3 tips for taking better smartphone photos

timabarta September 26, 2018

The smartphone has become the everyday camera for many people, simply because it’s always on hand. But smartphone photos often aren’t so great, especially when you see them on a larger screen or printout. Here are three ways to fix that:

1. Hold your smartphone steady. Smartphone photos turn out blurry if you don’t hold the phone steady. Today’s bigger, thinner phones can be harder to hold when taking pictures and most phone cameras don’t have image stabilization. Always hold the phone with two hands and, if possible, brace your elbows against your torso or knees or on a table or chair back.

2. Don’t use the zoom. Smartphones don’t have big, bulky “optical zoom” lenses. Their “digital zooms” crop the image, so you can wind up with a splotchy, blurry shot. Instead, zoom with your feet: for a close-up, move in; for a wide shot, step back.

3. Check out some apps. Your phone’s built-in camera app is fine, but downloadable apps can give you big benefits. Instagram and Hipstamatic offer easy-to-use, one-touch filters. And you get added control from apps such as Camera+Snapseed, and VSCO Cam. Many are free.