Digital Crave

Eight tips to taking better smartphone photos

Digital Crave

View photo

The best camera is the one you have with you, as the modern saying goes.

And while they might not take pictures as well as a standalone camera, the smartphone you tote around with you everywhere is getting much, much better at capturing memories.

In fact, many of today's smartphones have an 8-megapixel or better camera (for added detail), image stabilization (less blurry shots), sensitive sensors (for better low-light photography), superfast shutter speeds (so you don't miss that moment) and HD video recording (720p or 1080p).

Apps can make your shots look even better, or artsy, and because your smartphone has wireless connectivity you can instantly share those photos and videos with the world.

Regardless of the phone you're using, take note of these following tips to taking better photos and videos:

* Lighting is one of the most critical elements in taking a good shot. While many smartphones are shipping with built-in LED flashes, try to take your photos outside and during the day for the best possible image quality — and ensure the sun is behind you and not your subjects or they'll look like a silhouette.

* If you must use your smartphone's flash, know its range limitations. Many people try to take pictures of, say, a banquet hall during a wedding, only to be disappointed because everything is dark image beyond a foot or so.

* Unless you're aiming for a landscape shot, move in close for a better view of your subject. That way, you can capture more facial detail, such as light freckling, a charming dimple or soft pale blues of the iris. Try filling your frame with the subject.

* When shooting photos or videos, try to match the height of the subject, such as kneeling on the ground to snap a picture of a toddler. You'll get better shots when you're at eye level rather than angling the phone up or down. When shooting video, move the phone slowly to prevent blur while recording; with photos, keep your hand as still as possible when you press the shutter button.

* Turn your smartphone sideways when taking photos to get more in — especially when shooting group shots. Use landscape mode as much as you can when taking photos of people in great locations as it will capture the most background — and look better when viewed on a widescreen computer or television.

* Don't always take photos of people posing for the camera as their expression can be can look forced, unnatural and predictable. Some of the best photos of subjects are when they don't realize they're being photographed — but be sure to get their permission before uploading to Facebook, YouTube, and so on.

* Apps can help you easily edit and share photos and videos on your phone (such as iPhoto and iMovie for iPhone users), while the free Instagram (Android and iPhone) adds fun filters such as a brownish sepiatone finish or a retro '70s look. There are thousands of apps available, for all platforms, so experiment away.

* Finally, avoid deleting unwanted photos from your smartphone: they may look great when viewed on a bigger screen; spending time deleting photos right after you took ones you don't like means you might miss an awesome shot; and removing photos prematurely drains the battery on your smartphone. It can wait.

Check out more tech trends and news at Digital Crave.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Kim Kardashian Concierge Reveals New Robbery Details: ‘They Weren’t There for Jewels’

      ET sits down exclusively with the concierge during Kim Kardashian's robbery, who recalls the terrifying events of Oct. 3.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • Larsa Pippen Cheated on Scottie Pippen With Future, Sources Claim

      Multiple sources tell Us Weekly that Larsa Pippen cheated on Scottie Pippen with rapper Future, which led to the former NBA star’s divorce filing — read more

      Us Weekly
    • Hillary Clinton email saga continues as 33,000 erased emails may not be 'missing' after all

      Hillary Clinton just can’t seem to catch a break with her her ongoing email woes. While the consensus was that Clinton’s 33,000 notoriously ‘missing’ emails were permanently destroyed and beyond recovery, newly released FBI notes strongly suggest this might not be the case after all, the NY Post reports. In a May interview with the FBI, an anonymous executive from Platte River Networks (PRN) – the Denver contractor responsible for maintaining Clinton’s private server – revealed that an underling failed to purge all of Clinton’s subpoenaed emails, deleting only the ones he stored in a data file he used to transfer emails to the assistants of the presidential candidate. According to the PRN executive, the democrat’s tech specialist Paul Combetta “created a ‘vehicle’ to transfer email files from the live mailboxes of [Clinton Executive Services Corp.] email accounts.

      The Next Web q
    • Sexy & Gray: 13 Women Who Prove That One Does Not Negate the Other (13 photos)

      Sophie Fontanel — Parisian Instagram star, fashion journalist, and author of The Art of Sleeping Alone — has a thing or two to say about going gray. “Accept yourself and you will see a big change,” she tells Vogue in an Oct. 24 interview focused largely on her decision to stop coloring her hair. Fontanel, who is 54 and has more than 87,000 Instagram followers , takes Vogue readers through her own journey of acceptance that came after what she calls “living a lie” by never letting her roots show. After achieving literary fame in her 50s, she explains, she began noticing beautiful gray-haired women seemingly everywhere she went. She stopped one such woman in Los Angeles. “I was asking, ‘is it easy to be like you are?’ She said, ‘Yes. You know, before I was much more invisible and now I'm really someone strange. Everyone notices me,'” Fontanel recounts. “Life is full of signs. Two months later I was in Rome. There was a second one. Then I was in St-Tropez at a café and there was another woman with long white hair, very chic, in Valentino. She was very sexy. I [said], ‘OK, you're the third woman I've noticed, so tell me, does it take courage to get your hair?’ And she said, ‘No. It takes curiosity.'” The writer was emboldened by these other women, and, after some thought and convincing, decided to let her own locks go natural — but gradually, by growing her roots out slowly, and documenting the transformation on Instagram. Today, she says, she’s “happier than ever.” Click through the slide show above to take in the splendor of Fontanel and a dozen other empowered, curious, and sexy silver-haired women. Let's keep in touch! Follow Yahoo Beauty on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram , and Pinterest .      

      Yahoo Beauty
    • Tim Tebow answered Stephen A. Smith's dumb question with a riveting inspirational speech

      Hate on Tim Tebow all you want, but there’s no denying he’s one of the most motivational guys in sports — period. On Tuesday he appeared with Stephen A. Smith on First Take and dropped the best speech you’ll hear all week. When he was criticized for taking a long shot at making an MLB roster, Tebow dropped the hammer.

      SB Nation q
    • The Real Meaning Behind Snape's First Words in "Harry Potter" Is Absolutely Heartbreaking

      As if dealing with Severus Snape's death and his sad story wasn't tragic enough, a new revelation about the character has come to light – and it's heartbreaking. A serious Harry Potter fan has developed a new theory around Snape's opening line in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. In the film, Snape, played by the late Alan Rickman, asks Harry, 'Tell me, what would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?' While the complexity behind the Potions question went completely over our heads, it turns out that it was very important to the story. The fan, who goes by the name tomhiddles, decoded the meaning behind the words and was shocked at what it really meant.

      Good Housekeeping q
    • The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees Are a Disgrace to Music

      Last week, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced 19 nominees for its class of 2017. Five of these nominees will be inducted into the Hall. I am certain many of the Hall’s members and voters mean well, and I have heard nice things about their museum (which I have not visited). But the Hall, as it exists now, is so deeply flawed that it risks not only having a lack of credibility, but also a lack of validity. In other words, it doesn’t just make mistakes; the mistakes seem to be endemic, built into the fabric of the organization. And you know what? Rock ’n roll deserves better. Rock ’n roll (by which I mean any and all manifestations of music-based expression and art, from King Oliver to Tony

      The New York Observer q
    • Family Heartbroken After 4-Year-Old Is Killed by New Dog Dropped Off Minutes Earlier

      The owner reportedly dropped the dog off less than an hour before the attack.

      Inside Edition
    • Michael Massee, Actor Who Accidentally Killed Brandon Lee During Filming of 'The Crow,' Dies at 61

      Michael Massee, the actor who unfortunately will forever be known as the man who accidentally shot and killed Brandon Lee on the set of the 1994 film The Crow, has died. Massee’s death was first announced by actor Anthony Delon and confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter by a representative of his agent at Greene & Associates in Los Angeles. In just his second movie appearance, Massee was playing a character known as Funboy when he fired a revolver that had been improperly prepared by crew members at Brandon Lee, the son of famed martial arts star Bruce Lee.

      The Hollywood Reporter
    • World Series of Poker player lectures another about being a bully

      Poker is generally a quiet game with occasional banter, but Englishman William Kassouf just doesn’t shut up.

      Sporting News
    • Fisherman surprised at animal creating huge wake on Upper Klamath Lake; video

      Scott Ross was fishing for rainbow trout on the glassy waters of Upper Klamath Lake in Oregon on Saturday when he spotted in the distance an animal swimming toward him, creating a huge wake. He told the Herald and News that at first he thought it could be an otter. “What caught my attention was how big of a wake it was leaving and how fast it was moving,” Ross told the newspaper. Ross noticed Gerald Holt flying his drone nearby and asked him if he could capture aerial footage of the swimming animal, which was out quite a ways. Holt obliged and sent his drone out over Upper Klamath Lake where he caught up with the animal and began filming. “I was really conscious to stay away from it, not to harm q
    • 'Nothing short of a miracle' how kids survived suicidal bridge fall with dad, police say

      "When the officers found the children -- conscious and alert -- it's nothing short of a miracle, that's for sure," said Captain Christopher Depuyt with the Pequannock Police Department.

      WABC – NY
    • Royal feud – why Prince Charles won't allow Beatrice and Eugenie to be pampered princesses

      This question has reportedly left the Queen's two sons, Princes Charles and Andrew, at loggerheads. It also requested that Beatrice, 28, and Eugenie, 26, be granted better accommodation at Kensington Palace – because they are currently tolerating "small" apartments at St James' Palace. The Queen is said to have been "stunned" by her son's proposition and left it to her private secretary Christopher Geidt to sort out.

      International Business Times UK q
    • Man City showing signs that Guardiola's methods aren't working

      There are a number of reasons why the Blues have now not won in their last six matches but this is Guardiola's worst ever run of results and may even shake his supreme confidence.
    • Pollster Frank Luntz: The Trump campaign ‘is an absolute joke’

      Perhaps best known as the wordsmith behind many Republican talking points, Luntz had quite a few zingers about Trump, including one about the GOP nominee’s sometimes stilted delivery of prepared speeches. “Stevie Wonder reads a teleprompter better than Donald Trump,” he jested.

      Yahoo News
    • 10 throwback pictures of Hillary Clinton that will make you melt

      Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton celebrates her 69th birthday today, and we’d like to say: Happy Birthday, HRC!  And what better way…

      Hello Giggles
    • Mama Dog and Her Day-Old Pups Rescued Right Before Being Put Down

      The whole dog family is now happy with a foster mom.

      Inside Edition
    • IT HAPPENED TO ME: My Boyfriend Turned Out to Be a Slumlord

      In March of 2016, Malcolm* and I decided to move in together. We’d been dating for just about four months. It was alarmingly fast, but it felt right. We spent just about every waking second together.We met on Tinder and had an instant connection, even though our personalities were a bit mismatched. ...

    • Philippines' Duterte wants US troops out in two years

      Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday he wants US troops out of his country within two years and is willing to scrap defence pacts with longtime ally Washington if necessary. The remarks, made during a high-profile visit to Japan, follow a series of anti-American tirades by the firebrand leader. "I want, maybe in the next two years, my country free of the presence of foreign military troops," Duterte told an economic forum in Tokyo, in a clear reference to US forces, ahead of a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

    • Walking Dead season 7: Steven Yeun opens up about Glenn's last words to Maggie before death

      The Walking Dead season 7's premiere episode saw Negan unleashing unspeakable wrath on Rick Grimes's group and killing Glenn and Abraham by smashing their skulls with his bat Lucille. Glenn's death was long coming as fans were speculating that the show will follow the path of the Comic book written by Robert Kirkman. "I'll find you Maggie" he told his pregnant wife before the notorious Savior leader bludgeoned him to death.

      International Business Times UK q