Updated: Feb 24
While professional cameras and lenses are great photography tools, they are not needed to achieve awe worthy travel photos. You can get some great pics using your cell phone. Talking with several professional photographers has taught us the secrets to great cell phone pics.
The amount of light in your photo can either make or break your picture. Photos come out best when they are taken when the light is behind the camera instead of behind the subject you’re taking a picture of. This prevents sun glares and whiteouts. Play around with where you stand to find the best lighting for pictures. A step to the left or right can make a noticeable difference.
The orientation of your picture (taking portrait pictures vs. landscape pictures) can add height or width to your pictures. You’ll want to use a portrait view for tall buildings or objects to capture the vertical height. Using a landscape view will help you capture a broad area or vast landscape photo such as a field or mountain range.
Rule of Thirds
Not all centered photographs give you the best view of your subject. Where your focal point is on the screen can change the entire perspective of your shot. Try the rule of 3rds. Mentally divide your screen into three columns or three rows. Sometimes the best shot will come when you place your focal point in the left or right column, or in the top or bottom row. But there will be times when front and center is best.
Pro tip: Turning on the grid setting on your cell phone will help you easily align each shot.
Steady Your Shot
Blurry pictures can occur with the slightest movement. Not many people can hold a camera non-supported without shaking. Steadying your shot can help prevent these mishaps. Here’s some ways that you can steady your shot. One option is to hold your arms close to your body, using your body as a prop to rest on. Another thing to try is using a tripod. There are many light weight portable tripods available that fit in your bag, tote or even your purse. The Huawei Selfie Stick Tripod is an Eternal Travel Boutique favorite. It comes with a detachable bluetooth remote so you can take selfies or us-ies with ease. It also has a mini mirror for that final check to ensure your look is perfect before snapping your pic. If you don't have a tripod, look for a place where you can prop your cell phone to take your picture. Use the picture timer if needed.
There will be times when you visit a location because of a photo you've seen, and when you get there, it looks nothing like the picture. Truth be told, some of the great travel photos that we see have been edited. Photo editing can correct and even change lighting, coloring, and even flaws in the image itself. There are many free apps that you can download for photo editing. Check out Lightroom and Snapseed. In addition to editing apps, cell phones have filters that you can use to change the lighting and coloring while you are taking your photos.
Finally, before or while taking your picture, take a look around to check for unsightly things such as litter or trash cans. These can be a distraction in an otherwise perfect photo.
Remember practice makes perfect. Leave a note in the comments to let us know how these tips work for you. Don't forget to tag us in your social media photos using #EternalTravel. We'd love to see how they turn out.