Smartphone cameras have seen dramatic improvements, but technology alone won’t produce shots that grab attention.
That’s where the human eye comes in. Here are eight tips to keep in mind when composing that shot, whether of family during the holidays or sights during a vacation. You don’t need to own a fancy camera or mess with manual controls.
What’s the subject?
Give people something to latch onto when viewing your photo. As a rule of thumb, close-ups are better.
At a party, for instance, avoid wide shots of random people mingling in a room, as the room becomes the subject – and that’s boring. Instead, get close-ups of the guest or two who’s laughing or singing. The photo is now about people having fun at a party.
People mingling can still be part of the shot, but in the background, to give people a sense the party’s well attended. The same principle applies to parades: It’s better to home in on one or two drummers than on the entire marching band, though the rest of the band can still be in the background.
And unless you have an iPhone 7 Plus or a Motorola Moto Z with True Zoom, avoid zooming. With most smartphones, you’re just getting a fake zoom, also called digital zoom. The image isn’t actually getting larger – it’s just stretched out like elastic using software. It might be fine on the screen, but it’ll look fuzzy blown up on a desktop web browser or printed out for a photo frame.
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