7 Tips to Improve your Cell Phone Photos
by Adam Danni
January 5th, 2018
1. Look for leading lines
Find something around you that will draw the viewers eyes to the main part of the image. This could be train tracks, a fence, or a road that lead up to the subject of the photo. Notice in the photo below that I used the road in the foreground as it leads up to City Hall, which is the main focus of the photo.
2. Get lower to the ground
Most people take all their photos standing up right at eye level. If you want to make your photo different from the others you need to think about different angles. One of the easiest is to crouch down and get a lower perspective. Doing this will make the photo more interesting because it is a view that most people don’t usually see. Additionally, it will also help you accentuate the foreground.
3. Shoot when the light is good
The “golden hour” is the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. This is when the light is soft and casts shadows, which creates contrast. You can also get amazing colors in the sky with sunrise and sunset, creating a dramatic backdrop for the subject you’re photographing. Another really good time to shoot is during the "Blue Hour." This is before the sun rises and after the sunset. The sun is far enough below the horizon that it creates a dark blue sky. This is a good time to take photos of city lights with an interesting sky.
4. Don't over edit
I personally believe the worst thing you can do to a photo is crank up the saturation. It looks unnatural and not pleasing to the eye. If you don’t have editing software like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop, you can use Instagram’s in app editing software. Make local adjustments such as bringing down highlights or raising shadows. If you want to increase saturation, only do so by a little in order to maintain a realistic look.
5. When traveling to a popular tourist spot, shoot at sunrise or late at night
The reason I say this is because if you don't want a horde of tourist in your photos, you need to go when they’re usually not there. This would be around sunrise. This past summer I was in Santorini, Greece and the amount of tourists was next level. The streets are narrow and hard to get around with so many people. This also means that those postcard shots you want will have a lot of people in them. I would get up before sunrise everyday and would pretty much have the streets all to myself. It's a much more peaceful way to see amazing spots that are otherwise ruined by people with selfie sticks.
6. Rule of Thirds
Think as if your photo as a large grid. You want your focus points to be where the lines of the grind intersect. Check out Wikipedia for more information https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds
7. HAVE FUN!
Photography should be an enjoyable activity that allows you to enjoy the scenery around you.
***Disclaimer - The example photos I took were on my DSLR and not on a cell phone. The tips still apply to whatever type of camera you are using