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  • Author Dave Stevenson
  • Published September 24, 2013

Take better smartphone photos

Forget your heavy DSLR and your fiddly, battery-sucking compact: smartphone photography wins the race every time. Still, your photos probably suck. Here’s some tips


Forget your heavy DSLR and your fiddly, battery-sucking compact: smartphone photography wins the race every time. Still, your photos probably suck. Here’s the How To Live It guide to better smartphone photography.


Shoot a lot

In the bleak old days of film, photography came in expensive, 36-frame bursts. These days, phones such as LG’s G2 – with its 13-megapixel camera and image stabilising tech – can store an incredible amount of photos. That means there’s no excuse for not shooting as many different angles and compositions as you can think of – whittling your shots down to the belters comes later.



Shoot steady

Nothing ruins a photo like unwanted motion blur. In bright sunlight your cameraphone will use a fast shutter speed, but when the light gets low, or you shoot inside, it’ll start reducing the shutter speed to let enough light in. Take note of the light you’re shooting in, and make sure you hold the camera steady when you press the button to take sharp shots. A mini tripod (think along the lines of the GripTight GorillaPod Stand) or the Glif will go a long way if you want to shoot, say, cityscapes at night. If you don’t have a tripod, hold your camera closer to your body to keep steady.




Cool composure

Decent composition can make or break a photo. If you’re simply lining your subjects up in the middle of the frame and blasting away, what you’ll end up with is a stream of dull portraits that your friends will flick through with gritted teeth and a glazed expression. If you can’t think of anything more interesting, use the “rule of thirds” to line your image up. The means placing your subject a third of the way across and a third of the way up (or down) the frame. The result is a more tense-feeling, artistically-pleasing image.


Edit, edit, edit
Pictures straight off your camera will probably look alright, but there’s always the chance that a spot of judicious editing will improve them. This doesn’t necessarily mean a ham-fisted Instagram-style filter – apps such as Camera FV-5 on Android or Camera+ on iOS allow you to make subtle changes to exposure and colour without over-styling a shot. A decent editing app will also allow you to correct squiffy horizons and dodgy composition with a crop tool.




Then edit again

We mean this in the nicest possible way, but no one wants to see 900 identical frames of you at the beach/farmer’s market/nightclub. Self-editing is crucial if you don’t want to find your Facebook friends slowly dwindling to zero, so make sure you’re only choosing the cream of the crop of your pics to share online.


Share, share, share
The huge advantage of smartphones is instant, worldwide sharing. Fling your pics to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or make use of clever tech such as LG’s Tag On, which provides you with an NFC pad to tap your phone against. This pairs your phone with your telly, allowing you to share content on the big screen. Just make sure you take out your cheeky beach snaps before treating your gran to a slideshow.


Big screen sharing: check out the 42in LG 42LA860W Smart TV with Miracast sharing and NFC Tag On technology.


For more information on LG’s G2, see here

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