5 Practical Hacks for Taking Great Smartphone Photos

A few years ago, taking photos using only a phone would result in poor-quality images that are so grainy, you can barely make out the details. However, times have changed and smartphone cameras have taken huge leaps toward progress.

At present, we’re now familiar with smartphone photography basics, which mean merely pointing and shooting. But if you want to get images that you can show off to people for generations to come, you may want to try a little harder. Here are 5 practical hacks for taking great smartphone photos!


#1 Adjust focus and exposure.

Smartphones have small image sensors that can get close-up shots on subjects and blur out the background without the aid of macro add-ons. You can have the simplest dinner and make it look fancy by tapping on your smartphone’s screen to adjust the focus feature, all while keeping the whole frame in focus before pressing the capture button.

The exposure can make or break a photo as well. Tinker with the exposure setting on your smartphone’s camera to brighten a shot of your sleeping dog, or to darken the shadows on a tree-lined path for a more dramatic effect.


#2 Make use of natural light.

Finding good lighting is always a better option than using your smartphone's LED flash. The best shots don’t require fancy equipment. All you need to do is find a place where the light falls softly on a subject (beside a window, or under a canopy of trees), adjust your focus (as mentioned in #1), and start shooting.


#3 Follow the “Rule of Thirds”.

Rule of thirds is a compositional guideline that applies to the process of composing visual images like photographs. It recommends each image to be divided into 9 equally spaced boxes and that important compositional elements should be placed within these boxes or along their intersections. Turn on the grid on your smartphone’s camera to make it easy for you to follow this rule and to keep horizons or buildings straight.


#4 Use editing apps.

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Your smartphone is like a mini-computer that is capable of making basic image adjustments. There are plenty of free software you can find online that allows you to edit your images on the go. You can add filters, straighten images, and change colors before sharing your photos with the world.


#5 Use everyday things.

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Photo editing apps aren’t the only tools that can help you make your photos as unique as possible. Everyday things you have laying around your house can be of great use as well. For instance, use UV-treated sunglasses to get a polarizing effect, experiment with crystal prisms for colorful and abstract shots, or create a makeshift macro lens using an old magnifying glass — the possibilities are endless!


Following the hacks above are just some of the many tips that can help you take better pictures. Keep practicing and experimenting and you’ll be well on your way to having Instagram-worthy snaps in no time. Just remember to give your smartphone the kind of protection that keeps it perfect and flawless no matter how many accidents you meet while you hone your smartphone photography skills.