Your Android phone may pack a 8 Mp rear camera with dual-LED flash, but without applying basic photography techniques, don’t be surprised if your photographs are as terrible as those taken from an “archaic” 640X480 phone camera. Your phone is not a digital camera, so even if you have a built-in flash, it is advisable to take picture only at day with brighter lighting, but there are still ways to produce good results at night. Many Android users are satisfied with built-in camera app, but you can get a third-party app that offers better settings. These are ways to get the most of your Android phone’s camera
Always Use the Flash at Daytime
Why do you need the flash when it is perfectly sunny? Of course, during the day your flash isn’t the primary light source, but the burst of light can compensate underexposed sharp shadows, which can happen in a particularly bright environment. Unfortunately, the flash on your phone may not be powerful enough to fill shadows adequately, but the exposure on the blow-out areas, such as the subject’s cheek, can be at least slightly better.
Many phone cameras produce over-darkened shadows due to poor exposure on brighter areas. Set the flash to always “on” mode and try to stay close with the object as the underpowered flash may only be effective on shorter distance. Consequently, you shouldn’t take cliché sunset photographs with a dark foreground objects, instead, use darker background and light up your objects.
Adjust ISO Settings Properly
Too low ISO setting produces lack of sensitivity, while a very high one can cause noises. You should use flash sparingly at night, as a harsh burst of light can blow out the resulting images, but obviously, a weak flash won’t help either. The best scenario is to shoot only in an area with moderate light, ask the person to stay still and turn off the flash. If available, activate the stabilizer feature and hold the phone steadily. Often, images taken at night are a little blurry, but you can improve the quality without using the flash. Taking pictures at night requires patience and some experiments. Look for most acceptable lighting intensity and ISO settings; for example, in dark areas, you can start from 400 and make adjustments as you see fit.
Avoid Digital Zoom
Using digital zoom is roughly comparable to stretching your photograph. The objects could be larger, but the image quality will drop accordingly. If you need to magnify the objects, you can do it later with Photoshop on your computer and try to get closer with your object.
Set a Proper Lighting
In ideal lighting condition, you can produce terrific pictures with even a 3.15Mp camera on cheaper Android phone. Light is an important resource in photography, and you should take a note what are available to you before composing a shot. In many cases, it is prudent to let the primary light source stays at your back. If your primary light source is the sun, you should ask the person to move to the right spot, so the sun is at your back. Just like in a studio, you should have the primary light source (key light), some lights on the sides to soften the shadow (fill lights) and a weaker light behind the object to add a little sense of depth (back light). On outdoors, it may not always be possible to simulate a perfect situation but, as long as you can properly manage available light sources, you’re doing okay. For example, you can use the sun as the key light and reflected light from nearby windows as fill light.
Take Sharp Images
If your photos are too blurry, then either your object or camera is moving too much. The former produces pictures with some sharp elements with a blurry object, while the latter creates completely blurred pictures. For better support, hold your phone with both hands, with elbows tucked in comfortably to the sides of your body. Try to hold the phone firmly while tapping the onscreen shutter button. Unlike a typical digital camera, you don’t need to physically push the button, so this should be a good advantage. Train yourself to give the lightest tapping needed to activate the shutter. On some Android phones, you need to push the button slightly to set the focus and then push slightly harder to take a shot. While the image is being processed, you shouldn’t lift the finger and move the phone. Android phones are equipped with manual shutter-speed settings, so when it is bright you can reduce blur by using a higher shutter speed.
Use Blur Cleverly
Blurriness isn’t necessarily a bad thing as you can use it to your advantage, for example, you can bring more attention to the object by making the background a little blurry. A common way to create such an effect is by using a shorter depth of field. To do this, you should have enough light and use the manual exposure settings. Start by using a low aperture, but if your phone doesn’t provide manual setting, you may use the Portrait auto-mode instead. The effect is more prominent if you’re close to the object and the background is far.
With motion blur, you can produce a nice effect in darker settings. For example, if the object and the camera move together at an equal speed, the object will stay sharp, while the background will blur.
Use Timer Cleverly
An app called, Camera Zoom FX offers some timer options. Although, your phone has a built-in camera timer, the app provides better features. For example, you can adjust the app, to take a burst of shots after a predetermined time.
Photos created from a phone often have similar characteristics, taken from a far and at eye level. Due to the lack of optical zoom, you should always be close to your object when using a camera phone. Try to do things differently by taking a shot from unusual perspectives. For example, you can capture a group of people from a low angle, while they’re standing on a slightly higher position.