Take better outdoors photos with your mobile

Whether you’re an Insta-addict or just enjoy taking shots on your mobile, there are simple techniques to improve your photo taking skills.

Think before you shoot

Look at the scene properly before you pull out your phone. Is the lighting right? Does the scene have story appeal? Can you frame the image? Once you are pointing the camera consider everything before you take the shot. Is this an image you’ll want to keep or share? Just because you can take lots of photos doesn’t mean you should.

Take advantage of early and late light

One trick to getting great travel photos is to get up early, and stay out late. This will give you the best opportunity to shoot in the golden hours. The best light for photography is just after the sun rises and just before the sun sets. During the middle of the day the brightness can be quite harsh, so make sure you do your photography at the right time of day.

Experiment with reflections and symmetry

You’ll find a lot of great opportunities to play with symmetry and reflections when you travel, particularly with nature and architecture. Reflective shots are the one time when the ‘rule of thirds’ can be broken and you can centre the subject. Also, look for interesting lines and angles in architecture and landscapes. A long road leading into a mountainous background, or a massive skyscraper, can give you opportunities to use perspective to add real dimension to your images.

Crop don’t zoom

Unfortunately mobile phone cameras still can’t match the quality of the best travel cameras when it comes to zooming in on a scene. Most new mobile phone cameras have a feature called ‘digital zoom’, where you can pinch your fingers to zoom in or out of a shot. The problem with this is the quality drops drastically. Instead if you want to tighten up your shot, take the picture normally and crop it later. This will still lower the resolution slightly, but won’t destroy the quality as much as zooming.