Mobile Photography Tips for Travellers

Mobile Photography Tips for Travellers

Ahead of the coming National Day celebrations and the potential long weekend (we’re sure some of you would have thought of taking Monday, 8th August off!), we would like to share a timely tipsheet for those who are taking advantage of this short break to jaunt off to somewhere around the region.

Want to show off your most memorable times from the weekend in Bali, Phuket, Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur? Here are six mobile photography tips which are simple-to-execute, yet are sure to bring additional attention to your photos.

1. Find your focus
You may find that you have to redo the shot you wanted to take multiple times, especially when you’re shooting a planned action (eg: a shot of someone jumping, fireworks going off, a splash of water). Finding a point to focus on, and locking focus beforehand solves that issue. Instead of having to search for the focus and shooting the picture at the moment, the photo happens instantly and the results are beautiful.

2. Blur it out
Given the small sensors on phones, getting a shallow depth of field is hard but not impossible. Keep your subject at the minimum focusing distance of your phone, so when you focus on it you’ll see that nice blur that will separate your subject from the background.

Alternately, if you have something very close to your phone and focus on a subject in the background, you’ll add the blur to the foreground, as you can see here.

3. Go where the bigger cameras can’t
One of the bigger advantages with a smartphone is that it can fit in very tight spaces, where you wouldn’t usually be able to put your bigger cameras. So make use of the advantage that the size provides to see some very interesting perspectives. For example, the following shot was taken through a rolled up metal framework which no DSLR could have fit through:

4. Approaching people
Some people (especially locals in the places to go to) tend to get conscious around big cameras, and that’s where smartphones come in handy. It usually goes unnoticed and you end up getting some rather candid shots – especially of people going about their daily lives, which makes for capturing photography

5. Go Manual
The point of shooting on the phone is to obviously keep it simple, but when you have extra options, you might as well take advantage! A lot of newer smartphones from 2015 and beyond let you control the shutter speed or ISO manually (though most phones have fixed apertures). By using these options you can sometimes take images that would previously have been possible only with a more advanced compact camera.

For example, by keeping the shutter open for a longer period of time, light trail photography can prove to be one of the most stunning imagery you can capture. Of course, you’ll need a steady hand or a tripod to achieve this too!

6. Image processing.
Some of the more advanced smartphones also shoot RAW images and let you take advantage of the dynamic range of the sensor. Previously you had to move them to your computer to process them, but now there are mobile photography apps such as Adobe Photoshop Express to do this on your phone! Also, we’ve recently updated Adobe Lightroom for Mobile with brand new features that will improve what you can do with your mobile photos.

Here, you can see how flat the raw image looks. A few tweaks to the contrast, clarity, vibrance, and also a little de-noising, creates a much more appealing image.

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