The 10 most important rules of smartphone photography (Part 1)

In order to produce high quality, interesting and artistic images we need to know the important rules of photography on a smartphone. Here they are.

Landscape (photo credit: AMICHAI YANKOVICH)
Landscape
(photo credit: AMICHAI YANKOVICH)
In recent years, photography on a smartphone has become an integral part of our lives.
Over 80% of pictures taken today in the world are by a smartphone. The high availability of the smartphone that is constantly present to us, the continuous and significant improvement in the technical capabilities of the smartphone's camera and the new features of the various photography modes in recent years provide us with a basket of easy-to-use tools for producing beautiful images. However, in order to produce high quality, interesting and artistic images we need to know the important rules of photography on a smartphone. Here they are:
1. Portrait or Landscape
Our first decision is at the conscious or unconscious selection stage - from smartphone photography to portrait or landscape.
By default, we want to take a landscape shot. You can see it at any serious photo exhibition or at any image bank  - most of the pictures are lateral rather than lengthwise.
 

Why is landscape photography preferable?

Our spatial vision is lateral, our eyes are on one side of the other, and therefore our maximum absorption is lateral. In lateral photography, we will usually hold the smartphone with both hands - giving us stability in the grip and increasing the chance of sharpness in the picture.
So in what cases can you photograph along? In general, when there are details that add value to the image at the bottom and top of the image.
To simplify, there are 4 cases where we can (not necessarily) shoot along:
1. Photographing a bone built along a road sign, a tall building, a giraffe, a tree and more.
2. Close-up photography - a photograph of any object that is really close, perfectly possible also along.
3. Photography of motion on the vertical axis of the image - for example, a man climbs a ladder or waterfall.
4. Portrait photography.
2. Gridlines - to help you with the most important composition
In every smartphone of recent years, this function can be activated. Using these guides, which simulate an x-circle grid, we can photograph a composition called  the rule of thirds. In general, composition is a concept that describes a pattern of perspective in a picture that serves as a general rule of thumb for photography that is aesthetically pleasing to the human eye.
The rule of thirds is the most important and common composition of all compositions. In order to take a picture of the law of the thirds, we simply need to place our subject (the central element in the image) on or near one of the intersection points of these gridlines:
3. Distance from the subject and photographic angles
Selecting the shooting angle and distance from the subject has a great effect on what is seen in the picture.
Therefore, we often want to approach the situation and choose the right angle of photography:
Photographing people from the bottom up - intensifies the figure but usually not flattering and can highlight a double chin.
Top down - when the bottom of the image has something to tell - usually a less common angle of shooting.
Photography from the ground level - emphasizes the texture of the ground and provides an interesting and original perspective.
Photography of children / animals - from their height when we want to produce a sense of depth behind them rather than our height down when the background is this floor.
Selfie Photography - It is highly recommended to photograph Selfie from the top down to avoid distortion of the chin or nose.
In general - when we want to photograph people, animals or situations, we will strive to get closer to the situation. Robert Capa, the famous press photographer, coined the sentence: "If your pictures are not good enough, you're not close enough."
4. Photography in variable lighting conditions
Consider the light that falls on the subject and the background behind it.
The only problematic case is when the subject is in shadow and the background is brighter: either the subject has a silhouette (black with no details) or it is correctly illuminated but the background will burn.
Solution: The subject will exit the shaded area and enter a bright area or, if possible, change the angle of the photograph so that the background behind the photograph is also shaded evenly.
In contrast to this case, it is possible to take a dramatic picture by taking an object in the light with a shadow in the background. The effect achieved is a dramatic effect in which the subject is illuminated and the background is dark.
Picture 2
 
5. Sharpness and light measurement
When we tap the screen with your finger at a certain point, we do two things simultaneously:
1. Focus on the subject.
2. Adjust the camera from where to measure the light.
Measuring light is actually our command on the camera to measure light from a particular source and refer to that source as its reference point.
In addition, you can adjust the amount of light entering the camera even before the photo itself - by lightly touching the screen of the device. As soon as we touch the screen we can see a plus-minus scale on most devices or arrows (xiaomi), sun (iPhone) or tungsten bulb (Galaxy). Once we drag the icon toward the plus we can put more light into the picture and vice versa.
This action is used to adjust the intensity of light that we will assign to the frame at the time of shooting.

Amichai Yankovich, the owner of piccell - smartphone photography workshop, based in Israel for individuals, groups, companies, organizations and schools.

Want to purachase a Gift Card for the workshop? click here for details.