5 tips for taking an artistic photo with your smartphone
To the chagrin of art photography enthusiasts, the smartphone competes with the Reflex. The possibilities of artistic photography that these objects offer in the hollow of our pocket are more and more impressive. But the machine does (almost) not everything, what should you keep in mind to take better photos with your smartphone? Here are some additional tips to wow the gallery.
What are the qualities of a good photo?
We remember the iPhone advertising campaigns showing a large format art photo with the words "photo taken with the iPhone". This campaign has certainly convinced more than one to grab their smartphone in search of an artistic photo. In this article, we adapt the basics of photography at the small blue screen.
1. Choose a smartphone suitable for artistic photography
The advantage of the smartphone is that it accompanies us everywhere. It is easy to use it to immortalize your daily life or take travel photos. However, some models can be very disappointing in shooting quality. What to consider when choosing a smartphone?
- Sensor size and quality which allows greater sensitivity. This factor is very useful when you like to take portrait or landscape photos with detailed foregrounds.
- The number of megapixels (more than 100 for some brands) remains important to ensure good definition that will make the difference during retouching or in the art photo intended for display.
- The optical stabilizer helps to avoid unintended artistic blur effects, advice to parents who want to take better photos of their child.
- The function of pixel binning which enhances brightness by uniting multiple pixels across a shot, handy when lighting is low or variable.
Each brand has its strengths. The Google Pixel uses artificial intelligence to make the most of the settings depending on the subject. One of the leaders in terms of quality lenses, Xiaomi offers ultra wide-angle or macro possibilities, which is sure to delight landscape photography enthusiasts or those who love still life photography. Other major manufacturers, such as Apple and Samsung, offer larger lens apertures for different light levels.
2. Study your subject
Admittedly, it is easier to take photos in bursts with your smartphone and choose the best one, as is often the case with child portrait photos. But artistic photography often emerges from long reflection. Some subjects are worth the effort to observe them, to better decipher them.
The great advantage of the smartphone is that it is compact and allows greater ease of movement. You can discreetly approach and turn around your subject, gain height or just crouch. Who hasn't tried a selfie one day? Turn this narcissistic portrait photo format into an artistic photo! By turning the camera over at arm's length, we discover new angles of view to consider the composition differently.
3. Composition, the golden rule of art photography for smartphones
Think about the goal of your photo art project, is it to publish them on social networks or project them on a big screen after the holidays? Because the way your shots will be presented influences their format : opt for a landscape photo, easier to display on a large screen, and reserve the portrait photo format for ephemeral publications on social networks, hello Instagram.
The rectangle of your smartphone screen instantly shows you the rendering. Thus, it is easier to play with spaces and colors by changing the angle. The lightness of the smartphone facilitates low angle shots or the reverse which gives pride of place to the sky... Play with the perspectives! Cut off part of the face to make a portrait photo more interesting. Get up close in macro mode to add an air of mystery to a still life shot.
4. Adjustments aimed at artistic photography
On a smartphone, after the composition, it is necessary to privilege the level of luminosity. Fortunately, the manual settings are similar to those of a classic Reflex:
- ISO sensitivity,
- white balance,
- the aperture and speed of the lens,
- automatic mode often offers many options: the landscape, night, sport and macro photo functions make it possible to optimize the possibilities of the smartphone.
Finally, the function to avoid at all costs remains the digital zoom which only offers a truncated version of the image and reduces its quality.
5. Use a smartphone photo editing app
The most perfectionists can use a photo editing application to download to their smartphone. Here are a few :
- Adobe Lightroom, the mobile version of this art photo editing tool par excellence offers all the functions used by the pros,
- TouchRetouch allows you to remove an unwanted object in the background,
- Prisma helps to create an artistic photo thanks to filters inspired by the old masters,
- VSCO will delight fans of vintage effects and film.
There is also a large amount of filters or automatic editing formulas, also called presets, curated by professional photographers and influencers. Everyone favors a particular atmosphere or style, for example for portrait photography or effects to transform their shot into an artistic photo. To find some, explore the Instagram profile of your favorite photographers.
As you can see, taking artistic photos on a smartphone is within everyone's reach., provided you know the main principles. Portrait, landscape or still life photography, the possibilities are numerous depending on the aesthetic you prefer. All you have to do is experiment, keeping our tips in mind to achieve shots worthy of art photography!