Smartphone cameras have gotten incredibly better over the past few years. Modern smartphones, even those in the budget category, let alone the high-end ones, are equipped with extremely good camera setups. While the flagship smartphones these days are capable enough to complete with DSLR Cameras, smartphones in the budget or mid-range category also come with surprisingly good camera setups. Dual-Lens cameras are all the rage these days, with some companies going as far as 4 lenses on the rear of a single smartphone. Consequently, Smartphone Photography is more or less a thing now, with almost all the smartphones equipped with Pro Modes out of the box.
Here’s the only guide to Smartphone Photography that you’ll ever need.
In order to master the art of smartphone photography and click some amazing pictures from your smartphone, you must get a good grip over the Pro Mode features of smartphones.
Pro Mode Features
ISO is one of the most important features that can play around with and surprise yourself with the results. ISO basically is the measurement of the sensitivity of the image sensor. A lower ISO setting would make the pictures less sensitive to light, making the pictures darker while a higher ISO setting would make pictures brighter. On the other hand, it isn’t as simple as it sounds. A lower ISO would produce sharper and less grainy images and vice versa. Of course, there’s isn’t a defined ISO setting that would produce the best pictures. Consequently, you need to toggle the ISO to different settings and set it at just the right number where the pictures are bright enough for you liking. You should preferable try to set the ISO as low as you can get away with.
Exposure, in smartphone photography, basically controls how bright your picture would be. Higher EV settings would result in brighter, or ‘More Exposed’, photos while lower EV settings would produce darker pictures.
The White Balance setting adjusts the white light in your image. You can adjust the white balance setting to make your images colder (blue) or hotter (red). This feature is largely helpful in clicking pictures that are significantly more colour accurate. You would typically have to adjust the white balance in accordance with the lighting situation.
Aperture is another important setting that could help you click significantly better pictures, if utilized wisely. Aperture basically controls how much light would the lens take in for a specific photograph. You can alter the amount of light entering into your photographs by toggling around the aperture to different values. The aperture also determines the focal point of the lens so you can achieve the bokeh effect using this setting. A higher aperture would increase the focal separation between the foreground and the background of the image and vice versa for a lower aperture value.
Shutter Speed indicates how long would the lens remain open to expose the image sensor. In laymen terms, a faster shutter speed should be used to capture subjects that you want still in the image. On the other hand, the shutter speed must be set slower in case you’re attempting to capture the subject in motion. For instance, you can use slow shutter speeds to click light movements, brighter pictures in low-light conditions, light trails, star trails etc.
However, it must be noted that keeping the camera steady while clicking pictures at slow shutter speeds is extremely important and a tripod is recommended in such cases.
Metering, in smartphone photography, refers to the way in which a camera determines exposure. Smartphone cameras typically offer spot, center and matrix metering modes. Matrix metering selects a wide area of the screen. The center metering mode selects the entire frame but assigns greater weight to the center of the frame, feathering the balance towards the edge. Spot metering is highly focused and selects 2.5% of the area at the center of the frame.
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Mastering smartphone photography requires a strong grip over the pro mode features. Once you’re already there, the key to clicking good pictures is playing around with these features in different conditions. It is also important to understand that these pro mode features go hand-in-hand with each other hence, a good combination must be sought in order to click some really good photographs.