You can take really cool photos with smartphones these days. What was impossible a few years ago has now become possible.
Bright Side wants to show you a few tricks with composition, light or the technical settings on your phone to get great pictures finishing with a truly surprising bonus.
1. Macro lens
A macro lens allows you to photograph very small objects in fine detail. Use a drop of water to make your own macro lens.
2. DIY camera stabilizer
Use a soft drink bottle as a camera stabilizer. Use a rubber band to hold the mobile phone around a bottle.
Take a photo of a dog, a cat or anything you want and then take another photo of yourself with the first image.
4. Multicolored filter
Cover the camera with clear tape, and paint the tape with markers. We used blue and red, but you can use any color you choose.
5. Taking photos from above
Attach your phone to the ceiling with tape to get the perfect shot from above.
6. Needle and business card
Make a tiny hole in a business card, and place it in front of the camera to get soft delicate photos.
7. Placemat or paper
Attach a placemat or a piece of paper (white or colored) to the wall to take a photo without any sharp angles or corners.
8. DIY light box
All you need is a box, thin fabric, white paper and a couple of lights. The result is so professional that nobody will believe that you paid only a few dollars for this setup.
9. The rule of thirds
Split your image up horizontally or vertically into thirds, and try to place the subject of interest on one of those lines or intersections. It’s even better if you place them where the thirds intersect.
Diagonal lines provide a sense of movement and force and help create a strong impression of perspective and depth, which can draw the viewer into the image.
11. Technical settings
ISO and shutter speed affect the brightness and darkness of your image.
ISO measures light sensitivity. The lower the number, the less sensitive your camera is to light. It basically acts as a light amplifier, giving shots a greater chance of being captured in dim environments.
You can play with these settings when there is not enough natural light or when you deliberately want overexposed pictures.
You may need to practice a bit to get what you want because even the best apps have limitations.
The autofocus on a smartphone’s camera is very good these days, but adjusting the focus manually can completely change the main feature of the picture. In some cases, it can give you more control over what you want to deliver with your photo.
13. White balance control
White balance control lets you manage colors and get more options. You can make something look natural, compromising the effect of the natural light. Or you can make something look completely unnatural and get an entirely different result.
14. Colored filters
Using colored filters can make a photo look very surreal. You can place some film or plastic in front of the camera to get stunning results.
15. Avoid flash
The light from the flash setting can leave traces of an unwanted reflection. Instead of using flash, adjust your camera’s ISO and shutter speed settings. You can also use direct light from a flashlight. It may not always give you the perfect effect, but it is worth trying.
16. Forget zooming in
Professional photographers say that your feet are the best zoom for photography. In other words, do not zoom but get closer to the subject if you want to have good pics. Of course, if it’s possible.
17. Crop photos
Cropping can dramatically change the whole impression of a photo.
Bonus: Turn your phone into a hologram projector
This trick will allow you to turn your phone into a hologram projector. All you need is a plastic CD cover, a sharp knife, tape, and some patience. Have fun!
There are so many ways to make photos look cool and professional. Some are basic; some are very advanced. We are sure you have your own special tricks for taking outstanding photos with a smartphone. Share yours in the comments. And don’t forget to share this article with your friends!
Preview photo credit ian dooley / unsplash