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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

Move over, selfies: Here is our expert guide to smartphone photography

art-and-culture Updated: Nov 05, 2015 18:11 IST
As told to Manali Shah
As told to Manali Shah
Hindustan Times
VSCO Cam offers wonderful colour filters that bring photographs to life
VSCO Cam offers wonderful colour filters that bring photographs to life( )

Popular photo sharing app Instagram turned five recently, and the rush to get more ‘likes’ on your Facebook pictures is also at an all-time high. Girish Menon, professional photographer and photography tutor, shows how to make the most of our smartphone’s camera:

Getting started: It’s important to clean the lens with a microfiber — the kind that comes with a set of spectacles or sunglasses. Using any other material can scratch the lens.

Holding the smartphone: To avoid blurriness or a visible shake in your photos (especially in low light conditions), tuck your elbows in.

To zoom or not zoom: Most smartphone apps let you zoom in to your subject. However, this is a ‘digital zoom’ i.e. the image gets stretched. Instead, move closer to your subject. As the Austrian photojournalist Ernst Haas once said, “The best zoom lens is your legs.”

Composition basics: Gridlines are two horizontal and vertical lines that cut the length and breadth of your frame into thirds (see image on right). If you don’t see them in your live preview, check the settings and turn them on. Instead of placing your subject at the centre, place your important subject along any of these gridlines (off-centre).

Underwater photography: Make your smartphone water-resistant. Slip the smartphone into underwater housings (watertight sleeves made of soft or hard plastic).

Add-ons: You can opt for additional lens attachments for your smartphone — fisheye, wide-angle, macro and telephoto. They clip on to your phone and fit on all smartphones. These lenses are easily available on websites such as and

Essential apps: VSCO Cam offers wonderful colour filters that bring photographs to life. Snapseed by Google is a good app to get started with photo editing on your smartphone.

First Published: Nov 05, 2015 00:00 IST

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