Photo Files: tips for better phone pics

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Photo Files: tips for better phone pics

Robert Slocum


Photo Files: tips for better phone pics

Enabling the grid on your screen can help with composition.


I read somewhere recently that the iPhone has become the most popular, most used camera in the world. I believe it, and if you count all smartphones of all brands, it’s pretty amazing how camera technology has evolved in just over a decade.

Cell phones with cameras in them have democratized and revolutionized photography in a truly remarkable manner. The convenience has always been there, but newer model phones in recent years have really upped the ante in terms of image quality and smart technology.

There’s a popular old gem that tells us the best camera is the one you have, and that logic certainly tracks with the rise of the phone camera. Everyone (well, nearly everyone) who has a smartphone also takes pictures with it, so I’ve been thinking about some tips to help us get the best from our phones as cameras.

I’m a diehard Apple user, so my experience is from iPhones, not Android phones made by Samsung, LG or other manufacturers. Still, most of these should translate to your phone regardless of brand or model.

1. Use the volume button

Whether you hold it with one hand or two, your phone can sometimes struggle to achieve sharp images. Our inability to hold perfectly still causes “camera shake” which can lead to the lens being moved by us at the critical moment of exposure. Also, low light situations will exacerbate this problem. One good solution I’ve found is to ditch tapping the virtual shutter button on the phone’s screen in favor of holding the device firmly with both hands and pressing the volume up or down button to snap the photo. Did you know you could do that? Try it!




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