Steven Ingle: Outdoor Photography Tips For Smartphone Cameras

Smartphone cameras are constantly improving with the leading smartphones enabling you to take excellent quality photographs that you can then quickly edit and share with friends! A smartphone is often a lot easier to carry around than a camera and in today’s world it is very unusual for someone not to be equipped with a smartphone in their pocket. The beauty of this is that when you stumble upon some spectacular scenery, wildlife or sunset you can quickly capture the moment. A smartphone camera is also a lot easier to use than a camera, however it is important to note that you don’t have as much control and the quality is not likely to be as high as that of a camera. However, you only have to take a look at the entrants for the iphone photography awards to see the potential your smartphone camera has! Here are 5 top tips for taking photos in the outdoors with your humble smartphone!

1. Avoid Using Zoom

Avoid using zoom on your smartphone camera as this is typically a digital zoom not an optical which will crop the image as you zoom in, greatly reducing image quality. Instead of using the zoom crop your photo on your phone after to ensure the standard of quality is kept.

2. Panoramic Shots

If you come across some spectacular scenery while out in your van use a panoramic shot to ensure nothing is missed out of your photo. This can be seen in the panorama photo above which Erin took on her smartphone. The panorama mode on the smartphone works by binding multiple photos together, perfect for capturing sunsets and rolling hills. It is, however, important that you keep the camera steady when moving from one side to the other so that the photos bind together seamlessly.

3.Keep Steady and Focused

It is important that you keep the phone still while taking the photo. This steadiness can be improved by holding the phone in both hands and then using the side button to take the photo rather than the touch screen. Often your phone will focus by itself but it is best to manually focus. This is done by simply tapping on the screen at the part of the image you want to focus in on.

4.Burst mode for moving animals

Sometimes it can be difficult to take photos of animals due them moving quickly. A good way to try and capture animals when they are moving is by using the burst mode. This takes several photos in quick succession, enabling you to capture the moving animal and increase your chances of getting a good photo.

5.Think About Light

When you are taking a photo, it is important to think about the light as this can make or break your photo. When it is overcast the light is soft and provides a better exposure to create an evenly lit photo due to the diffusion of the sunlight through the clouds. This prevents the harsh direct light that creates sharp shadows and highlights in your photo. If it is a sunny day having the sun behind you will light the subject in front of you giving you a clear image, or if you shoot into the light it will create a silhouette as seen with the Jerba campervan in the above photo. You can use light to create a varied and dynamic range of photographs.

P.s…don’t forget to clean your lens as it can get quite grubby in your pocket and hands.

So, go and get out in your van and take as many photos as you can of your van and your surroundings! Don’t forget to send your photos to us, we love to see where all the Jerba’s are and share them with our online community! Check out our Instagram page to see some of the photos other people in the Jerba community have sent over to us!