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How To Take Better Photos On Your Phone

If you’ve ever looked at images on the internet and wondered how it was taken or why your images don’t look like that? You’ve come to the right place! I’m going to show you how to take better photos on your phone and how to edit them for upload, in less than 5 minutes.

Understand your light

When it comes to figuring out how to take better photos the principal step is knowing where and what your light source is.

Camera Light explained

Perspective – What are you trying to capture?

As broad as that sounds, it’s honestly something you need to figure out. Who or what is your subject? Once you’ve established that you can begin of thinking of ways to capture them in the best way.

The first step would be to turn on your Gridlines:

To switch the grid on …

  • iPhone: Go to “Settings,” choose “Photos & Camera,” and switch “Grid” on.
  • Samsung Galaxy: Launch the camera app, go to “Settings,” scroll down and switch the “grid lines” option to “on.”

Now you can begin to play with composition (‘Where things are going to be’). [Here] is a great selection of different types of composition you can play around with. Just by duplicating their composition style you’ll see before your very own eyes, how the placement of your surroundings can improve your photos.

Shoot to edit

This is the bit I probably enjoy the most. You’ve done easy work, you now know how to take better photos. Now comes the part where you can really make your image stand out amongst the crowd.

Below are some sample iPhone 6s Images I captured during my travels. I’m going to show you how you can edit them from standard to amazing using the app SnapSeed.

Images that are brighter and contain more blue tones are known to do more favorably on Instagram.

Below are two different types of images, both shot in two different light environments.

Boracay, Philippines.

This simple edit is really easy to achieve, tweaking only a few settings on SnapSeed.

SnapSeed Dashboard - PalmTree - FlunkingMonkey

Above you can see the array of editing options you can select from in SnapSeed. For this edit, all I am going to be using is the Tune Image and Curves sections.

SnapSeed Tune - PalmTree - FlunkingMonkey

The best way to learn how to use this tool is to look at what the extremes of each setting do to the image. You will slowly begin to realise how to use these tweaks to adjust your image to where you want it to be.

SnapSeed Tune Edit - PalmTree - FlunkingMonkey

In my original image, I knew that it was already bright but it didn’t really pop so I increased the brightness and then reduced the highlights to bring back some detail in the distance. As I was standing under the palm tree there was a lot of shadows so I chose to lift some of that away to bring back more of the leaf details. Lastly, I knew the original image was sort of just one solid colour, so I desaturated the blues and added slight ‘orange’ through the warmth slider, replicating the sun.

SnapSeed Curves - PalmTree - FlunkingMonkey

The last step I tend to take whenever editing images on my phone are to adjust the image curves. The curves control the light in the image, splitting the graph in the quarters the top right quarter controls the overall highlights and the bottom left controls the overall shadows.

I like to push the highlights to add a bit of glow to the image whilst slightly deepening the shadows. As a final adjustment, I usually push up where the base of the line curve starts to add a bit of fade to the image, which gives it that extra bit of depth.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.

 

SnapSeed Dashboard - Ha Long Bay - FlunkingMonkey

As you can see the light in Ha Long Bay was very different to that of in Boracay. What I want the viewer to focus on here is very different. So here I’m only going to focus on the top two sections, Tune image and Details.

SnapSeed Details - Ha Long Bay - FlunkingMonkey

In my original picture a lot of the details in the islands was blown out due to the light, so to bring some of that detail back in I have to increase the structure and sharpen the image.

SnapSeed Details Edit - Ha Long Bay - FlunkingMonkeyOnce completed I only now had to tune the photo to get to where I needed it.

SnapSeed Tune Image - Ha Long Bay - FlunkingMonkey

I knew my main focus here was to bring out more of the deep greens of Ha Long Bay, so by increasing the Saturation more of the colour started to pop. By reducing the Highlights less reflection of light was visible on the water really allowing it to POP!

Well, I hope you guys found this guide quick and easy to follow! Let me know below if you have any questions!
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How To Take Better Phone Photos - FlunkingMonkey


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