How to make your CELL PHONE Photos better:

I am trying to cover all the bases when it comes to photography. And I think that almost everyone takes photos with their smart phones. When I see some of the photos that come from a smart phone, I think: Wow! This person needs some tips on how to take GOOD photos with their cell phone! Am I the only one? Those photos that come on Facebook that you can tell have a big fingerprint on their lenses, gets me every time. So, I hope everyone that has a cell phone will read through this. PLEASE !!!

By Matty Graham Take your phone photography to the next level with these top tips, tricks and ideas…

As the saying goes; the best camera is the one you have with you and for most of us, 99% of the time that’s our smartphones. Smartphone cameras have come on leaps and bounds over recent years and now offer high resolution and advanced features that put some ‘regular’ cameras to shame. 

Some photographers prefer to only shoot with a DSLR or mirrorless camera, but for those who are happy to whip out the phone and capture a frame, how can you improve on your results? Well, as it turns out, there’s quite a bit you can do to improve your chances of bagging a great image when shooting with your smartphone, so here’s some tips, tricks and suggestions on technique to take your photos to the next level…

One – Clean the lens and screen

Smartphones live in our bags and pockets so there’s every chance that when you pull the phone out to take an image that the lens may well be covered in fluff or dust. Before taking your photo, use a microfiber cloth to give the lens a quick clean as this will improve overall image quality and save you time editing out and dust speckles in Photoshop later. For good measure, also give your screen a wipe so you get a proper view on what you are lining up in front of the lens.

Give your lens a clean before use.

Two – Use the grid lines for composition

Like ‘regular’ cameras, virtually every smartphone benefits from grid lines that overlay the screen. These grid lines can be used to help you set up a balanced composition by following compositional formulas like the rule of thirds, which suggest placing important focal points on intersecting thirds and balancing landscapes by placing two thirds of the sky in the frame and leaving one third for the foreground (or vice versa). Using the grid lines will also help deliver level horizons so you can save time and pixels not needing to level the image in post processing.

Grid lines can help with composition.

Three – Balance exposure using sunglasses

Like normal cameras, smartphone sensors have a limited dynamic range and some scenes with strong lighting can cause problems. A quick solution if you don’t have dedicated accessories for your phone is to use a pair of sunglasses to balance the exposure. By placing one of the sunglasses lenses in front of your phone, it will act as a ND filter, reducing the amount of harsh light in the scene passing through onto the sensor. If you have sunglasses with a graduated tint, you can also use these as a makeshift ND grad filter to balance the difference in light between a bright sky and a dark foreground.

Sunglasses can be used as a makeshift filter.

Four – Try out a phone tripod

If you are planning a trip and know you’ll be taking a lot of photos with your phone, then it could be worth investing in a little tripod built especially to house smartphones. Not only will this help you get level horizons, but it will also keep the phone steady if you end up using a longer shutter speed. Lastly, as an extra benefit, you can position the tripod, activate the self-timer mode and jump into the scene to capture a selfie.

Need a selfie? Buy a tripod for your smartphone.

Five – Embrace accessories

For those serious about their phone photography, there are a number of accessories that will certainly up your game. Brands like NiSi and Neewer make dedicated filters and lenses that will sit in front of the camera and either balance the exposure or change the lens’ effective focal length or magnification ratio, opening up new creative opportunities.

Accessories are available for serious smartphone shooters.

Six – Get creative with shooting angles

Today’s smartphones are slim and robust, enabling photographers to experiment with compositions and shooting angles. This allows shooters to get the camera low to the ground or high in the air for an unusual shooting angle – more waterproofed phones can even be dipped in the water to create a ‘half and half’ frame.

Get low for a worm’s-eye view of the world.

Seven – Set the focus point

Too many photographers rely on the smartphone’s autofocus to lock on to subjects, but the best practice is to establish a focus point by tapping on the screen to guide the camera to focus over a certain area. With the majority of smartphones, this technique also help the camera meter for the scene, too.

Use the touchscreen to establish focus.

Eight – Don’t be afraid to go close

Today’s newer smartphones boast a minimum focusing distance of just a few cm, enabling photographers to get close up to their subjects and capture frame-filling photos of small objects. This is a great technique to try, not only because it enables you to showcase details in a new way, but also because close-up imagery provides a pleasing alternative to more traditional, wider-angle views.

Get close up imagery with your smartphone.

Nine – Backup images to a cloud service

When you shoot with a regular camera, you then need to transfer your images via Wi-Fi or download them to your computer before you can share them, or back them up to a cloud based solution. Using a smartphone shortcuts this process, enabling photographers to either instantly share their images on platforms like Twitter or Instagram, or to upload them to a cloud-based software so that they are safe and sound, just in case the worst happens and you lose or damage your phone.

Ten – Polish pics in apps

Lastly, once you have taken your image, there’s no need to transfer it back to your computer as there are plenty of image-editing apps that will help you polish the pixels to perfection. The obvious contenders are Lightroom and Photoshop Express, which are versions of the popular software designed especially for smartphone photographers, but there are additional options such as Snapseed. All these apps let you make common adjustments to the image such as enhancing saturation, cropping and conversions to mono.

Edit images directly on your phone with apps like Lightroom.

Here are some photos that I have taken with my cell phone:

HOW TO MAKE YOUR MACRO OR FLOWER PHOTOS TACK SHARP!

Macro photography is a very interesting subject for photographers. People love to shoot small objects like insects, flowers, waterdrops, etc. With macro photography, a photographer can show the tiniest details about the subject – details that are not possible to see with the naked eye. Today, let’s find out how to amaze viewers by taking colorful and razor-sharp macro photos of flowers.

razor-sharp-macro-photos-of-flowers

What you’ll need to capture razor-sharp macro photos of flowers

Camera body

You’ll be taking photographs, which means you will obviously need a camera body. But which camera body is good for macro photography – a full-frame or a crop-sensor camera?

Different photographers have different answers to this question. Each body has advantages over the other. With a crop-sensor camera, you can get a larger focal length with the same lens so that you don’t have to get very close to the subject. A crop sensor also gives you a deeper depth of field as compared to a full-frame body, which means you can keep more of the subject in focus.

On the other hand, a full-frame body reveals more details because of the larger sensor size. It also performs better in low-light conditions. So, ultimately, all bodies are good for macro photography, whether you have a crop-sensor camera or a full-frame camera, or whether it’s a DSLR or mirrorless.

razor-sharp-macro-photos-of-flowers

Lens

Lens choice is important in macro photography.

A true macro lens gives you 1:1 magnification, which means the size of your subject can be the same as your sensor size. In other words, if you have a full-frame body that has a 36mm x 24mm sensor size, you can fill the entire frame with a subject that is 36mm x 24mm in size. This gives you the opportunity to get really close to the subject and capture all the details.

However, don’t worry if you don’t have a dedicated macro lens. You can use extension tubes or a reverse ring with two lenses. Alternatively, you can use a cheaper option called macro close-up filters.

Flash and diffuser

A flash is a very important piece of equipment in macro photography. It helps you take razor-sharp pictures and capture bright colors. It also helps you avoid blurry images resulting from the shake of the camera.

A flash diffuser is equally as important as the flash. It softens the light and brings out the details and colors. You can use a mini softbox or domes or MagSphere, or you can simply put a diffuser cloth in front of the flash or bounce it with a white card.

You can use the flash on the camera hot-shoe or, if you have wireless flash triggers, you can use the off-camera flash. This will give you better results, but you will need someone to hold it.

How to Take Vibrant, Razor-Sharp Macro Photos of Flowers

Things to remember:

1. Depth of field

The first thing to remember when it comes to getting razor-sharp macro photos of flowers is depth of field (DOF). DOF is very important in macro photography. If you are shooting with a true macro lens with 1:1 magnification and your aperture is f/4, you’ll get only 1-2mm of total DOF. So, chances are, you won’t get everything you want in focus.

The solution is a smaller aperture. With an f/16 aperture, you can easily get 5-6mm total DOF and have everything you want in focus.

However, with such a small aperture, you’ll need lots of light. That’s why a flash is necessary for macro photography.

How to Take Vibrant, Razor-Sharp Macro Photos of Flowers

2. Focusing

Many photographers suggest that manual focus is better for macro photography, but I disagree with them.

I always use autofocus when taking macro pictures.

Why?

Because it’s easy, it’s fast, and you have fewer chances of taking out-of-focus pictures because both hands are free to hold the camera.

Just make sure that your hands and camera don’t move between focus lock and taking the picture.

3. Background

To achieve razor-sharp macro photos of flowers, you should always consider the background. In most cases, the background will be blurred, but, still, it should be clean and have contrasting colors.

4. Look from different angles

When we take photos of flowers, we usually take them from the top or the side. However, sometimes a flower can be very beautiful from the back, too.

When you are searching for a subject to shoot, always look it from different angles so that you can see and click something extraordinary – something that others can’t.

razor-sharp-macro-photos-of-flowers

5. Dead flowers can be great subjects, too

We always try to take photos of fresh flowers, but sometimes dead flowers can be great subjects, as in the following image. When a flower is dead, and all the petals have fallen, it starts preparing seeds.

Sometimes those seeds look very beautiful and can be good subjects to shoot macro.

razor-sharp-macro-photos-of-flowers

6. Shoot in RAW

To achieve razor-sharp macro photos of flowers, always shoot in RAW format because RAW files contain more details. Therefore, when you sharpen the image and enhance the colors in post-processing, you’ll get better results.

When you open a RAW image in post-processing software, it’ll look dull and lack sharpness, colors, and contrast. Don’t lose heart after seeing this. After a little bit of post-processing, it can often be better than a JPG image from the camera.

How to Take Vibrant, Razor-Sharp Macro Photos of Flowers

7. Keep your hands steady

A tripod is not a useful tool in macro photography because you’ll need to click at unusual angles.

If you have a moving subject, like insects, chances are, they’ll go away before you set up your tripod. So, it’s better to take photos with a handheld camera. Keep your elbows inside, which will give you support and lower your chances of camera shake.

8. Practice and be patient

If, after doing everything you have read in this article, you take photos that aren’t coming out sharp, don’t be disheartened. Have patience, and keep practicing. Eventually, you’ll get razor-sharp macro photos of flowers.

razor-sharp-macro-photos-of-flowers

Keep clicking and share your pictures here. If you need help, just ask me. I am always here to assist.

Here’s more macro photos to enjoy:

nature summer purple yellow
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
white and purple petal flower focus photography
Photo by Anthony on Pexels.com
brown and pink doughnut with sprinkles
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com
red garden plant green
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Photos of the Week: Macro Photography / flowers:

This week, I focused on a subject of close-up photography. That is truly a fascinating subject, and very intriguing photos. But, there is so much beauty in macro photography, I am sure everyone will enjoy these photos. The expertise of the photographers is amazing, and fun to see their creativity as they shoot macro photography. I hope you enjoy these photos:

white and purple petal flower focus photography
Photo by Anthony on Pexels.com
closeup photography of purple silk flowers with dewdrops
Photo by Anthony on Pexels.com
blade of grass blur bright close up
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
macro photography of gray and yellow caterpillar
Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com
macro photography of brown beetle with dew drops
Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com
pink and yellow lily flower in closeup photo
Photo by Thierry Fillieul on Pexels.com
brown hummingbird selective focus photography
Photo by Philippe Donn on Pexels.com
black and white butterfly on red flower
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
brown praying mantis in close up photography
Photo by Brandon Phan on Pexels.com
red dragonfly
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
nature water eyes pond
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
closeup photo of red and white mushroom
Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com
lighted matchstick on brown wooden surface
Photo by Sebastian Sørensen on Pexels.com
people face child eye
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com
close up photo of ulysses butterfly perched on red flower
Photo by EDD Sylvia Nenntwich on Pexels.com
blue and yellow flame painting
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
butterfly perched on flower photography
Photo by myungho lee on Pexels.com
black and white butterfly perch on yellow petaled flower
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
black background bubble clean clear
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
abstract art beautiful bloom
Photo by asim alnamat on Pexels.com
macro photography of butterfly near lights
Photo by emkae junior on Pexels.com

Amazing photos, amazing artists. Hope you check in tomorrow’s blog for more information on taking close-up photos.