Learn these 7 simple tricks to take good photos with your phone

Mobile phones have become a part of everyone’s life, and the shooting functions are getting stronger and stronger, and some are even close to traditional SLR cameras. With the convenience of mobile phones, photography is no longer limited by equipment, and you can shoot anytime, anywhere. But there are also some tricks to pay attention to to take good photos with your mobile phone. Today, let us learn the following 7 points to pay attention to!

(1) Clean your phone lens
One of the serious problems of mobile phone photography, which is often overlooked by novices, is that the mobile phone lens is very easy to have oil stains on it, which will destroy the quality of the photos! As a necessities of daily life, mobile phones are used very frequently, and the camera lens of the mobile phone will be soiled if you are not careful. Fortunately, modern phone lenses are also usually easy to clean. You can remove oil by swiping with a dry cloth or the corner of your clothing before shooting, but only if you remember to do this before shooting!

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(2) The mobile phone should also focus accurately
Just like a traditional camera, your phone needs to focus! If your focus is inaccurate, there is a chance that the photo will be out of focus and blurred. Focusing on the phone is very simple, you just need to tap the position you want to focus on. If you want to do a camera-like AF-Lock function, you can just long press (in the case of an iPhone) and the phone will lock the focus point.

How to Focus Accurately | Click Love Grow

(3) Manually adjust the light and dark of the photo
If you compose the shot and press the phone to shoot immediately, the photo will automatically meter for you and automatically set the shutter and ISO, just like in fully automatic mode. However, in some clear situations, such as white snow, black caves, or framing with sky, the metering of the phone may be wrong, then you need to manually adjust the light and darkness of the photo to make the photo have accurate exposure . The iPhone pulls up and down next to the four boxes after focusing, while Android usually has the option of “+/- EV” directly. Students need to find it in the mobile phone camera app.

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(4) Keep the phone stable
Have you ever noticed that the photos taken by your mobile phone are blurry? One of the reasons is that the phone is not stable enough and moves during the exposure process. To keep the phone stable, it is best to hold the phone firmly with both hands, or put it on/rely on a fixed object, or even put it on a tripod dedicated to the phone, which can reduce the chance of blurred photos.

Stable filming with smartphone: Tips and tools - Techzle

(5) Take a shallow depth of field
As long as you understand the shooting method of shallow depth of field, the mobile phone can definitely produce the effect of “clearing in front and behind”! For modern mobile phones, there are two main ways to shoot shallow depth of field. One is the “traditional method” like a camera; the other is to use the “portrait mode” to let the mobile phone do post-processing. Now let’s review the shallow depth-of-field method of a camera:

How to Get a Shallow Depth of Field

Traditional method (for any mobile phone)

  1. Large aperture (assuming the phone cannot change the aperture)
  2. Long focal length (assuming the phone has only a single lens and cannot optically change the focal length)
  3. The distance between the background and the protagonist should be farther

1 and 2 can be adjusted in traditional cameras, but not many mobile phones on the market. Therefore, in order to take a shallow depth of field effect, the most important point is the third point – “the distance between the background and the protagonist should be farther”. Remember to use the mobile phone to open the shallow depth of field, the mobile phone should be as close as possible to the protagonist, and the farther the protagonist and the background are, the better. You also have the opportunity to move the angle of the mobile phone to adjust the distance of the background.

Portrait mode method (depending on whether the phone has this function)

Just set the phone to “portrait mode” and shoot directly. But if your phone doesn’t have a built-in portrait mode, you’ll need to shoot the traditional way!

(6) Turn on the grid of the phone
Most mobile phones also allow you to open the grid in the photography app. It is recommended that you open the 3×3 grid. This can effectively implement the “rule of thirds” composition, and can also be used as a counterpoint function, so that the photo can be kept horizontal, which is very important and convenient for photographers who have requirements!

Android Grid Lines - YouTube

(7) Find interesting angles
One of the great advantages of mobile phones is convenience. Convenience comes in handy when looking for compositions! You can hold your phone at high and low angles, or jump over a railing and place your phone out of the camera’s reach to shoot, so your chances of finding interesting angles are greatly increased. Therefore, when using a mobile phone to shoot, remember to change the angle to increase the composition change.

Finding Fresh Angles in Photography

5 Ways to Get Your Photography Motivation Back Again

After learning photography for a while, you may feel less fun and less motivation to even pick up a camera to shoot… I believe that many friends will also encounter similar problems, of course, the author is no exception, so what is the solution? Can you regain your motivation for photography? Take a look at the methods below!

(1) Watching other people’s wonderful works
Don’t just indulge in your own photos! There are many wonderful works in this world, and while viewing these photos, you will find the composition, color expression, subject content, lighting, etc. used by photographers, so that you can apply them in your own photos. And watching more wonderful works, you will definitely be able to ignite the fighting spirit of “I also want to shoot this effect”, so that you can pick up the camera and set off again!

So where can you see wonderful works? You can go to 500px.com, National Geographic and more to watch the works of masters from all over the world!

(2) Learn the built-in functions of a camera
Today’s digital cameras actually have a lot of built-in functions. You might as well pick up your camera’s manual and take a look at some of the built-in functions that you haven’t used before, and see if there are any special skills you can use!

For example: some of these features that are easy to miss are:

Built-in double exposure: Take interesting photos with double exposures
Bracketing: Easily take a series of photos for HDR composition
Built-in time-lapse photography: Set up time-lapse shooting directly on the camera without a cable release!
Rear-curtain sync flash: Allows you to take stunning evening portraits even with the built-in flash
Exposure Lock (AE-Lock): Easily lock the metering value and recompose the picture
Built-in electronic spirit level: keep your photos from falling apart, and it is more convenient to use high/low angle composition with LiveView
Special photo effects: such as small models, highlighting monochrome, photo effects, etc., make your photos more varied

(3) Ask a friend to borrow a lens that has never been used
If you are a novice, you usually don’t have a lot of lenses. In the world of SLRs, one of the advantages is that you can exchange lenses. Try asking your friends to borrow lenses with different focal lengths and functions (such as 12mm ultra-wide-angle, 300mm long Focus, f/1.2 ultra-large aperture, extremely anamorphic 180º fisheye lens, etc.), take advantage of this feature to take photos, you will find that the original photography world will become different!

(4) Using new equipment
The new equipment can definitely stimulate your freshness. In addition to the camera body, you can also try black cards, different filters such as gradient gray, dimming filters, morning and twilight mirrors, star mirrors, etc., or even buy one. A tripod (if you don’t already have one). With new equipment, you can try different shooting techniques to make your photos more diverse.

(5) Set a theme for the shooting
Shooting aimlessly will not only slow down the progress of your photography skills, but also make you feel “I don’t know what to shoot”, thus reducing the motivation to take pictures. At this time, you might as well set some simple shooting themes for yourself, such as “cloud”, “quiet”, “water”, “light and shadow”, etc., so that you have a goal when shooting, and you can concentrate more on finding the shooting subject. The opportunities for great photos are greatly increased, which increases the satisfaction of photography!

Invincible metering method – “Matrix metering” that can be used at any time

任何時候也能用的「矩陣測光」

For novice or amateur photographers, metering often seems difficult to master, and there are many different metering modes built into the camera, so when should you use which metering mode to get the desired effect? Now let the author share how to use “Matrix Metering” to deal with 99% of the daily environment! After you finish your studies, you can take pictures at any time without changing the metering mode!

What is the metering mode first?
In modern digital cameras, most of them also have at least 3 metering modes:

  • Matrix/Evaluative Metering
  • Center-weighted Metering
  • Spot Metering

The difference between them is actually only the selection of the range used for calculating the luminosity. Matrix metering will select the area of the full-frame photo for calculation, spot metering will use the focus point or a very small area in the middle for metering, and center-weighted metering will use between the two.

A good partner for matrix metering: exposure compensation button (+/-EV)
When using matrix metering, there is a very useful and cooperative function in the camera, which is the exposure compensation button (+/-EV)! The Exposure Compensation button allows you to increase or decrease the exposure value yourself. One thing to note is that this button is not adjusted in post-production like Photoshop. Instead, you can directly increase or decrease the aperture, shutter or ISO to achieve the change of exposure, so it is more worthwhile to use it as a post-modification.

To use the exposure compensation button, simply press the button to turn the dial, or click to add or subtract. Please read the camera manual for details!

Tips when using matrix metering:
(1) When the scene is normally exposed to light

In the normal light-receiving environment, that is, shooting in the absence of very bright or very dark conditions, modern digital cameras have been able to measure the light very accurately, try to maintain a balance between the light level and the dark level of the photo, and set the aperture intelligently, Shutter and ISO values. Therefore, no matter whether you are outdoors or indoors, as long as you are not shooting under extreme light sources, you can trust the ability of matrix metering and shoot directly!

(2) In backlit/backlit scenes

When you are shooting backlit/backlit photos, your subject will be facing away from the light source and the lens will be facing the light source. At this time, the camera’s matrix metering will think that the photo has a lot of light (assuming your subject does not cover the entire frame), As a result, the overall photo is darkened to achieve balance, and the subject becomes underexposed or silhouetted. Of course, if the ultimate goal is to shoot a silhouette, it is very convenient, otherwise you have to greatly increase the exposure compensation (sometimes need +3EV) or use the flash to fill in the main light!

(3) When shooting black/white scenes

When black/white things take up a large part of the photo, matrix metering will make mistakes, thinking that the environment is very dark/very light and get the wrong settings of overexposure and underexposure, so we have to use experience before pressing the shutter. -/+ EV to correct the absence of matrix metering.

Explanation: If you encounter black things, you need to reduce EV, and if you encounter white things, you need to increase EV (many students will also make mistakes!)

(4) When taking portraits

Normally, the face of the portrait should have the correct exposure when taking a portrait photo, so pay more attention to the exposure. When you are using matrix metering, be sure to first look at the light around the subject for +/-EV compensation.

(5) When the front is facing the sun/light source

When your photo will contain the sun or a strong light source, unless you are using a wide-angle lens and the light source is only a small part of the photo, the camera will lower the exposure and make the photo darker. At this time, you may wish to have +0.7 or +1.3EV (adjusted according to the situation) before shooting, so that the photo can return to normal exposure.

(6) When shooting night scenes

When shooting night scenes, if the photo is full of light sources (such as neon lights, Christmas lights, etc.), you need to increase the EV, otherwise the resulting photo will be dark; but if the night is the majority, you need to reduce the EV EV, so that the black areas are not overexposed and become gray.

Of course, the matrix metering at this time is just a reference, it is best to use the manual mode to fully grasp the exposure value!

Unraveling the Mystery of ISO – Tips for Setting ISO in Different Situations

In the world of photography, the “exposure triangle” of aperture, shutter, and ISO is the main element that constitutes a photo. As long as you understand the combination of these three things, you can basically take photos with no blur and correct exposure. But many newbies don’t know when to use the value of ISO. This article is to solve the mystery of ISO! Take a look and learn together!

解開ISO之迷

What is ISO?
ISO can be called “light sensitivity”. In the old film, the ISO value is fixed, that is, if you use a film of ISO400, you must complete the whole cylinder of film before you can replace it, but in the digital age, ISO can be changed at will to match the ambient light when shooting, which is very convenient, so we should make good use of the benefits of this technology to help us take beautiful photos!

As soon as you enter the room, even if the human eye feels that the brightness is sufficient, there is a high chance that you must use ISO800, ISO1600, etc. to shoot handheld.

Shooting moving objects (such as racing cars, children, pets, etc.), even outdoors, a higher ISO can increase the shutter speed and help take clear photos.

Low ISO helps to reduce light absorption. With ND filter, you can use slow shutter speed to shoot flowing water in broad daylight.

The signal noise will be obvious only in the dark position of the photo, but not very visible in the light position. Therefore, the signal noise will be less affected when using high ISO in the daytime.

Auto ISO setting
If your camera has the “Auto ISO” function, you can turn it on when you are shooting by hand, so that the camera will automatically increase the ISO to a suitable position according to the current light, aperture and shutter speed. Some cameras will automatically detect the used camera. The focal length is used to set the ISO, so that the shutter can meet the requirements of “safe shutter”, which is very convenient!

“Auto ISO” usually has two settings, one is “highest ISO” and the other is “lowest shutter”. The former is used to limit how much the camera can raise the ISO. Usually, I will set it to the next highest ISO available to the camera. For example, if the maximum ISO is 6400, it will be set to 3200 (the second highest). The automatic boost should be set according to the actual needs and the focal length used, so as to meet the “safety shutter”.

What if the lens/body has anti-shake function?
If the lens/body has an anti-shock function, you can set the ISO to a lower value when holding the camera, so that the shutter can be slow, and the photos taken with the anti-shake function will be clear and reduce noise.