Whether you are a photography fanatic or not, we all have a phone that we use to take photos on a regular basis. Catching a great shot may not be your forte, but it is certainly easier than it looks!
Start with these 6 tips to taking (and printing) a better photo with your phone.
Crop, don’t zoom
When you zoom in on your subject using a mobile phone photo, you will immediately see the resolution of your image decrease. The finer detail of your surroundings will be lost and your picture will not print well.
When you crop, you take away the unwanted areas of the photo without harming the image quality. Once you crop around your picture’s subject, your image will automatically “zoom” into it.
Gridlines will guide you
If you haven’t activated the gridlines on your camera app, you can easily do this in your phone settings. The lines on the grid will help you center your subject, and allow you to hold your phone where horizontal and vertical lines balance.
Change your focus so that it’s on your subject. It’s easy to do. Whether you are using an iPhone or an Android, just tap your screen where you would like your focus to be and your camera will come into focus automatically.
Forget that flash
A smartphone’s flash will often overexpose your photo — and this does not make for a pretty picture. The quality of the photo color will not come out at its best, and the over-illumination will ruin the depth of the entire picture. Go for natural light wherever you can.
Keep that lens clean
Ever wondered why your selfies come out clearer than your regular back lens photos? Give your camera lens a wipe and try taking another shot.
Our phones and their camera lenses slip in and out of our pockets and get thrown around our purses. We protect our phone screens and often wipe them clean, but how many times a week do we give our camera lens a quick wipe too?
Editing no no’s
Avoid adding fake blur to your photos. The name says it all — your photo will look unnatural with its uniformly blurred edges and ever so sharp focal point. You’ll also notice that it’s difficult to choose exactly where the blur is going and that it generally covers part of the area that you’d like to leave clear.
We all love a filter, I am a big fan of filters myself, anything to hide those small imperfections! But if you are going to print your filtered pictures, don’t go for enlargements. Adding a filter and re-saving the photo to your phone can compress the image and you will lose resolution. Low resolution = grainy, pixelated, unsatisfying printed photos.
On screen, we are often under the impression that our photos need a contrast boost to make the image pop. Unfortunately, too much contrast is like cooking your steak in too much grease. It becomes over-saturated and just not good. Keeping the contrast level balanced will help you keep your picture colors more realistic. Tone down the contrast a little if you are planning on printing your picture, as too much contrast can alter the printed result and make it seem like the colors are bleeding into one another.
Print those photos
Now that you’ve taken some amazing shots, you must be dying to see what they look like in print! We recommend printing the photos that you are particularly proud of in a bigger size, try 8”x10” or 5”x7”.
Printing your pictures with Minute Photo is great. The app sends your photos to a CVS photo lab so that your pictures are printed near you.
Tip: Turning your screen brightness down a bit when choosing which photos you’d like to print will help ensure that there are no bad surprises when you go to pick them up. Your prints won’t necessarily come out as brightly as you see on the screen.