics Expert at His passion is to play cricket and use different gadgets. He loves cycling and nature photography. You can follow him on twitter @mulchandani97

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