Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Smartphone Photography Tips

What's the advantage of shooting with your smartphone ?

In short, it’s a time-saver: You can shoot, edit, and list your photos in one go. And you won’t get caught up in cords to transfer photos from your phone to a computer. Secondly, if you don’t have a DSLR or a point-and-shoot, phoneography will save you money.

1. Make sure you have plenty of light. This is particularly useful when you are doing a product , person or object photography.When you’re shooting in a low-light environment, your smartphone knows. To compromise, your phone adjusts the exposure to let in as much light as possible. The result is “noise” — that not-so-pretty grainy look. Here’s the fix: Fill your shooting area with light! We recommend the following three tips to illuminate your product from every angle. You’ll achieve the best results with all three, but if anything, choose one of the first two and a bounce card.
  1. Shoot near a window.
  2. Use an external source of light, such as a flash or lamp.
  3. Use a bounce card, which is a white mat board or foam.

2. Use a tripod or a timer. Camera shake comes from touching your camera to set off the shutter. Though you might think your phone should be able to remain still while you tap the shutter, truth is, it’s so lightweight and small that it shakes ever so slightly. 

3. Avoid zooming. Using your phone’s zooming feature delivers similar results as cropping your photo to provide a closer view. The process actually decreases the quality of your photo because it enlarges your photo without changing the resolution. If your goal is to take quality item close-up shots, try phone lenses. Macro lenses provide an incredibly close-up view of your product, which is good for showing fine detail. You can also play around with fisheye, telephoto, and wide-angle lenses. 

Smartphone Editing Tips

1. Shoot a-plenty, then edit down. Your phone’s photo gallery is like your contact sheet, a term that photographers used back in the analog days for a sheet that displayed all their negatives on one page. Seeing similar shots side-by-side will help you figure out which angle looks the best. Nowadays, Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Bridge serve as a digital version of a contact sheet.
Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to shoot lots of photos — change up the angles, backgrounds, or setups. Viewing your “contact sheet” will help you quickly edit down.
2. Sharpen. Sharpening your photos will bring out item details that buyers are eager to see. A number of editing apps include sharpening tools. I like Snapseed because it has other useful tools and is free for both iOS and Android users.
3. Enhance color. There are several photo editing tools. You might not even have to go to an external app to get your photos looking good before you upload them. You’ll want to pay attention to how bright, dark, or off-color your photos are. The tools include an auto-enhance feature, which provides a subtle boost in brightness and color — so you can get creative with your item photos.
Pro Tip: If your photo has a strange blue or orange hue, you’ll want to adjust the white balance. Snapseed has a good white balance tool. 
4. Rotate and crop. Do you have a perfect item photo that needs just a tweak of positioning or framing? Keep in mind, if you need to significantly crop the photo, you might be better off re-shooting.
Story and Photo by Lisbeth Ortega
Lisbeth Ortega is the editor of Photojojo. For more phoneography tips, check out Photojojo University

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