Tired of blurry and average-looking vacation photos? Us too. So we’ve tracked down some experts to help us out with taking the best travel photos using a mobile phone. Turns out you don’t need to spend a fortune on a fancy DSLR camera to capture the sights in front of you. Check out these tips below!
Hold your phone the right way
Turns out most of us are holding our phones the wrong way. You’re going to get the best images holding your phone horizontally. Not only can you fit more in the frame but you’ll be able use the rule of thirds, which in short means using those optional grid lines to position your points of interest along those lines or in the intersecting lines to create a balanced photo.
Use burst mode
If your squad is attempting to take the classic jumping photo, but not everyone is coordinated, that’s okay—enable burst mode on your smartphone. This will take sequential pictures allowing you to capture all the movement and pick the best one.
For iPhone, hold down the shutter button to activate burst mode and release it when you’re done shooting. For Android, install the Burst Mode Camera app. Burst mode is also handy for capturing moving animals on your next safari trip.
Attach a lens
To really diversify your pictures, there are a variety of lenses available for smartphones. No, we aren’t talking about those huge DSLR, paparazzi-type lenses. We’re talking very small lenses that clip onto the back of your phone, allowing you to capture close-up details, wide angles or the popular fisheye view.
A columnist from the Wall Street Journal tested 30 different lenses for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S5. View his top 6 picks. (Spoiler alert: Moment Lenses are his favourite.)
Set up the shot
Jane and Henk from Grownup Travels recommend having an image in your mind of what you want the photo to look like. Don’t be afraid to move around to find the right angle—that might mean getting low. For inspiration, check out their travel photos on Instagram.
While it’s important to spend time setting up the shot, Henk reminds us to actually take the photo. “You’ll miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Turns out the famous Wayne Gretzky quote is totally true for photography!
Use the HDR setting
To get a polished looking photo, photographer Paul Porter recommends turning on HDR mode on your smartphone. It will save 2 photos on your phone, one overexposed and one underexposed. Depending on the lighting, HDR will help even out the subject. Learn more about when to use HDR and when not to.
Zoom with your feet
If you’re not going to be using an external lens, the best zoom option is your feet—yes, physically moving forward. Zooming on your smartphone reduces the quality of the image. (This tip comes from Andrea Rees, the woman behind the Wandering iPhone.)
Use one of these apps
Filters can turn anyone into a pro photographer. Andrea (Wandering iPhone) recommends playing with the exposure, brightness and contrast after to give the photo a finished look—but avoid over filtering/processing. A variety of filters are pre-set into smartphones but third party apps like Instagram, Snapseed, and VSCo are favourites among photographers.
Not all pictures can be fixed with filters. Unwanted objects creep into photos and mess up your almost-perfect shot. The trick is how to remove it. The TouchRetouch app will help you edit out those imperfections (iPhone and Android). Here are 6 other great apps to edit your travel photos to perfection.
The last step is uploading your picture to your social networks for the world to see! Stay connected and share your pictures anytime with our Global SIM Sticker.
If you have any tips for mobile photography, we’d love to hear them! Leave them in the comments below.