Download the FREE SBS Radio App for a better listening experience
Ace photographer Vandan Desai shares his tips on how to click amazing photographs on your smartphone camera.
1. Keep your Camera with you
When it comes to photography, the best camera is the one that is always with you. This could be
your DSLR, a simple point and shoot camera or your smartphone. And when this camera is with
you always, you are constantly looking for opportunities to take pictures; be it when my son is
busy painting himself, or when my dog is caught in the moment or sitting on the 17th floor at
work in New York city.
2. Always use two hands to Shoot
It is very important to take sharp and crips pictures. And for this you need steady hands. Two
hands give you stability, and once again it doesn't matter if its your DSLR, a simple point and
shoot or a smartphone.
When you are using two hands be gentle with your phone. Its not a DSLR.
Smartphone Tip: A lot of tips suggest to use the volume buttons to take picture since at that
position the phone feels more like a camera. However if you have bigger hands, the slim and
light smartphone does shake. I personally use the screen 90% of the time - and tap the screen
3. Keep it Simple
Avoid chaos. Everything in the image should contribute to the mood and emotion you want to
Today smartphones is the most common medium where pictures are viewed or shared. This is
one of the reasons to keep the image simple and clean. Always look for readable patterns.
4. It's all about the light
The quality of light can determine if you have a good picture or not. Avoid sunny and direct light
especially when taking portraits. I personally like shooting in overcast bright light; they give a
very good contrast and saturated colors.
Also when it comes to smartphones, they do no have magical powers. Look for softer light.
Shoot during the golden hour which is an hour after sunrise and hour before sunset.
5. Try to get at the same level as your subject
Shooting from a low angle or a higher angle tends to skew your subjects which make them look
weird especially if people are involved. On smartphones this is very apparent because they are
equipped with a wide angle lens. Always get to the same level as your subject. While shooting in
areas with tall buildings (like New York city), the buildings in the background will skew. For this
use Lightroom or smartphone apps like SKRWT to fix this skewness.
6. Avoid Digital Zoom
Avoid! The moment you zoom, you loose quality on your images. Walk closer if possible. Also,
try to invest in accessories like a Moment Lens that adds an extra layer glass on your lenses.
This gives your optical zoom.
7. Reflections, Symmetry & Silhouettes
All these three themes are good themes to capture moments. They are everywhere around you,
in water puddles, windows, mirrors, shiny objects when it comes to Reflections, architecture
and objects when symmetry is concerned and when extremely low and bright light, there are
always silhouettes. They give a different perspective to your pictures.
8. Shoot Panoramas
I prefer shooting panoramas since they give the ability to showcase the place you are at. Every
place I visit, I try to capture the essence of the place by taking a panorama shot.
9. Create a sense of scale
This is one of the most important aspects of landscape photography be it on a professional
camera or an iPhone. It’s always good to try to include a person or an object in your scene to
give a sense of scale.
10. Invest in Accessories
You will be amazed at the amount of accessories that are available for just photography when it
comes to the smartphones. A couple of things that I would recommend is an optical lens. This
will give your smartness an optical zoom which is extremely useful. For stability for low light
photography, invest in a small tripod. You can use this tripod for multiple things, time lapse
shots, or capturing light trains are a few examples that I constantly try and capture.