10 Tips for Taking Great Vacation Photos with a Smartphone

If only I knew! Mine always turn out blurry!

But no worries — I consulted experts! From around the web, that is! So, without further comment, here they are:

1. Clean your lens.

From cnet.com:

Smartphones spend a lot of time in hands, pockets and purses which all present opportunities for oils and lint to collect on the surface of the lens. Take a moment to remove any “extras” from overlapping your next photo.

2. Learn the response time.

From cnet.com:

There’s usually a delay between the time you press the digital shutter button to the time the actual photo is taken. Yes, it’s a very small delay, but staying still for that brief moment can be the difference between a beautiful photo and a blurry one. Get a feel for the delay by taking a few sample shots.

3. Check your photo settings.

From wix.com:

All Smartphones today can take pictures in different resolutions, so we can change the size of the file (for sending a photo through an MMS or email, for example). Be sure to take your photos in the highest-quality available, to minimize the limitations of your Smartphone camera.

4. Hold the Smartphone like a camera.

From wix.com:

One of the reasons that professional cameras take such beautiful, sharp pictures is their weight, which serves as a stabilizer. Since smartphones are getting smaller & lighter by the day it’s important to compensate for this lack of stability by “anchoring” your phone correctly – hold your smartphone as close as possible to your body, instead of holding it with your arms stretched (after all, you are taking pictures, not dancing tango).

5. Never use the mobile zoom.

From cnn:

“It’s terrible and the first step to an unsuccessful image. If you want to get close, zoom with your feet! Get close and your images improve,” Richard Koci Hernandez, iPhone street photographer, said.

6. Shoot from the hip for better candids.

From cnn:

“Hold the phone about waist-level and tap away. Your friends and family will not know what you’re doing. Be sneaky about it. The moment they know you’re shooting, the images become less candid. You’ll get a lot more bad shots, but when you get a good one, you’ll want to hang it on the wall!” Hernandez said.

7. Use your light.

From lifehacker:

It’s important with all cameras to make sure your subject is facing the light source and you’re not, but it’s even more important with cameraphones (Unless, of course, you want to take a silhouette—like all rules, this can be bent). Your phone’s biggest weakness is its inability to take good pictures in low light, which means you generally will want to get as much light as you possibly can on your subject. This may require a bit more thought and a bit more moving around than it might with a point-and-shoot camera, but you’ll thank yourself in the end.

8. Tweak your camera app’s settings.

From lifehacker:

Depending on your particular phone and the camera app that comes with it, you may have a few settings you can adjust before taking a picture. In almost every case, though, you can do better by grabbing a more advanced camera app, like CameraZOOM FX for Android or Camera+ for the iPhone. There are a ton out there, so shop around, but those are the two that I’ve used in the past.

9. Edit those pics.

From voices.yahoo:

Sometimes it’s not enough just to take a good picture — you’ll want to edit it, as well. A variety of smartphone apps allow for photo editing, and if you’re serious about your smartphone photography, you might want to check into some of them. Some let allow for basic cropping and rotation, while others allow for more extensive edits like red-eye fixes and lightness/brightness adjustments. Photoshop Express is a good one to try (iPhone and Android, free).

10. Check out specialty shooting modes.

From cnet:

When attempting to capture smaller objects with great clarity, Macro mode is your new best friend. The setting can usually be found in the camera app itself. Also, remember to turn this off for other landscape and portrait shots or they will come out very blurry. Some camera apps will turn it off automatically, but it’s a good idea to double check the setting after the first time you use it. Aside from macro mode, there will likely be options for daylight, fluorescent, and even landscapes.



About Kendra