HomeLifestyle & TravelLifestyleTips for taking great photos with your phone (at home)!

Tips for taking great photos with your phone (at home)!

With the arrival of COVID-19 and the resultant lockdown, screen time and mobile phone usage have shot the lights out.  Heed this warning and never, ever (ever) check the screen time notification on your device – it’s pretty shocking to see that you’ve spent every waking moment since the 27th of March glued to a teeny blue screen soaking up your neighbours’ life on Instagram. Now, no one is judging you for desperately seeking a connection through social media – but there is ONE positive that comes from having a phone on you – and that’s the ability to capture special memories and wonderful moments in a heartbeat.

Think back to your child’s first steps, a night-out earlier this year, last night’s dinner, or even a gorgeous sunset on your way home a few weeks back– you’d probably not remember all of the detail without that snap you grabbed on your trusty phone.

To improve the quality of your home photography – be it of banana bread, your workout routine, your chosen beverage or that same scantily clad neighbour, the crew at online printing specialists, Nifty250 have a few tips for you to get the perfect pic:

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Clean your lens! 

Lint from your pocket, dust from your handbag and even sweat from your hands leaves the little round lens of your camera filthy – which affects the quality of your photos. Wipe it with your t-shirt or a soft cloth before getting your shot.

Get close to your subject

Zooming in to grab a pic of something that might be slightly further away reduces the resolution of the photograph and will intensify any small movements that you make whilst holding the phone. Rather move closer to get a clear, full shot. 

Tap away

It’s a simple reminder, but always tap your phone screen to specify where you’d like the focus to be. If you’re taking an upwards image of your partner as you laze in the sun on the patio, make sure you tap the image otherwise you’re likely to have their shadow set against a very bright sky.  

The rule of thirds in photography

In photography, the rule of thirds means placing a ‘virtual’ grid on the image you’d like to capture – both horizontally and vertically – breaking the image into nine parts. Most smartphones have a grid option available in the camera settings. It’s recommended to place points of interest in the intersections or along the lines as studies have shown that when people look at photographs, their eyes naturally go to these intersections and lines and not to the centre of the image.

Take advantage of tech

Most smartphones offer a portrait-mode which slightly blurs the background of your shot and creates clear professional-looking images. Make use of the feature whenever you can, but be aware that sufficient light is critical to using this mode.

Find, don’t create light

Photographers will tell you that natural light trumps artificial light in most situations. Try to move your subject into a spot that provides better illumination and avoids using your phone’s flash. If anything, borrow a second device and create light using the torch functionality on the second device.

Simon from Nifty250 says that taking heed of just a few of the above points makes for a dramatically better photo, and ultimately much better-printed images. “We’ve seen it all come through our printers, and the prints that turn out best are those that use natural light and have a well-positioned subject.

He says that they’ve had a couple of requests for COVID-19 time capsule prints “People are taking the opportunity to remember what will be a crazy, unusual, stressful and upside downtime in their lives. They’re putting together scrapbooks filled with activities, memories and photographs of their time stuck at home.” He encourages every South African to take advantage of capturing the wonderful memories being made at home this month of lockdown.

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