Believe it or not, you don’t have to own expensive equipment to become an art photographer who makes high-quality photos! If you want to become a pro phone photographer and take pictures that will blow everyone away, you are in luck, because we have a perfect solution for you!
TAKE STUNNING PHOTS & VIDEOS is your complete instructional guide on taking breathtaking special effects shots and cool images your friends won’t believe! Start reading and transform the way you take pictures forever!
Balancing Photo Compositions
The biggest challenge most photographers face when using an ultra wide-angle lens for the first time is achieving a balanced composition. You have to re-think the way you compose a picture because the larger angle of view adds many more elements to a photograph. This can make for a very busy photo and may cause the main subject to get lost amongst the other elements in the shot. When composing a shot remember that wide-angle lenses make objects far away look smaller. Shooting at eye level with wide-angle lenses makes for uninteresting photos.
Shoot close for more interesting photographs, using elements in a scene to create depth. You can use objects such as leading lines wich include walls, trails, fences, roads, etc., to add interest to your photos. Leading lines start out in the foreground and extend to the horizon and will contribute to the distance to create more perspective. To enhance this effect, put the start of the leading line off to the side of the frame and have it extend out to the main subject.
Getting Close to Your Subject
When we view a scene, we see it much differently than the way the lens sees it because we don’t possess the peripheral vision of a wide-angle lens. Our brain actually eliminates clutter and isolates singular sections of a scene, making it seem more distinct and closer to us than it does to the lens.
Moving physically closer to the subject increases the size of the subject’s image on the sensor and will also alter the subject’s size relative to the other objects in a scene (perspective). There are two ways to alter the size of your subject in a scene. One way is to move closer to the subject to make it appear large, relative to more distant objects. Or, you might move further away to make it look small.
Distorting an Image
If you want to greatly distort an image and make it obvious that it was photographed with a fisheye lens, get closer to your subject and either tilt the camera up from a low position or tilt down from a high viewpoint. The closer you get, the more the subject will protrude outward, producing a bulbous, convex effect.
You need not shoot only circular objects with ultra-wide angle lens because the curvature of the lens will produce a spherical appearance to the objects that you photograph. You can, however, incorporate the curvilinear design of the lens when shooting rounded structures such stadiums, rotundas, carousels, ferris wheels, etc., to enhance their spherical shapes.
If you want to minimize the fisheye effect, eliminate any vertical lines near the edges of the frame and place any straight lines directly in the center of the frame. When straight lines are in the center of the frame, they will not bend, but stay relatively straight.
Large Groups of People
When photographing large groups of people, try to photograph from the waist up, if possible, and not from head to toe. This will keep the faces more prominent and recognizable. Make an effort to break up the straight-line of heads and also close up spaces between the people in the group. Move as close as you can without distorting the edges of the frame and move the whole group close together. Make sure no one is blocked out by another person. Try to get everyone to relax, have fun and keep their eyes open!
For action shots, just remember, if you want to freeze action and retain sharp detail in your subject, use burst mode on your phone (fast shutter speed 1/25 or faster). It allows you to take a series of photos within a few seconds or a “quick burst.” The goal is to capture at least one sharp shot with ideal composition during the burst period. You can select the best photo from the burst session once it’s complete.
If you want to show linear movement and emphasize motion by blurring the subject, use a slow shutter app on your phone, ideally with the camera mounted on a tripod for added stability. Use a shutter speed of 1/30 second or slower. For more impact, open the shutter just as the subject enters from either side of the viewfinder. Use a slow enough shutter speed to allow the subject to proceed about 3/4 of the way into the frame. This will leave 1/4 of the frame without the subject, (negative space) which will increase the sense of forwarding motion. This, together with the leading lines created by the blurred action, help bring a viewer’s eye into the scene.
The combination of a slow shutter speed and the sharp depth of field of a wide-angle lens helps establish a more heightened feeling of motion by keeping the background in sharp focus while the subject blurs against it.
The advantages of using a wide-angle lens is the sharp depth of field, that make the wide-angle lens ideal for action shots. The wide angle of view also helps minimize blur because the movements of a subject are not exaggerated as they would be from the narrow angle of view that would occur from using only the phone camera. Also, when shooting sports action such as basketball, baseball, ect., where the action is played out on a wide field, a wide lens will allow you to capture a large area of action.
Try to use a tripod and cable release to eliminate camera shake.
Prefocus your lens at a specific area in the field of action and wait for the subject to arrive at that area to make the shot. This way, you don’t have to follow the subject and constantly adjust our focus.
Photographing a still life is a good way to improve your skills in composition and visualization. Simply put an arrangement of inanimate objects that can be found naturally or set up by the photographer.
You can find natural compositions in most outdoor settings. Some examples are shells and driftwood on the beach, rows of colorful beach umbrellas, or rocking chairs sitting on a porch. Look for interesting and distinct shapes, strong color, and the interplay of light and shadow. Try shooting at various camera angles and positions for more interesting results. Remember to balance the composition of the many elements and don’t be afraid to distort lines or alter perspective to create a photograph with impact.
When photographing interiors, first decide where your camera viewpoint will be. You might choose more than one viewpoint to add more interest to the shot and to achieve several different looks. Find one or several elements in the room that offer a strong visual impact. To give a more spacious feeling to a room, use an ultra-wide lens to include as much or the room as possible. Before shooting, take a final look at the screen to make sure there are no unnwanted elements in the shot. It will also help you visualize the final image.
Photography is all about using light. Even the most boring composition will be saved by the good light no matter if it’s a day or evening.
When using a flash for interiors or indoor group shots, turn off your smartphone’s inbuild flash and use an external flash unit with wide-angel coverage.
For more pleasing, natural looking light, bounce the flash off the ceiling or a piece of white board, or use a diffuser attachment instead of using a direct flash.
Another way to evenly light a wide area is to use two remote slave flash units positioned at the perimeters of your subject.
Finally, a more advanced technique for lighting interiors for wide-angle photography is to “paint” interior with light from a portable electronic flash unit. This method of lighting works well with large dimly lit interiors.
It also can be used to selectively lighten up dark areas of just about any interior, especially when your flash unit will not efficiently illuminate a very wide area. With this technique, mount your phone on a tripod and switch to the remote shutter.