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Taking mobile photos like a pro (well, almost)

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Wednesday, 6 April 2016 - Last Updated on April 6, 2016
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In the culture of sharing photos and status updates on Social Media sites, one of the most important gadgets to be had these days is a good quality mobile phone camera. For some however, a good quality mobile phone camera just doesn’t make the cut: the camera has to be of superior quality so that none or minimal editing need to be done to the photos intended for online publishing.

Almost gone are the days that people bring with them their compact point-and-shoot cameras or their bulky DSLR cameras for daily photo taking tasks. Not only does it take a lot of effort to transfer files from their cameras to upload online, it is also a hassle to get the cameras out of the bags when opportunities needing photographic skills present themselves unexpectedly. With mobile cameras that are sleek, easy to use and compact with  wifi/3G/LTE capabilities, taking photos and photo sharing has never been as easy as before.

Quality mobile camera

What comprises a good quality mobile camera?

  1. Ease of use. A mobile camera should be easy to use for instances of stealth and agility in taking photos of, for example, a celebrity spotted at the mall, a bird perched on a window sill or the sun setting on the horizon at the beach.
  2. Photo quality. Mobile cameras are now equipped with double-digit megabytes. These megabytes, more often than not, mean clearer photos.
  3. Storage capability. These double-digit megabytes take a lot of memory size so it is best that the mobile camera is equipped with expandable memory or online photo storage to avoid running out of memory space.
  4. Other features: panorama shots, white balance features, macro shot/sports/night and low light features, filters, clear front camera, superior video capacity and quality, slow-motion and time-lapse capabilities.
  5. Affordability. High-end mobile cameras are more expensive than the mid-range mobile cameras. However, a cheaper camera does not necessarily take lower-quality pictures, especially when proper usage is done and its features are utilized well and maximized.

Remember the saying: it is not the “pana” or arrow but the Indian. In short, sometimes, it doesn’t matter if the mobile camera is the most expensive among the lot. If the  user doesn’t know how to use the mobile camera properly, then the photos be short of the expected outcome.

Here are a few tips in taking good mobile photos:

Don’t just point and shoot. Try these handy tips:

* Angle your camera and take photos at an unlikely angle to make your photo unique.

* If you are taking photos of people sitting down, it is best to put the mobile phone above the heads of the sitting people. This way, the bulging middles, which is a big concern, are minimized.

* Avoid taking photos of people where the camera is lower than the head to avoid getting facial “double chins” in the photos.

* To emphasize height, take photos from a lower angle.

* To see the entirety of a place, take panoramic shots.

* If you like to take photos of details, use the macro shot capability of your mobile camera. If there’s none, try to put the mobile camera near the object’s details you want to take photos of and take your shot when the details can be seen clearly on the screen.

* To take clear photos, tap the screen of your mobile camera until the desired clarity is achieved. If it is not possible, try to press lightly on the shutter button until the details are clear.

Crop your photos. Cropping out parts of the photo you’d rather not show or people who are not supposed to be in the photos are just two reasons cropping is essential. Mobile cameras have a few basic functions like cropping and use of filters, among others. Utilize these features. You can also use mobile camera photography apps to help you with the use of cropping tools and filters.

Use natural light. Taking photos outdoors always give clear and crisp photos. If doing a photo shoot at different locations, choose someplace where there is natural light. Mornings give muted colors, noons give crisp natural light while afternoon sun gives shadows and depth to the photos.

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Avoid shadows. If you plan to take photos of your food under overhead lights or using natural light, be sure to avoid including your shadow holding your mobile camera included in the photo. Crop that part if it can be done. Or better yet, change the position of the food on the table.


Use filters but only minimally so as not to change the overall presentation of the photo.

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Accessorize. Instead of just featuring your cup of coffee latte art, include your ebook gadget or your real book or journal and pen to make it look like you are not just reading a book or writing on your journal, but you are enjoying your cuppa too. Don’t put too many accessories to avoid too much clutter.

Use a plain background like red, black or white. Doing so will make the photos look crisp and uncluttered. The colors will also be more vibrant.

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Go minimal. Minimalist photos will give your photos a little bit of mystery. For example, instead of showing the whole facade of a structure like a church where people are standing in front having their photos taken, focus on the steeple or the belfry or even the closed doors with its intricate design. Take your photo from another angle This way, you won’t be irritated about having objects you’d rather not have show in your photos.

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Look at the background where you will take your photos. You don’t want a wall-mounted deer’s horns protruding out of your dad’s head, nor tree branches looking like these are coming out of someone’s ears, right? Choose an area that is clear of these things. If unavoidable, crop the photo.

Learn your mobile camera’s functions for optimal quality. In short: read and understand the instruction manual. Watch videos on how to utilize your mobile camera’s functions. Experiment. Choose the best photo among your photos for sharing and uploading on your Social Media accounts. You can always delete the photos that are below your standard.

Use a tripod. Now you don’t need to get a tripod for mobile cameras just yet because there are lots of DIY videos that will teach you how to make your own tripod without spending a cent. Try one that fits your mobile camera.

Lastly: HOLD YOUR BREATH when you take a photo. Now, this last tip is what I personally do whenever I take photos, I take a deep breath and hold it in whenever I press the shutter button. Breathing out will make the hands move thus blurring the photo you take. Try it.

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Photo credits: Julie Custodio-Fuertes

Julie Fuertes-Custodio (33 Posts)

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