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Six Tips for Taking Better Photos with Your Smartphone

Updated on March 29, 2015
Today's smartphones are capable of taking impressively high-quality photo.
Today's smartphones are capable of taking impressively high-quality photo. | Source

The development of smartphones that contain built-in high-quality cameras has made recording special moments far easier. After all, you frequently will not have a camera with you and ready when a unique moment occurs; your phone, however, is almost always close at hand. By keeping these simple tips in mind, you can help ensure that your pictures of those special moments are just as beautiful as your memories of them.

# 1: Use the Zoom Feature Sparingly

Most smartphone cameras today include a zoom option, allowing you to take pictures seemingly up close to your target. Unfortunately, in most cases, the more you zoom in, the poorer the quality of the resulting picture. Instead of maxing out your zoom, you will often be better off taking your picture from a distance, then cropping the resulting photo (either immediately on your phone or later on your computer). The final result will generally be of higher quality than if you had simply zoomed all the way in immediately. Of course, the closer you can physically get to your subject, the better.

Moving physically closer to your subject will tend to result in a higher quality photo than overusing your smartphone camera's zoom.
Moving physically closer to your subject will tend to result in a higher quality photo than overusing your smartphone camera's zoom. | Source

# 2: Experiment with Features in your Spare Time

Some time when you are under no pressure to capture the perfect photograph, spend a few minutes playing around with all of your smartphone camera’s various features. This may seem like an obvious piece of advice, but many smartphone owners never follow it – and therefore are never sufficiently familiar with their camera’s features to take advantage of them in the right situation. You might be surprised just how powerful your camera actually is, and how many different situations it is prepared to handle.

Taking the time to familiarize yourself with the various settings and features of your cell phone's camera can help dramatically improve the quality of the pictures you take.
Taking the time to familiarize yourself with the various settings and features of your cell phone's camera can help dramatically improve the quality of the pictures you take. | Source

# 3: Adjust for Dark Settings

Most phone cameras include settings designed to boost picture quality in high-contrast environments, such as when you are photographing fireworks, holiday lights and the like. In addition to using these features, you may be able to further improve your pictures’ appearance by selecting a dark area of the screen, rather than a bright area, as the focal point.

Remember to adjust the mode of your smartphone's camera depending on the light levels of your environment,
Remember to adjust the mode of your smartphone's camera depending on the light levels of your environment, | Source

# 4: Remember to Clean the Lens

Since a smartphone often spends most of its time in a pocket or purse, the camera’s lens tends to quickly become smeared and dusty. To make sure this does not leave your photos looking dingy or smudged, do not forget to periodically clean the lens with a soft lens cloth – especially before special occasions when you know the camera will see heavy use.

Smartphone camera lenses can easily become smudged or dusty.
Smartphone camera lenses can easily become smudged or dusty. | Source

# 5: Stay Away from Filters

To say the least, if your goal is to create a unique, beautiful photo to preserve a special memory, using the same filters everyone else slaps on their pictures is not the right strategy. There is nothing wrong with having fun with filters for your casual shots, but stay away from them for the important ones. At the very least, save a separate copy of the original!

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# 6: Add a Separate Lens

If you truly want to take your smartphone photos to the next level, you will need to add a separate lens. Smartphone lens attachments are available from many different manufacturers, allowing you to capture a far wider view of a large event or a far closer view of a small one while still maintaining high picture quality.

Separate lenses are available for most of today's popular smartphone cameras.
Separate lenses are available for most of today's popular smartphone cameras. | Source

What other suggestions do you have for taking high-quality pictures with a smartphone?

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