The Tips and Tricks – what to do and what to avoid
What makes smartphone landscape photography tricky? The answer is quite simple: unlike DSLR cameras, smartphones do not come with various interchangeable lenses and features like long exposure time and control for depth of field. In other words, smartphones have limitations. But taking good photos of your favorite landscapes can be easy if you know what to (and what to avoid).
What you see with your eyes will translate differently when seen using a smartphone camera
For starters, you don’t just focus or look at one area of the landscape or scene (as in a beach at sunset). Your eyes roam around and in the process, it shifts to different focuses. Smartphones cannot do this – even the most expensive ones.
So the first tip would be to look at the scene from the point of view of your smartphone camera, not from your eyes.
Keeping your lens clean and dry
When there is dirt or any foreign object on your smartphone lens, this will affect the outcome of your photos.
For example, you use an iPhone 7 and you’ve been taking a lot of good photos with it. One time, however, you noticed that your photos were too pale and that no matter what you do or which app you use, you can’t adjust the contrast. And then you take a look at your lens and find out that it has something slimy or oil on it.
Any dirt or smudge will cause your photos to come out blurry, whitish, or has wrong white balance and contrast. So it is important to clean your smartphone lens all the time.
Do not take composition for granted
Since smartphones normally have large viewfinders, it should be easy for you to compose your shots. So for that beach at sunset scene, you don’t need to focus solely on the sun; you can include the beach in the scene.
While it’s true that smartphones do not have a natural wide-angle lens and a true zoom feature, there are options for creating the shot you want. One example for this is using the panorama feature. Another option is using apps like Camera+, Autostitch, or ProCamera.
Autostitch will help you create panoramas out of your photos. It “stitches” or joins your photos together.
Another good trick for composition is focusing on smaller points of interest, like a lighthouse in the middle of a vast green land by the beach. Or a fishing boat in the middle of the sea at sunrise. These are tiny details that can add a lot of stories (and depth) to your photos.
Do not use the flash
Unless you want your shots to have a motion blur, or you prefer subjects with yellow skin and red eyes! Simply put, smartphone camera flashes are difficult to manage. So better stay away from it than risk ruining your photos.