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Take Pictures Like a Pro Using Your Smartphone

  
  
  
  

I come from a photography background and I don't mind telling you, the cameras on smartphones have gotten pretty dam impressive. There are so many good features and apps that will help you take pictures like a pro. I am going to give you some tips and apps that will improve your photos and enable you to do some pretty cool effects.

Old School Photography Tips (Oldies but goodies)

  • Don't shoot into the sun. If the sun is behind you, your subject will be better illuminated. You may have to adjust slightly if the sun is causing them to squint. If you can't get the postion right, force the device to flash to fill in unwanted shadows.
  • Use flash indoors, especially if there is ANY movement. Unless you are going for the natural look, using flash indoors will eliminate the yellow blurred photos.
  • Use the rule of thirds. The most aesthetically pleasing photos are the result of splitting your frame into thirds. Position horizons one third up instead of exactly in the middle, and people one third in from the left or right. Just be sure you have locked the focus on the subject.

Accessories

There are some accessories that will make your phototaking a snap (no pun intended). One of the best accessories to have is a tripod. Smartphones don't have a tripod mount so you can get something like a Grip Tight Gorilla Pod that will grip your smartphone.

Another really cool accessory is the Shutterball. With it you can take selfies or delfies (duo selfies) without trying to hold the device and hit the shutter button. Some phones are easier to take pictures with than others but the bigger the phone, the trickier to hold it, stabilize it and tap the shutter. Shutterball comes with an accompanying app that allows the phone to connect to the Shutterball via Bluetooth and when you go to take the picture you only need to hit the button on the Shutterball. A Grip Tight Gorilla Pod would work out nicely if you take a lot of group shots.

shutterball

Lapse It


Lapse It is an awesome app that will allow you to take time lapse photos using any smartphone. You may want to get an accessory that allows you to mount your phone, like a Gorilla Pod.

Events such as movement of clouds, the rising and setting of the sun, a party with your friends, even individual activities or anything else that you can imagine. You will see them in a new way and otherwise undetectable patterns will emerge.

Features:

  • Native version both for iOS and Android
  • Powerful and blazing fast render engine
  • Well designed UI improving visual and usability
  • Capture resolution up to 1080p on the Pro version
  • Capture interval starting at one second
  • Cool effects applied while capturing or before rendering
  • No restrictions for capture length or frames
  • On screen information during capture
  • Upload directly to YouTube, Facebook and many others
  • Easily adjustable settings
  • Tested and approved by more then 500.000 people

 

 

Photaf


Way back in the day, a camera that was able to take 360 photos cost over $20,000. Now all you need is your smartphone and an app that will stitch it all together. Photaf does an amazing job.

Aviary

Aviary is by far my favorite smartphone photo editor. It is easy to use and has akl the tools you need. If you want to do instagram type effects you can do those as well. This is the only photo editor I ever use on my Samsung Note 3 and I use my pix all the time for blog articles etc. 

  • One-tap auto enhance
  • Gorgeous photo effects and frames
  • Fun stickers
  • Color balance
  • Crop, rotate, and straighten your photo
  • Adjust brightness, contrast, color temperature, and saturation
  • Sharpen and blur
  • Color temperature ("Warmth")
  • Color Splash Focus
  • Tilt Shift Draw and add text
  • Create your own memes
  • Cosmetic tools: fix redeye, remove blemishes and whiten teeth

PhotoGrid

This is a fun app but it's also great for organizing pictures into a grid or collage or filmstrip for posting to Facebook or even printing. Using the above pictures of Shutterball as an example, here is a nicer way to present the photos using PhotoGrid
Photogrid shutterball

GrooveBook

Gone are the days you'd bring your roll of film to the 1-hour photo and get your part, vacation or holiday pictures back to show everyone. Now it's even easier, you take the microSD card out of your phone and go to any department or drug store to a kiosk where you can pick and choose the photos you want. Do you do that? No? Me either. And I know why. It's just as easy to show people your pictures right on your phone. Why bother printing them out? Well what if you want to frame them or create a collage gift for a friend or share a group photo with everyone in the group. What if someone you want to share with doesn't have a smartphone. It's still nice to hold a photo in your hand.
Groovebook is a really neat concept I found out about on SharkTank. You subscribe for $2.99 a month and get 100 photos printed and sent to you in an easy tear out book. And you don't have to leave the comfort of your....well, wherever you are comfortable. You can bail at anytime if you don't want to continue using the service, otherwise it's a no-brainer!
I hope you find some of these cool photo tips and apps helpful. Photo apps are among my favorite!

Peace out
-CC

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