Clicking pictures on your holidays and vacations, then instantly posting them on social media channels is almost customary in this age of gee whiz technology. Be it your personal blog, your Facebook page or Instagram, it’s filled with your selfies and dronies and what not- we call it ‘swag’ but its quiet cool too!

Now, there are times you don’t want to carry your camera around that screams tourist! Besides, when you want to capture that perfect moment all you have is your smartphone with you. Phone cameras are perfect for snapping spontaneous moments without any fuss. So, don’t underestimate the potential of that tiny lens behind your phone. Some of the best photos you’ve seen are clicked with a smartphone camera.

As the famous photo journalist, Stephen Alvarez quotes, “A lot of photography is a matter of being in front of a picture when it happens and so the best camera in the world is the one you have in hand. For most of us, it’s going to be a telephone” he told the Huffington Post Canada. Camera phone photography is no child’s play anymore; it can showcase your talent as a photographer as much as or more (at times) than those pricy SLRs and DSLRs.

Here are a few tips that will help you click amazing pictures with your smartphone camera.

Don’t Trust the Shutter Sound!

While using a camera phone, timing is a crucial factor. You can’t really trust the fake shutter sound of your phone camera. Your phone camera would first make the shutter sound and then snap the picture. So, to avoid blur you will need to hold it for a second or two. Also, if you count one, two,  three for your subject, make sure to click the photo in ‘two’.

Get Rid of Flash

For a perfect photo you need perfect light. However, the problem with smartphone flashes is that they don’t really, well, flash. They’re overhyped LED flashlights, thrust into duty they’re not fully prepared for. They can burn the pictures or make them extensively bright, which you don’t want.

Even if your phone camera produces semi-dark photos, you can always edit them with an ideal photo editing tool/app. Fabulous travel pictures can be clicked with just the amount of natural light that you are getting. Also, if you are clicking travel photos with people in them, make sure your subject is actually in the light. Lights behind them can create silhouettes and cloud the subject.

Why Zoom, When You Can Crop?

The digital zoom in smartphone cameras are of no use, really. You can always crop the photos to focus on the subject which is pretty much what the phone cameras do. The phone camera is simply extrapolating what’s already there and basically guessing what the image looks like. This can result in a loss of quality. So, the best policy is to step closer to the subject or crop the picture later on.

Edit, Don’t Filter

I am not anti-instagram but I think only by editing the photos your way can give you the edge. The default filters in the apps and tools take away the uniqueness from the pictures. I suggest trying out full on image editor apps like iPhoto, Photoshop Express or Snap seed.

Test the Limits of Your Camera

The iPhone and Android smartphone cameras have increasingly exceeded the technology of capturing detail and focussing up close. So, be bold and try out some macro shots. You’ll surely be amazed with what they can create.

The small sensor of a smartphone camera provides a relatively wide depth of field which is why you get entire objects in focus where cameras with bigger sensors and longer lenses would have trouble.

Pick a Better Camera App

Instagram isn’t the only smartphone platform where you can share and show off your travel pics. Lesser known Pixlr-o-matic filters every photograph that gives the feel of summer in the 60s. There’s also Camera Awesome by SmugMug which allows you to shoot in bursts and separates the AF lock from the exposure lock. Camera+ has similar options for more controlled shooting.

Nonetheless, whichever app you pick, make sure you don’t have to struggle with it too much and practice clicking pictures with it. Not worth the time!

Keep the Lens Clean!

An unclean lens can actually destroy your photos. Your pocket or bag isn’t the cleanest place and you know that. So, if you actually want to click good pictures with your camera phone make sure to keep it clean.

So, the next time you go travelling don’t worry about the extra load of your DSLR. Make the best out of your light smartphone and its megapixels. After all you’re going to share your cool captures on social media sites like a BOSS!

With an inherent passion for writing, Kasturi got lost in the mid-way when she thought she could play with numbers. So, today her academics have got little to do with her profession. She may not know the right use of the ‘Oxford comma’ but she sure has flair in writing. A dreamer, a traveller and a music lover, she dreams to go on a backpacking trip across the world with her travel partner, her headphones.

Kasturi Saikia – who has written posts on WAH Blog.