How can you take great pictures with a smartphone?

TUTORIALS

More and more, cameras are being abandoned in favour of smartphones, which are equipped with increasingly high-performance cameras. Now, you no longer need to weigh yourself down with a multitude of electronic devices. Smartphones are your all-in-one solution! Unfortunately, we are not all created equal in terms of artistic abilities. However, with a little basic knowledge, everyone can take nice pictures. In this article, you will find our tips for shooting with your smartphone.

Deciphering some of the terms

ISO sensitivity, HDR mode, Time Lapse, you’ve probably already heard or seen these terms in your camera settings. Find out what they mean.

ISO sensitivity  
This is the sensitivity of the sensor to light. ISO is a unit of measurement. The higher the ISO number, the more sensitive your camera’s sensor is to light. The only thing you need to remember is that at night, you should opt for a high ISO sensitivity.

HDR mode : High Dynamic Range
HDR mode allows your camera to combine images of varying light intensity to achieve the best possible exposure. You don’t need to use this mode all the time. In some cases, this feature can have the opposite effect, leading to artificial colours that are far from reality.
If you have a TREKKER-X4, we recommend that you disable this mode in your Camera App’s settings.

Time Lapse
Time Lapse is a technique that allows you to create videos from a series of photos taken at regular intervals. Halfway between photography and video, this technique creates movement with a succession of still images.

Now, let’s dive into the heart of the matter with our tips on how to take great pictures with your smartphone.

Light, the cornerstone of everything!

To get the best light, choose times when the sun is not too high (early or late in the day). Avoid backlighting, that is, taking a picture with the sun shining towards the lens. Make sure that the sun is behind you (without your shadow being visible in the photo), or off to the side (if you want to add contrast to the image). For soft light, always shoot with the sun at your back. At sunrise, there are two hours when the light is flat and even in all directions. With a smartphone, avoid shooting shady areas; they will not come out very well.
Indoors, windows are light boxes. Shoot close to them, turning your subject towards the light. On cloudy days, the clouds create a giant light box that makes the light soft everywhere, which will help you take nice photos.

Composition and the rule of thirds

Composition is the way you will arrange the elements in your photo. A “good” composition will make your photo more readable and, therefore, more enjoyable to look at. The rule of thirds helps you in this respect. The principal is simple: your picture is divided into nine equally sized areas with two horizontal and two vertical lines. These lines, called lines of force, intersect at four points. Contrary to what you may think, you should not place your subject in the centre of the image. For a readable photo, place your subject on one of the intersection points or one of the lines if you have a prominent vertical or horizontal element.

Use a tripod with your smartphone

Tripods are not only for cameras. They can also be very useful when shooting with a smartphone. At CROSSCALL, we have created the X-STICK, a telescopic stick combined with a tripod. Perfect for your outdoor photos! With its remote control, you can trigger your shots from a distance. This is a good way to take family photos with everyone or to safely take action pictures (for example: a turn on a motorcycle or bicycle). The tripod is also a great accessory for making Time Lapse videos.

Switch to FishEye mode with your TREKKER-X4

Although the TREKKER-X4 is primarily made for shooting videos, it also takes excellent photos thanks to the Camera App’s front and rear sensors (12MP/8MP), hybrid autofocus (highlight) and ultra-fast laser (low brightness). With its wide angle camera, you can take original photos using FishEye mode. 
For a wide angle effect, switch to your Camera  App’s FishEye mode and, using photo editing apps, such as Google Photos or Snapseed, trim the rounded edges.

Now that you have all you need to take great photos with your smartphone, get to work! Feel free to share your best shots with us by tagging us @crosscallmobile and #crosscall, and we will reshare them in an Instagram story.

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