Taking photographs with a digital camera and a mobile phone is very different. Some tips are universal, regardless of the camera you are using or if you are a professional or an amateur photographer. This topic will help you learn about some basic but very important tips while taking a photo.

1. See what’s around you

Before shooting your photo, you must evaluate what’s around you. Take 3 steps: see what’s near you, in mid-range and on the horizon. This will allow you to compose your perfect photo, catching every detail of it and avoid strange and undesired objects on it.

2. Keep the skyline horizontal

The most common error and yet one difficult to avoid is keeping the skyline on a perfect horizontal. Some phones have the possibility of having the Thirds Rule helper (basically 2 horizontal lines and 2 verticals that divide the screen into 9 even parts) that can assist you with this. If you don’t have it, explore the apps available like this one for the iPhone.

3. Thirds Rule

This is an oldie one, but still one of the best ways to compose your photo. The most normal tendency is to place the subject of your photo at the centre. Even if this can produce a nice photo, it will amaze you on how it would look like by using this quite simple rule.

Imagine your screen divided into 9 equal parts by lines (or use, as most phones allow you to add this or you can always use some app for it). Now, set your subject on the parts where the lines intercept or even on only 1/3 of your photo. By doing this, moving the subject off the centre, you give a completely new dynamic to your photo. If you are photographing a moving subject (a person walking, a boat, etc), try to place it in 1/3 of the photo, leaving the “empty” space on the side where he’s heading.

4. Try a different point of view

Most of the times you pick up your phone and take your photo standing with the phone on the level of your eyes (as it is normal as you want to see what you are photographing). This tip consists of you leaving the comfortable position to try different perspectives, just as putting your phone at the level of the ground like this 2 examples:

5. Simplicity

How many times you have looked at a photo and felt that there were just too many things going on there? Many times, the only thing that’s needed for a great photo is to make it simple. Focus on the detail of what you want to photograph and remove from the composition of your photo everything else.

6. Using the lines

Using the lines on a photograph makes it look more dynamic or give the sensation of a destination. They can be direct (as the road stripes, for example) or more subtle (like a building architecture or a simple road). In the next photos, you have an example of both these cases.

7. Breaking the Rules

As for many other things, if you try to follow too many rules you will risk being boring. So this tip is to make you aware that being bold and breaking the rules can lead you to a great photo. Just be different!

8. Be always ready!

Many photos are all about the moment. So:

– Learn on your phone how to go into the camera the fastest way

– Like to use some app to take photos? Then put it in an accessible local where you will find it quickly.

9. Get a steady position on low light conditions

If you are going for a night photo, use some accessory that will allow you to have it still while you are taking a picture.

If you don’t have one, look for a place where you can place your phone so it won’t move while you are taking the photo.

Additional tip: Since most of the movement of the camera occurs when you press the shooting button (physical or on the screen), use the built-in Self Timer so you can press the shooting button and have time to hold your phone still for the time it takes the photo.

We are coming back to the Night Photos thematic as this deserves its own topic. Stay tuned!

10. Take many photos, try different settings

While you are taking your photo of that special moment, don’t limit yourself to one photo. Take as many as you can since that moment might be hard to happen again. Also, play with the different settings that are available to you as one of them might cause the perfect photo.

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