There has never been a time when we have had so much technology at arms length, 24 hours a day. Although our Apple and Android devices have more capabilities than almost any point and shoot of the past, they still have their flaws due to their fixed focal length and lack of other features found in a manual camera. But just a few inexpensive add ons can take your phone photography to the next level.
Top Five Tips for Great Phonetography
1. Add ons – as with our more expensive manual cameras, you can add functionality to your phone with clip on lenses. Generally fairly inexpensive, these can range from fish eye, macro, telephoto and wide angle versions.
2. There’s an app for that – By now we are all familiar with Instagram and it’s filters. These help to encapsulate styles and techniques that used to be achieved by choice of film or tricks in the darkroom. Use them carefully and with thought to how they might enhance the shot. Try Afterlight (Apple $1.29 | Android $1.06), Camera+ (Apple $3.29), Camera360 Ultimate (Apple Free | Android Free), DSLR Camera Pro (Android $3.79) and Flare Effects (Apple Free) for flare filters.
3. Fixed view – Although small, a phone tripod is a good investment, especially if you are concentrating on still life and food photography. It will allow you to frame your shot and be able to move elements around without having to reset the shot.
4. Edit it up – Even if you don’t have Photoshop, in phone edits are a cinch with an app or two. With Effects Studio (Apple $1.99), Snapseed (Android Free) or Fotograf (Apple $2.49) you can adjust hue and saturation, white balance and more.
5. No time for selfies – If you take your photography a little more seriously, you are best to shoot using the camera on the back of the phone, rather than the one you would use for a selfie. This camera is designed to shoot at higher resolution. Also, where possible, zoom in manually, by moving the phone closer to the subject, rather than zooming within the camera. This will result in better quality shots.