Modern smartphones have had a major impact on the photography market as a lot are now capable of producing images just as good, if not better, than some compact cameras.
So there's no point taking a compact on your travels, just upgrade your smartphone.
When you combine this improved technology with the hundreds of apps that are available which are designed to help you be more creative and take better photos, it's easy to see why smartphone photography is not to be dismissed.
Most people now carry a smartphone that has a camera built in we thought we'd put a list of top tips together to help you improve your shots, for those situations when you want a good shot and all you happen to have is your smartphone.
Huawei's new P20 Pro
Hold it like a Camera
Holding your phone in one hand and trying to press the shutter button will only result in blurry, out of line shots. Holding your phone with two hands quite close to your body will mean your phone is much more stable and as a result, your images will be better. A lot of modern smartphones now have dedicated shutter buttons to help you capture photos easily.
Having your arms close to your sides and standing as still as possible will stop any blur caused by movement therefore ruining your shot. Don't make the mistake of moving your phone away the instant after you've clicked your shutter button as shutter lag can mean your camera is still processing the shot so you'll end up with a blurry photo of another part of the scene rather than the person or object you want a photo of. Phones like the Samsung Galaxy S9 have OIS built-in, to help to prevent this from happening.
Many companies are now producing lenses and supports for iPhones and other mobile phones which can help enhance and improve your mobile phone photos. One example is the Baoblaze 4 in 1 Camera Lens Kit, Fisheye Lens, Telephoto, Macro Lens, Wide Angle Lens available from Amazon.
Move to zoom
If your camera phone doesn't have an optical zoom step closer to your subject rather than using the digital zoom which can often lower the quality of the shot.
You'll be relying on natural light most of the time so get outside, when possible, and set up near windows when working inside. If you need to turn a few lights on, do watch the colour cast they create. You can tweak the white balance on some smartphones or there are apps available which you can do this with too. Some also give you exposure compensation options so you can brighten or darken your shot. It's worth checking your settings, to find out exactly what your phone's camera can and can't do. Most modern phones pride themselves on having good low light capabilities, many of which use apertures of f/2 or wider to maximise light entering the lens.
Go into your camera's settings and make sure that you camera is primed for the shot. There different scene modes to choose from, delve in and find out which setting is right for your shot. Quite a few mobiles offer 'pro' or 'advanced' modes, allowing you to change the ISO and shutter speed, white balance etc manually, and experienced photographers will find this useful to use. You may also find there are various shooting modes on offer as well as presets such as night, panorama and portrait mode all designed to help you take the best shot possible.
Huawei P20 Pro cameras
It's quite easy to take a shot where a finger or thumb is in the way of the lens so watch where you position your hands. As phones are put in pockets and carried around in bags they get dusty easily and due to us handling them a lot they get covered in greasy fingerprints quite quickly too so make sure you keep your lens clean and check it before you take any shots.
Try Different Angles
Working with a phone generally gives you super flexibility so make the most of this freedom by varying your shooting angle and trying new shots. People don't always know you're taking a picture when you're holding your phone either, making them good for quick street candids.
Using a phone to take photos with isn't an excuse for not correcting wonky shots or adjusting the brightness levels. You can edit your photos with apps on your phone but the screen is a little too small so it may be a good idea to transfer them to your computer so you can edit on a much larger screen.
Experiment With Apps
Experimenting with your phone photography is easy as there are many apps that are available mean you can colour pop photos, add frames, create film effects... to name but a few options. There's also apps out there that offer you shooting advice in the palm of your hand so if you want to brush up on your outdoor photography while out and about, you can. Some apps you have to pay for but there's also many free apps available which will do the job nicely.