You don’t have to have a great cam­era to take amaz­ing pic­tures. Pho­to: photojaanic.com

Every­one can take an unusu­al pic­ture on a smart­phone. To do this, it is not nec­es­sary to trav­el the world and have a fan­cy cam­era and oth­er equip­ment. All you need is to under­stand the capa­bil­i­ties of your cam­era and a lit­tle tech­ni­cal knowl­edge. Here are 10 ways to get inter­est­ing mobile pho­tos.

Shoot against a light source

Sil­hou­ettes add mys­tery to pho­tographs. Pho­to: Emil Pakark­lis, eyeem.com

Cre­at­ing a sil­hou­ette is one of the key tech­niques in cre­ative pho­tog­ra­phy. By hid­ing the mod­el in the dark, you add a sense of mys­tery to the frame, allow­ing the view­er to think of a unique sto­ry behind the shot.

To make the sil­hou­ette beau­ti­ful, the light source should be behind the sub­ject dur­ing shoot­ing. When shoot­ing out­doors, the sun should be below the hori­zon. The right time for such pho­to shoots is sun­sets and sun­ris­es.

Shoot from different angles

Pho­to: iphonephotographyschool.com

Most often, pho­tographs are tak­en from chest lev­el. But if you change the angle, the pic­ture will be more inter­est­ing. Change the shoot­ing angle — sit, kneel or even lie down on the floor or the ground. When shoot­ing from below, the sub­ject in the fore­ground will appear larg­er.

For unusu­al shots, shoot a sky­scraper, a tree or a dec­o­ra­tive chan­de­lier from the bot­tom up (or vice ver­sa, from the top down).

Anoth­er promis­ing tech­nique is shoot­ing through a “frame” (win­dow, door­way or arch­way). It draws atten­tion to the back­ground of the frame.

Focus on one color

To make your shots more attrac­tive, you can empha­size or desat­u­rate cer­tain col­ors in post-pro­cess­ing, right on Insta­gram before post­ing. Pho­to expertphotography.com

Cre­ate visu­al con­sis­ten­cy by focus­ing on one col­or. Such pic­tures look aes­thet­i­cal­ly pleas­ing. You can achieve a sim­i­lar effect by find­ing sim­i­lar col­ors in one place, as in the pho­to above.

Play with reflections

Sym­me­try in pho­tographs is eye-catch­ing. Pho­to: blog.hubspot.com

You can use reflec­tions to get the orig­i­nal pho­to. They can be found almost every­where — in pud­dles, large bod­ies of water, mir­rors, sun­glass­es, glass­es, met­al sur­faces, glass build­ings, win­dows, and so on. Reflec­tions allow you to cre­ate beau­ti­ful sym­me­try for inter­est­ing pho­tos.

Use leading lines

Guide lines are lines that lead from the fore­ground to the back­ground of the scene. Pho­to: iphonephotographyschool.com

Lines allow you to guide the view­er’s eye around the frame. Lead­ing or lead­ing lines do not have to be straight, they can be curvy. For exam­ple, stairs, build­ing facades, rail­way tracks, roads or paths in the for­est.

For a guide line to add depth to an image, it should start at the bot­tom of the pho­to and go up and in, from the fore­ground to the back­ground, usu­al­ly lead­ing to the main sub­ject. This is an easy way to take a mes­mer­iz­ing pho­to.

Use the rule of thirds

The grid is a use­ful fea­ture in the mobile cam­era app. Pho­to: iphonephotographyschool.com

You can use the rule of thirds to cre­ate an inter­est­ing shot. In this case, the frame is divid­ed into 9 equal rec­tan­gles using two ver­ti­cal and two hor­i­zon­tal lines, and the main object is locat­ed along or at the inter­sec­tion of these lines. This arrange­ment of ele­ments adds bal­ance to the frame.

In the cam­eras of many smart­phones (for exam­ple, iPhone, Sam­sung, Huawei, Xiao­mi, etc.) there is a spe­cial tool to sim­pli­fy this task. It’s called the grid (enabled in the “Set­tings” of the cam­era).

To get a beau­ti­ful shot when shoot­ing land­scapes, it is bet­ter to place the hori­zon not in the cen­ter, but along the upper or low­er grid line. They can also be used to lev­el the hori­zon in a frame.

Simplify your composition

Sim­ple images look bet­ter than those that are over­loaded with details. Pho­to: iphonephotographyschool.com

If your pic­ture has too much detail, its beau­ty is lost, as it is not clear what to focus on. One way to get an orig­i­nal shot is through sim­ple com­po­si­tion. For this it is impor­tant that:

  • there was 1 main object in the pho­to;
  • the back­ground was sim­ple;
  • there was a lot of emp­ty or “neg­a­tive” (as it is called in pho­tog­ra­phy) space in the image as it draws atten­tion to the sub­ject.

Sim­ple pho­tographs often grab the atten­tion of the view­er.

Adjust exposure

Prop­er expo­sure adds detail to the shot. Pho­to: iphonephotographyschool.com

To get a bright, detailed shot, you need to adjust the expo­sure before shoot­ing. Many smart­phone cam­eras have this fea­ture, look in the set­tings. To do this, you need to press the dis­play to set the focus, then slide your fin­ger down (to get a dark­er image) or up (brighter).

Some­times, to get unusu­al pho­tos, you can, on the con­trary, delib­er­ate­ly over­ex­pose (make too bright) or under­ex­pose (too dark) the frame. For exam­ple, to cre­ate a sil­hou­ette when the sub­ject is com­plete­ly black, the pic­ture needs to be under­ex­posed.

Use repeating patterns

Even cups of soup can draw the eye to the pic­ture. Pho­to: blog.hubspot.com

Repeat­ing pat­terns such as lines, geo­met­ric shapes, shapes and col­ors are pleas­ing to the eye. They look great in pho­tos. Even a tiled floor, stones on the pave­ment and roofs of hous­es can look inter­est­ing and bewitch­ing.

Use Burst Mode

Burst mode allows you to take good shots on the move. Pho­to: iphonephotographyschool.com

Mov­ing sub­jects are not easy to pho­to­graph — either the pic­ture is blur­ry, or you can miss the moment by press­ing the shut­ter but­ton too late. The sit­u­a­tion can be cor­rect­ed by the con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing mode, when many pho­tos are tak­en at the same time. And then in the gallery you can already choose the best of them.

This mode is avail­able on smart­phones from many man­u­fac­tur­ers, includ­ing Apple, Sam­sung, Xiao­mi and oth­ers. Look in the “Set­tings” of the cam­era, how you can do con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing on your phone.

The burst shoot­ing mode increas­es the chances of cap­tur­ing high-qual­i­ty action images, as well as pho­tos of chil­dren, ani­mals, or water splash­es.

Your mobile phone’s cam­era can be a pow­er­ful tool for tak­ing beau­ti­ful pho­tos if you know how to use it.