The camera in the smartphone you hold today contains everything you need to be a great photographer. The technology surpasses that available to some of the greatest photographers in history. In understanding some of the principles of good photography, your smartphone's capabilities and limitations is a good way to start.
Don't Over Use Apps and Filters
There are a lot of photo apps available on any smartphone including filters and photo editing apps. Many of these are fun and can be a novelty for sharing with friends and family, but just because you have these apps doesn't mean you have to use them frequently. Even the best red-eye reduction filter won't help a poorly-shot photo. Concentrate on taking a great picture first, with adequate lighting and a good composition. You can then use photo apps to add to a great photo if you want, instead of trying to make up for a poorly taken photo.
Use Your Flash Wisely
The LED light on a smartphone unnecessarily receives a lot of bad press on many photography blogs. You can save yourself a lot of heartache if you experiment with your smartphone flash and learn when it works well for you and when it doesn't. Try using the camera with the flash either on or off, instead of relying on the auto flash. When shooting indoors, you won't usually need the flash if you turn on a few lights and make sure they are well-positioned. Turning the flash on when you're outside taking a portrait shot can often lighten the face and reduce shadows caused by direct sunlight.
Frame Your Shots
Before tapping the shutter button on your smartphone camera, take a look at what you see on the screen. When taking a photo of someone, we tend to focus our attention only on the person's face. When people look at a photo, however, they look at the entire photo. Force yourself to look at the corners of the screen and ask yourself how this will look if it were printed and framed. Move forward or backward as needed or change the angle of the shot until the entire screen contains exactly what you want in the photo.
Rules of Composition
Study other photos and photography books to determine what makes the difference between a great photo and an ordinary snapshot. Lines in a photo, like railway tracks or clotheslines, can enhance the photo if you are properly positioned. Textures and patterns often make for interesting photographs, too. Understanding color composition, back lighting, side lighting and the rule of thirds will also help you create amazing photos.
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