So I know you all have smart phones and they're probably full of photos and videos. But would you like to have more of an idea on how to get better images? Read on -
1. Turn on your photo grid (in settings menu). I'm sure you've heard of the "rule of thirds" in photography? The idea is to position your points of interest where the lines intersect for more pleasing image. This will also benefit you greatly with keeping those beach horizons straight!
2.Get down low. the benefit of having such a small handheld camera is all the awkward places you can get it to capture that different image. And on that subject, always consider photographing children at their eye level or even lower, from in the long grass, or with the sand as the foreground at the beach - makes for a much more interesting shot.
3. Make silhouettes. This is an easy one! If you stand in the shadow of your subject and shoot directly at the source of light (sun) the camera will do the rest!
And while on the subject of shadows, always try to include the whole shadow in your composition, without cutting it in half - makes for great "lead in lines" to the subject.
4. Hold the phone with both hands, not precariously trying to hold and click the shutter at the same time - this will result often in motion blur not to mention crooked horizons!
And while you're at it, hold the phone close to your face, not at arms length. After all you need to see clearly how you're composing the shot.
5. Zoom with your feet, not the zoom button! Unless you physically cant, you'll get a much clearer and better quality image if you walk up and compose your image properly.
6. Touch the screen. This allows you to control where your phone will focus as well as controlling the exposure. Tap on the dark area to lighten the whole image and vice versa to darken it. Experimenting and practice is the key.
7. Avoid low light situations as the inbuilt ISO capabilities in smart phones are not that great and you will end up with grainy images. If you do end up with a grainy image that you love though, try turning it to black and white and get that grungy style that's popular at the moment.
8. Clean the lens! - Self explanatory...
9. Make sure your HDR is on. Basically this means your camera will take 3 images at exactly the same time- one overexposed or too light (to capture the dark shadows), one mid range and another underexposed or too dark (to capture the bright highlights. It then merges all 3 images to create one that has detail in the bright areas as well as the darks - here is an example I found to demonstrate what I mean...
10. Download some create apps such as Hipstamatic for creative filters or apps that let you play with exposure such as Pro Camera 7 So much fun!
12. You can purchase little tripods for your smart phones. These allow you to be in the photo when you use the self timer and also to create night time long exposures. You can also purchase creative lenses such as the Olloclip which enables your camera to takes wide angle shots or reversible for macro shots. Great idea for Christmas stockings!
12. And most importantly - Make sure you get them off the phone. If you don't often upload to the cloud storage device or plug your phone into your PC, you can email them to yourself straight away (as I do if I snap "a keeper") and add it to my "Moments of 2014 Yearbook folder" to print at Christmas. Easy!
Now just make sure its charged...