Learn how to get the most out of your smartphone’s camera settings so you can shoot kick-ass photos that are bursting with creativity.
15 May 2020 1:00PM by ePHOTOzine | General Photography
The awesome COOPH team are out taking photos with smartphones again but this time, they've teamed up with photographer Richard Schabetsberger to bring you their top tips.
In the above video tutorial, COOPH picks out a few fun and simple concepts that anyone can shoot and then challenge their guest photographer, Richard Schabetsberger, to see what he can come up with.
The team and Richard are using the Huawei Mate 10 Pro smartphone, which we've just featured in a new Vs article, but you can apply the tips to any smartphone that has a camera built-in (what smartphone doesn't nowadays?).
They're all easily achievable from home. Here are the 8 fun ideas the COOPH team have come up with this time for a photoshoot:
1. Twisted Head Trick
You need someone with long hair for this as it involves them covering their face with their hair, popping a hat on and posing for the camera. Cousin it, eat your heart out!
2. The Double Lens
Hold a camera lens in front of your smartphone's camera lens and focus on the foreground to create a soft, out of focus foreground that frames the sharp portrait captured in the lens you are holding. The portrait will be upside down but you can flip it, if you want to, in Photoshop.
3. Capture Smoke
Light some incense, use a black background for contrast and light the smoke from the side with a lamp. Adjust the aperture or shutter speed in the camera app you are using (you can download third-party camera apps if your smartphone's native camera app doesn't have them, built in) and hit the shutter button. Do this a few times as the smoke patterns will change.
4. Rainbow Portraits
For this, you need a glass prism, a strong light source and someone to hold them for you. You then need to ask your assistant to shine the light through the prism and onto your subject's face so you can capture them in a rainbow. The technique works best in low light so switch to manual settings if you can to optimise contrast.
5. Kaleidoscope Lens
Buy a kaleidoscope but remove the beads and outer lens from it then shoot through it to warp the image you capture.
6. Shoot With Shadows
Aim a torch or a lamp at a white background or plain wall and cast shadows on it. Get creative and use shadows to tell a story. You can even use props to create interesting shapes.
7. Move Your Mirror
Take a mirror from inside out and get creative with reflections. You can capture shots with yourself in them or position yourself so you're just capturing the landscape or subject and landscape in the mirror itself.
8. Clingfilm Portraits
Take some clingfilm and shoot through it to give your portraits texture. You can also shoot in black and white to really exaggerate the texture of the plastic.
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Did you know that with a few handy settings and an App you can take professional pictures with your smartphone? Because you always carry your phone, you can easily take a quick picture, for example of an end result of a project for your portfolio. We give you 6 practical tips!
Tip 1: Clean lens
Would you like to take professional pictures with your cellphone? Then the first thing to do is to clean the lens properly before taking the picture. A dusty lens always shows on the picture. In spite of the app that lets you correct a few things, it is better to prevent it. And remember to always turn off the flash!
Tip 2: Grid
Turn on the grid/guideline at the settings for the camera on your smartphone. With IOS you can find this under settings, pictures and camera, with Android you can do this under camera settings. You can use the grid to photograph buildings and/or the horizon straight.
Tip 3: Rule of Thirds
Use the “Rule of Thirds” for better compositions. This is also a camera setting on your cellphone. The “rule of thirds” divides your image viewer in nine planes. The grid consists of two horizontal and two vertical lines, each on 1/3 part. When you decide the composition by looking through your viewer, you have to line up the main subjects approximately on one of the intersections: You place the horizon on one of the horizontal lines, depending on where you want to place the emphasis. A picture with the horizon exactly in the center is usually rather dull. That is why you place your main subject on an intersection and your other subjects as much as possible on the other intersections.
Tip 4: Focus
One of the most common errors is a picture that is out of focus. Not the camera, but you have to focus! But how do you do that? Determine with your finger on the lens which aspect you wish to focus on, create a minimum focus distance and look for contrast. With your smartphone, you can beautifully take a picture of an object or a detail from real up close, then the background will become unfocussed automatically and the focus will be drawn immediately to the aspect you wish to draw the attention to.
Tip 5: Lighting
Always check the lighting. Are there no overexposed areas in your picture? Are you not taking a picture against the sun? By tapping your finger on the focus window of your screen, a sun will appear. By sliding this up or down you can make the image darker or brighter.
Tip 6: Zooming
Zooming you do not with your camera, but by using your legs! So, don’t zoom in, but move closer to the object you wish to take a picture of — or take the photo from a default distance, and crop it later on. That way, you won’t compromise quality, and it’s easier to play around.
Most frequent mistakes in photography
- Weird or busy background
- “Skewed” or “crooked” picture
- Funny cut off image
- Over- or underexposed objects
- Pictures out of focus
- Framework too wide
Snapseed: a free super app!
Actually, every picture taken by a professional photographer is processed for publication. Why would you not enhance your own pictures that you have taken with your smartphone? You could download the app Snapseed for this via the app store or play store. To edit a picture, it is important to execute the following steps:
- If the picture is crooked, you can make it straight with the tool ‘transform’
- If there is empty space in the picture, you use the ‘cutting’ tool to bring the object in the picture more forward
- Then adjust the light, the color and the contrast with the tool ‘adjust’
- You could use the tool ‘filter’ if you wanted to. There are a number of possibilities. In case you use the focus effect, make sure the fading sharpness is about 70.
- Finally, you use the tool ‘details’ to sharpen the picture, but never go higher than 10-15. Here you can also sharpen the structure a little more.
- The picture is now ready. Next choose ‘save’ and post it on the media desired.
With these simple smartphone photography tips, you’ll be taking pictures like a pro in no time!
How to decorate phone case with pictures? We are so in love with our phones. We become much conscious in choosing the color, model and the phone company while purchasing. Not only our phones but also choosing versatile phone cases has become a trend these days.
Currently, people, have eye-catching phone cases that drag all the attention of viewers. Carrying phone cases is necessary because cases save the phone from all the dirt. In fact phone case is considered as an accessory just like bag, earring etc.
At the walk shows of Hollywood, the designers presented a great idea to demonstrate Android and iPhone cases. This idea was so unique in which they wore metal dresses and carried a classic version of alluring phone covers.
Carrying a good themed case is considered a status symbol like carrying an expensive watch. While taking a mirror-selfie the pretty phone case add a photographic meme to our photos.
Not everyone can afford an expensive phone case. Today we’re giving simple and beautiful ideas of How to decorate phone case with pictures at home. These ideas are so useful that no one can guess that you made your own case. These pictures will drag the viewers in cheap amounts.
Table of Contents
Pictures of Quotations
Our eye-catching phone case idea is for those people who’re always on the go. Here’s a unique idea for you to How to decorate phone case with pictures and with paper. Just choose your favorite quotations and print them in the desktop printer with a colorful background.
You can choose girly quotations or other historic etc according to your taste.
- Save a boyfriend for a rainy day and another in case it doesn’t rain.
- Your personality is what makes you sexy.
- I never really tried to copy anyone I like to have my own style
- Brave men rejoice in adversity, just as brave soldiers triumph in war.
Customize your phone case with beautiful pictures and wallpapers.
How to decorate phone case with pictures?
- You can choose a variety of pictures from Pinterest, Instagram and even your phone collection to embellish your iPhone or Android.
- You can even gather many pictures and make them the form of college.
- Marble background with premium colors gives an impact of the bumper and finished look.
This idea is the much coolest idea to make your phone look different from others.
Paper Glitter or Gift Paper
You can apply glitters on paper in different enthralling colors like rose gold, midnight blue, monochrome red etc.
Even you can write your name or any favorite word with glitter on the paper.
Ideas for Gift Paper
There’s a much simple idea for you if you don’t want to do any hand task. You should go and buy attractive art paper or gift paper in pretty designs like scenery, flowers, decoration, words.
Painted paper phone case
If you love painting then it’s the best choice for you.
Just do some acrylic, metallic or simple painting. You can seek painting ideas from the internet.
The abstract painting looks very fabulous on the paper. Make some squares or circles if you don’t want to go with the complex art.
Painted phone covers are very rare in the market so everyone will ask you for sure about your case.
Phone case with Name, Age and City
Just do whatever you want and enjoy it with fun.
Write your name, age, favorite lines and your city name on the case.
- Make your phone case so reflecting with the words. Make it a masterpiece at home.
Paper Flower Custom Phone Case
Paper flower custom phone case or pressed flowers are made with paper and dried flowers.
Embellish extra beauty to them
- Apply gold flakes or silver shinning bands on these flowers.
- Enhance the beauty of the phone in different color stalks.
Tattoo or Sticker Picture Case
How to make Sticker Case
- Choose a plain paper and clean it well.
- Apply tattoo and stickers of your taste from butterflies to cartoons.
- Flowers, words any sticker you want.
- Spray a mist and dried it.
- Now your tattoo paper case is ready.
- Even you can use colorful stars.
If you love history or vintage then it’s the best choice for you.
DIY of Vintage paper case
- Choose the map picture and print it.
- Stick this map on the phone with the help of transparent enamel.
How to decorate phone case with pictures of Plant/Animal
Collect the coolest picture of your favorite animals or flowers.
Roses, sunflowers, water lilies, purple petals are like by most of us.
People especially boys love lion, leopard, dogs.
Print your favorite collection and stick it on the phone. This thing is one of my personal favorites.
Pictures with Logo
Logo of your favorite brand or some food restaurant etc can be print on the paper.
Like, clothing brand, Mcdonalds, KFC, Addidas, and any other logo can be used.
Sometimes family photos can make a space look dated and cluttered (hello old style collage frames). Here’s how to decorate with family photos so they look stylish and memorable too!
Frequently family photos get a bad rap when it comes to decorating a home with style. And for a really long time I believed the same thing. Today we’re going to talk about how to decorate with family photos in a stylish way.
After all how many ugly framed photo collages have we all seen “gracing” the walls of homes? How many randomly sized and shaped photos can be displayed in one frame? (I always wondered why they couldn’t make those things more stylish.)
Gallery walls with individually framed pictures, custom art and other memorabilia have finally elevated the family photo closer to artwork than ever before. The prevalence of great family photographers with less cliche photo studio shots have also helped to make family photos much more attractive.
So how does one decorate with family photos in a stylish and attractive way?
How to Decorate with Family Photos
1. Use an Easel
Use an easel to display a single large family photo. This can be framed or simply clipped to the easel for a casual display and would look fabulous in the dining room or family room!
2. Print on Canvas
Enlarge and have a family photo printed on canvas and hang it on the wall in the dining room or over the couch.
3. Unify with Frame Color
Hang family photos in a variety of shapes and sizes, but unify them with a single color of frame like white or black.
4. Go with Black and White
Use a grid pattern, black and white photos and black frames (like we did with our Michaels frames above my desk) to create a classically elegant photo display.
5. Use Office Supplies
Cover a large bulletin board with snapshots, keeping the photos completely inside the edges for a unified and tidy look.
Bonus? Any of these ideas would make a fabulous Mother’s Day, birthday or anniversary idea too! And being able to see your family photos will bring back memories and make your home more lovable!
What are your thoughts on decorating with family photos? Do you keep things cohesive and stylish?
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I love the idea of nine. And interchange. My husband and I married hmmm a couple years after our oldest had graduated high school. Then our youngests graduated. I was tired of 8×10’s standing on surfaces if it was to be four of them so we purchased four matching frames and mats. There was both brown and black in the frames and they hung in our hallway–the first thing we saw when we walked in the door. But as a couple weddings and one came with three auto grandkids who were graduating already from high school, that piano was growing small. The one said no one got extra photos without getting married. So I carefully included all children. Even our wedding photo. Our one biological grandson. A niece and son. I was given frames so what began as precise is now random. I was editor of our yearbook and won awards for layout against huge city schools so with that experience I feel it is eye pleasing. Forever? No. But for now? Sure. Why not. It’s just us here and all these people are so busy now. But it can remind me to pray for one. Remember a happy moment when one was 15. It’s our immediate family!! My helper says she–who was left with no family and her mother died eventually so she could not reconnect–says this wall is her favorite of my home. And so to someone it may be clutter. But I never thought what it meant to sweet B who never ever had these memories.
I have mine hanging from an electrical conduit rod that is attached to a white wood panel. The frames are black in different sizes with black and white photos. The frames hang from the rod with a round metal clip. Then other frames are hung below with twine.
Sounds deliciously industrial! Perfect!
Thanks for the good tips Shannon. Decorating with family photos is my #1 favorite way to decorate.
Yes! I have a gallery wall where I spray painted all the frames black to make them one cohesive unit. Love it!
Sounds awesome! Good job!
Thanks for the inspiration ! Amazing ideas.
Hey there, home-maker!
Welcome! I’m Shannon, author and founder of Home Made Lovely. I teach mommas just like you how to create the home you’ve always wanted.
If you don’t have a high-end camera, you are out of luck when it comes to taking product photos for your online store, right? Wrong—in fact, you’re probably carrying the camera you need in your pocket every day in the form of your smartphone.
Investing in a professional photographer is more of a luxury than a necessity. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be bringing in sales long before you make that investment. Below, we’ll talk about how you can take your pocket computer and produce high-quality product photos using only your smartphone.
1. Set Up Your Space
The first step is to make sure that the scene you are setting will make for a good image. Anyone visiting your site wants to see product-focused, high-quality images that make it very clear what you are selling and what they can expect in the mail. To that end, you want to make sure your products are clean and that your setup is correct before you start snapping. Make sure your lighting looks good (natural light is the best) and your backdrop isn’t too complicated. If you’re on a budget, set up a makeshift photo studio.
2. Choose Your Smartphone Camera
Not all smartphones are created equal, especially when it comes to their cameras. iPhones are known for being miles ahead in this department, but the truth is that newer Android phones are catching up. That means you can finally take great images without having to invest in an Apple product if you don’t want to. Your best choices for a phone camera are:
- iPhone 8 or newer
- Google Pixel 3 or newer
- Samsung Galaxy S8 or newer
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8 or newer
The current standard for phone cameras is around the 12 megapixel mark—anything on that level will give you the image quality you need. Odds are that either you or one of your friends have a camera on your smartphone that will suit your needs.
3. Acquire Additional Lenses
You can add a lot of functionality to your phone’s camera with additional lenses. Close-up or wide angle lenses are very useful for getting regular product shots, and others like the fisheye can help create interesting social media content. You can find reviews on the best iPhone lenses here, and learn more about Android lenses here.
4. Choose Appropriate Settings
Unlike with a film camera, space here doesn’t cost you anything. Choose the largest file size and the highest resolution settings that your phone allows. This will give you the best and most detailed image possible to start out with. Once you are happy with the final product, you can reduce the file size if needed.
5. Clean Your Lens
Lenses are easy to carry everywhere—in pockets, purses, cupholders, etc. Due to their portable nature, they tend to pick up a lot of dust, dirt, and debris. To avoid noticeable smudges and imperfections in your final product, make sure you clean your camera lens well before your photo session begins (and do another quick clean before it starts).
6. Steady Your Camera
Your best option is to invest in a small tripod that will hold your smartphone steady at the best possible angle. This is a tiny purchase that will make a big difference in the smoothness of the process—and your end product. Simply eliminating camera shake will make a major difference and let you keep your camera in place between shots.
7. Take Your Photos—And Avoid Basic Mistakes
You’re now ready to begin shooting your product photos. As you do so, make sure you avoid these common mistakes that novice photographers make with their smartphones:
- Forget taking a selfie: Use your rear-facing camera instead of your selfie cam—it will almost always be higher resolution than the front-facing camera. Also, trying to take pictures with the selfie camera will almost always give you weird angles, which is not worth it in the long run.
- Turn the flash off: The flash on your phone is not ideal for quality photos. And while you may have one handy as an inexpensive option, neither is a flashlight. Get your lighting right by using as much natural light as possible and including two LED light sources in your setup.
- Don’t zoom in: Digital zoom is not great for picture quality. Unfortunately, it’s the only type of zoom you have with a smartphone camera. If you need a close-up shot, simply move in closer to your product—the finished product will look much better and require less adjustments.
- Take enough detailed photos: Customers will want to see as much as they can before they make a commitment. Make sure to provide lots of high-quality images of your most expensive products to help make the sale. Shoot all the sides and angles you can, and make sure to zoom in on detailed areas and points of use: zippers, buttons, controls, straps, etc.
8. Perfect Your Photos
You aren’t entirely limited to the quality of your phone’s camera and default settings—there are other ways to go above and beyond to get better images as well. Consider editing your final photos either on your phone or on your desktop to ensure you end up with the best possible images for your customers.
These days, you no longer have to have a professional camera or even a professional behind the lens. If you need new product images for your store, it’s easier now than it ever has been before to do it yourself. Grab your smartphone, set up your “studio,” and start taking photos of your products. Remember—if they aren’t perfect, you can always take more.
Holly Cardew is the Founder of Pixc, a platform to help ecommerce stores edit and optimize their product photos so they can increase their sales. Pixc turns average product images into beautiful ones.
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A picture may be worth a thousand words but there are situations where you might be required to annotate or label your pictures to convey your message properly. This is where all those photo editing apps come into play that let you put catchy labels on your photos. Not just that; there are certain photo embellishing out there as well that let you imprint exotic stickers on your photos to make them look more vivid and appealing. NorthPark – the developer of Old Photo – is back with yet another fun photo editing app for Android users. While Old Photo gave your fresh snaps vintage looks, Label Plus lets you add stylish labels to them. Although somewhat similar in functionality to previously reviewed Labelbox, Label Plus is appealing in its own way (courtesy of eye-candy labels and tap-to-add stars). In addition, Label Plus adds a few more label designs to keep you occupied with your images.
While Label Plus may not be the only Android app that offers all the glittery stuff in the form of labels and stickers, it certainly is among the richest ones that we’ve come across so far. As mentioned earlier, Label Plus takes a leaf out of Labelbox to present you with some elegant and attractive labels for your snaps. The app opens to a welcome screen with a brief how to use guide that should be more than enough to teach you how the app works.
As the guide would tell you, to start labeling your snaps, you must tap the little blue arrow (on top). Tap on the camera icon to capture a new image or on the folder icon to import one from your gallery. Once an image is selected, tap again on the blue arrow to launch the menu from where you can select a desired label or decoration. These include simple textual labels, decorative stars and ribbon labels.
Swipe anywhere on the image to place the label, drag to re-position it, add some text if required (not applicable with stars though) and when done, save your snaps and share them with your friends. Saved snaps are placed in the sdcard/LabelPlus folder. Labeling photos with this app is simple, fun and it doesn’t even require you to reach for your wallet (it’s free!).
With several other similar apps in the Android Market already, it remains to be seen whether Label Plus has what it takes to catch the eyes of one and all.
COOPH just released this fun little 3-minute video that shares 8 tips, tricks, and ideas for smartphone photography. It’s a dose of inspiration for getting creative with the camera in your pocket.
Here’s a quick rundown of the ideas demonstrated by photographer Richard Schabetsberger in Salzburg, Austria (watch the video to see more instructions along with examples of results):
#1: Use a Balloon for Aerial Shots
You can use a helium balloon and fishing line to shoot aerial photos and videos on the cheap.
#2: Sunglasses as a Filter
Gradient sunglasses can be used as a filter for scenes to even out bright skies and dark landscapes.
#3: Make a Pinhole with Cardboard
You can punch a hole in some cardboard to create a makeshift pinhole lens for your phone.
#4: Hold up a 3D Picture Frame
Frame your subjects in 3D using a cutout Polaroid picture frame.
#5: Create a ‘Tiny Planet’ Photo
Download one of the many “tiny planet” apps out there to photograph the world as little worlds.
#6: Shoot High-Key Photos
Lock exposure on your phone while pointing the camera at a black surface to shoot high-key photos.
#7: Inception Selfie
Use your phone to place photos within your photos.
#8: Create a DIY Projector
You can turn a cardboard box into a simple projector by adding a camera lens.
Image credits: Video and photographs by COOPH and used with permission
Thanks to cameras on our smartphone, we’re becoming a nation that’s snap happy and all have plenty of photos on our smartphones. In fact, we each have an average of 651 photos on our mobile phones, according to Kodak, but with only 12% of us actively printing them out, they are clearly just languishing on our smartphones not being enjoyed or shared.
The good news is, it isn’t that difficult to make a digital photo album of the pictures straight from your smartphone or tablet and share them. Our techie experts show how.
iPhone or iPad
Start by switching on iCloud Photo Sharing. Go to Settings > Photo & Camera and then flick the slider to on. Open the Photo app and then tap New Shared Album. Give the album a title, and press Next to select the contacts you want to share the album with. Once the album is created, tap on it and press the + icon to add picture then press Post.
Anyone you invited to the album will receive a notification icon on their photos app and an email too (if this option is set up) to alert them . To access the album, they should click the Shared icon when they’ve opened the photos app, to accept the invitation. Then they can then add photos to the album by tapping on the album and pressing the + icon that’s displayed among the photos.
The album can be shared privately with other iPhone and iPad users providing they have iCloud Photo Sharing switched on.
What about different types of devices?
You can also share the album with those that don’t have iPhones and iPads but bear in mind it will be published to a website that anyone can view so it won’t be private. This is where we think the the Google Photos app is a better choice, as it works across iPhones, iPads and Google Android devices. It’s similar to iCloud Photo Sharing but you’ll need to download the app to your smartphone or tablet, and then create an album.
To share an album with your friends and family, tap the album and press the menu icon (three vertical dots) and select Share. Also make sure the Let others add their photos option is switched on from the same menu if you want others to add to the album. Press Get Link and the link will be copied to your clipboard. Simply paste this link either in an email or text message to those that you want to view the album. You’ll get a notification icon on the app if someone has added a picture to the album.
I’ve got a Windows phone, how can I share my photos?
On a Windows Phone, you need the help of OneDrive, Microsoft’s online storage service, to create shared albums. Start by uploading the photos from your phone to OneDrive. Open the Photos app and from the camera roll select the photos you want to share. The press the Share icon, which looks like three arrows in a circle, and then Choose OneDrive from the options displayed.
Tap Pictures and press the Tick icon at the bottom of the screen. This will save them to OneDrive. Now open the OneDrive app and press the Albums tab. Tap the icon that looks like a folder with a + sign next to it to create a new Album and name it. Now you’ll be presented with all the photos in your OneDrive. Select the Ones you want to add to the folder and press the Tick at the bottom of the screen. Press the Share Icon at the bottom of the screen and then tap Share Link and then choose whether you want the folder to be view only or can be edited with those that you share it with and then select the options displayed as to how you want to share the link eg Messaging or Email. Type in the recipients names and then share your link to the album. Again like the other methods, the online album is only viewable to those you share the link with and it doesn’t matter which phone the other person has, they can still view the link.