How to take good pictures of yourself. It is true that to be a good photographer, you need more than just a good camera. Nevertheless, technology is important and it also applies to smartphone photography. With a few tricks and without additional knowledge and apps, you can take the best photos with your smartphone.
Best resolution and picture quality
Before you get started with your new smartphone camera, you need to take a look at the settings. The factory settings are often not optimal. Sometimes a lower resolution is set as default because it provides a better digital zoom. It is advised to set the aspect ratio so that you get the largest possible picture that is the 16:9 format, because in the 4:3 format, content is cut off on the sides. However, with some smartphones it can be the other way around as the 4:3 format would ensure the largest photos against 16:9 images. You can select the best image format according to the phones that you use.
Clean Lens before clicking photos
The smartphone is usually in your pants or jacket pocket most of the time. Dust also covers the lens. Use a microfiber cloth or an eyeglass cleaning cloth from the optician to clean the lens without scratching it or you can use a handkerchief but sometimes it leaves fine and annoying lint.
Find the right exposure settings
On the technical side, three values in photography are relevant for the quality of the photo: exposure time, aperture and ISO value. Together they determine how brightly the photo is exposed, how sharp the background is shown and whether motion blur gets into the picture.
Aperture: You usually cannot set the aperture for smartphone photos because it is fixed. It is therefore important for smartphone photographers to find the correct setting for the ISO value and the exposure time. In automatic mode, this makes the camera independent, but manual mode often provides better and more precise results.
Exposure time: Long exposure times are a better option, especially in low lighting conditions, to improve the illumination of your photo. However, this ensures that moving objects draw streaks. This effect can be used artfully on rivers or in night views of a city. Short exposure times, on the other hand, actually freeze for a moment.
ISO value: ISO value indicates the light sensitivity of the sensor in the camera or smartphone. The higher the ISO value, the more light-sensitive is the camera. With a higher ISO value, you can shorten the exposure time and thus ensure sharper photos. In dark environments, you need a high ISO value and a long exposure time.
So why not always take pictures with a high ISO value?
A high ISO value also ensures that noise appears in the image. Every smartphone behaves a little differently. Some smartphones hardly have any problems with image noise even with ISO 400 or 800. Therefore, you should get to know your smartphone camera and find out which ISO value leads to acceptable results. ISO values up to a maximum of 200 are ideal for most situations.
Set Focus Manually
A lot of things depend upon the right focus in a good picture. The autofocus usually helps, but it is not error-free, after all, it does not know what we want to focus on. The touch focus is an easy solution. Touch the screen to set the focus before clicking the photo. In the manual mode of the camera, you can even focus completely manually.
Set white balance manually
You probably edit your photos after the shot, be it for an Instagram post or the family album. But it is better to adjust the camera settings for white balance before clicking the photo than afterward. This ensures that the colors in the photo are correct. The small sensors of the smartphone cameras tend to get mixed up, especially with electrical lighting mixed with daylight, and leave behind a color-messed image. In such situations, it is better to click pictures in manual mode and, if possible, only set the white balance manually so that a white area is really white. You would need to experiment with your phone to know it better.
Snap Several Times to Get the Best Photo
Instead of relying on the perfect snapshot, it is better to click multiple photos. If the only picture of your romantic kiss in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris is out of focus, you will definitely regret it later. Just snap each photo several times and pay attention to the autofocus. Keep clicking the photos until you think that it is a good picture. Nowadays, top smartphones in particular offer burst photo functionality, with which the camera takes several photos in series with just one push of a button. Too many photos are also counterproductive because you have to sort them out later.
Use Both Hands
Clicking pictures quickly with one hand often stray away from the cleanliness and dynamics of the moment and can be a little blurred. But if you want the photo to be completely sharp, avoid one-handed photography. Hold your smartphone steady and stable with both hands. A tripod with a smartphone holder is ideal, but most of the time, it is enough to place the smartphone upon the wall or a table to stabilize it and reduce the movement to get a sharper photo.
The Rule Of Thirds
The rule of thirds is basically a digital version of the golden ratio. The image is divided into nine uniform boxes with the help of two horizontal and two vertical lines. The grid function is usually inbuilt in smartphones. The motif should be placed on one of the four intersections of the grid or along a line. When taking pictures of the landscape, align the horizon on one of the two lines for a better picture.
Unequal lines bring unrest into the picture unless it is intended. The horizon is the primary line that to balance the picture when looking into the distance You need to ensure that the horizon is not tilted or crooked but always straight. Grids can also help here.
Avoid falling lines
This tip is also related to the straight horizon line. But now it’s about aligning the camera to the object. Keep your camera as straight as possible to avoid the effect of the falling lines. For example, when you take a picture of a skyscraper. From an extreme point of view, this can be a nice effect. If you take pictures from a certain distance, it can appear as if the tower is falling. Therefore, try to hold the smartphone higher and away so that you get the whole building in the picture. Alternatively, the portrait format can help.
Rule of Space
As already mentioned, some objects in the photo also need space to be looked at. As with the golden ratio, it is another element that creates more harmony in the photo. With the space rule used correctly, you can achieve a feeling of movement, activity or completion in the composition. In a portrait, the person’s gaze can wander far and wide, and it is often ideal to leave space in the direction of the gaze and not to cut off the face straight away. For example, the view can also express that the subject is concentrating on thinking which often breathes more life into the photo. Basically, do not click a passport size photo until intended. If you are photographing a moving car, you should also leave space where the car is going instead of capturing worn asphalt in the picture. This rule, as well as the rule of thirds, can and should be broken if a photo demands it and promises to become something special.
Take Pictures From Above
If you want to click good selfies or take portrait photos of other people, you should hold smartphones a little higher when taking pictures, so that the subject looks up a little when photographed. So you avoid annoying double chin effects and unwanted contours. There are positions in which your chocolate-lover side appears on its own. However, if you look up, you stretch your neck and face and everything looks a bit smoother and tighter even without image processing and beauty mode. But do not overdo it with taking pictures from above, otherwise, the photographed person looks like a dwarf.
Play With Perspective
A photo does not always have to be taken at eye level, we have the perspective all day anyway. Try other angles, stand on a hill and take pictures or go down on your knees. Look for perspectives that show your objective from a completely new perspective. Especially at tourist attractions, you should look for new representations, shapes, and lines that give your picture that certain difference. This often creates a lot of interesting pictures.
If you want to take pictures of nature and landscape, the panorama mode is ideal. In particular, very large motifs, such as a mountain range or a sunset by the sea, sometimes need more space than is available in a single photo. Most smartphones have Panorama mode that takes several pictures and also puts them together neatly.