Take better photos with your smartphone camera’s manual mode

There are several smartphones with really powerful cameras. This means that you can take really stunning pictures with just you smartphone. A lot of people just whip out their phones and take pictures, and it comes out just right. This is because of the camera’s automatic mode. However, the real smartphone photography is not done with auto mode. You can try out the smartphone camera’s manual mode instead; that’s where the real fun is.

Here are some tips to take amazing pictures using smartphone camera’s manual mode:

  1. Choose the best camera app: Sometimes, all the features you might need in manual mode might not be available on the default camera app. You need to download a good camera app. Examples of good camera apps include Camera360 Ultimate, VSCO, Pixlr, Open Camera and Camera FV-5.
  2. Use the grid overlay to frame your pictures: Whether you are setting your picture up to look uniform or messy, you need to frame it. Always use the grid overlay feature of your camera. Here, the horizontal lines help you frame the horizon, and the vertical lines help align vertical objects like buildings. Remember the rule of thirds: you subject must align with one of the lines or intersections of the grid.
  3. Sometimes, it is best to use HDR mode. This is mostly useful when your subject is backlit. It compensates for differences in light and contrast. However, you do not need it all the time.
  4. Try out macro mode: This makes things quite interesting. You just need to position your camera quite close to subject. But not too close; most manufacturers suggest a distance of not less than 3cm.
  5. Use the ISO to adjust exposure and light sensitivity: The ISO controls the exposure levels. You have to adjust it according to the environment and subject. A higher ISO means slower shutter speed, while a lower ISO means less noise.
  6. Use your flash sparingly. Ideally, you should use the flash where the background is bright and your subject is dark. Do not bring your flash too close to your subject’s face or near reflective surfaces.

A smartphone camera’s manual mode is not the easiest thing to get used to. However, you can use it to take really fantastic pictures. Try it for yourself.

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