Smartphone Photography Tip of the Week

Bitterroot River at Sunset
Missoula, Montana

Today I'm beginning a new series of posts on tips for getting better pictures with your smartphone camera. The example photos come primarily from my Samsung Galaxy S22 mobile phone, but some may also be taken with my iPad. Regardless of your smartphone model, these tips apply to all phone cameras. I hope you find them helpful. 

Keep It Steady!

If you have lots of blurry pictures, it might be because of how you are holding your phone. To help get sharp pictures, do the following:

  • Hold your phone with two hands. When shooting a vertical picture, I cradle the base of the phone in my left hand and wrap my fingers around both sides. Then I use a finger on my right hand to gently tap the shutter button. (If you're left-handed, reverse this.)
  • Use the Volume buttons to take horizontal pictures. When you rotate your phone sideways, keep both hands on the phone. Then the volume buttons are within easy reach near your fingers. Just be careful to keep your fingers away from the lenses so you don't get a finger in the picture!
  • Use a tripod or other support when taking pictures in low light. When there is less light, your phone camera switches automatically to Night mode, especially if you have turned off the flash. Pictures taken in Night mode use longer exposures, meaning there is a greater chance of a blurry photo from camera shake. If you put the phone on a tripod or other support, the phone is completely still when it takes the picture, giving you a crisp shot.
Parliament Building at Twilight
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

I made this picture by resting my elbows on a stone wall and took several frames to ensure at least one was sharp.