- Author Dave Stevenson
- Published May 14, 2014
How to take better smartphone photos… indoors
Got a camera phone? Of course you do. You might even think you know how to use it, but follow Dave Stevenson’s tips and you’ll be surprised at how much more it can do.
Got a camera phone? Of course you do. You might even think you know how to use it, but put in a bit more thought and you’ll be surprised at how much more your humble pocket companion can do.
Here’s the How to Live It guide to getting the most out of your indoor photography. Dave Stevenson explains…
1. Think light
The modern smartphone is a wonderful thing, and has become more wonderful since manufacturers started including small LED flashes, which have meant your pictures indoors are no longer inky black. However, think of an LED flash as more of an emergency measure. To improve your photography, think about where the light is coming into the room: open the curtains, turn on the electric lights… do anything that will get a bit more light onto your subject.
If your room is on the dim side, remember that objects such as bright white walls and mirrors reflect light, and use that to your advantage. Making smart use of light will mean your cameraphone uses a higher shutter speed and lower sensitivity, which will give you higher quality images.
Shooting somewhere with lots of light will allow your camera to use a faster shutter speed, which should mean nice sharp, steady images with minimal motion blur. That won’t always be possible, though: not every room has lots of artificial lights, and if you’re shooting at night you won’t be able to rely on windows admitting lots of natural illumination.
These are the times when a small cameraphone tripod will come in handy. This will hold your phone steady even when it’s using slower shutter speeds, so as long as you can convince your subjects to stand still you’ll be in with a shout of a sharp shot. Try something like the GorillaPod GripTight, which has an adjustable grip that can be used for a variety of different phones.
You’ll also find that a camera with image stabilisation is massively useful – the LG G2 has optical image stabilisation built in, which means the sensor shifts to compensate for your movement when you’re shooting.
3. Develop, develop, develop
Processing a cameraphone shot doesn’t mean simply bunging on a retro filter effect and a dramatic vignette.
Attempting to make silk purses from sow’s ears is common in cameraphone photography, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t edit your shots. Take Pixlr Express, for example. It contains a number of effects that can be very subtle – gradual changes to brightness and saturation that will tease out the best in your images without completely changing them or producing unbelievable colours. A light touch is best.
4. Move your feet
Your cameraphone has a zoom mode. Never use it! When you zoom in with a cameraphone you’re simply enlarging an area of the frame, with your camera making an educated guess as to how to fill in the detail. The result? Soft, grainy images that lack the detail your cameraphone is capable of. If you want your subject to fill the frame properly, move your feet and get closer instead.
The LG G2 is available now, and its 13-megapixel camera has optical image stabilisation, and its 5.2in, Full HD display makes everything you shoot look its best. Find out more about the LG G2 here.