Millions upon millions of smartphone photos are being shared online right now, with countless things being photographed. Your Instagram feed may well be filled up with blurry selfies from your mates’ nights out or images of whatever they’re having for their dinner, but that doesn’t mean you can’t capture and upload some more tranquil shots of the environment around you.
Here we take a look at how to go about using your smartphone to capture some excellent landscape photos.
Find something to focus on
While you may be taking a wide landscape shot, it’s important to have something to focus on. You may be able to get a great, almost abstract shot that is simply ground at the bottom and sky at the top, but it’s a safer bet to find an object within the frame to use as the main subject of the photo.
This can be anything from a tree, to a rock or a bit of scrub, so you don’t have to look for anything unusual, but it will give your photo some balance and improve it overall.
Don’t be scared of overcast skies and dull days
You could be forgiven for thinking that grey weather will never produce a great shot, but it’s well worth trying anyway. Hazy weather can produce eerie outdoor photos and a few drops of rain can transform a boring landscape into something full of movement. As for an overcast sky, an interesting filter can turn it into something colourful and lively, creating some very dramatic effects.
Think about cropping
Many people who share photos online now crop them to a square shape, and Instagram forces you to do this. When taking a shot, it’s worth thinking about how it will work if cropped to a square, and many camera apps allow you to set this as the default way of capturing shots. In short, don’t leave interesting details stuck out on the edge of your photo, as you may lose them when making it square.
The greatest smartphone camera in the world is still quite limited compared to a high-spec DSLR, and these limitations can really come out in wide-angle shots. However, there is a massive advantage that phones have over cameras, and that’s the way in which countless apps can be used to fiddle with the photos after taking them.
Download as many as you can find and play around with them until you find some effects that suit you. A simple filter can change the tone of a shot and really bring it life, making an otherwise dull photo a much more interesting image. Some of our favourites include VSCO Cam and SnapSeed, but there are literally thousands of others available for all major platforms.
Look around where you live
You don’t have to go to the Grand Canyon to get a great landscape shot, and there may well be plenty of places within a short walk of your home that are just crying out to be photographed in an unusual and creative way.
Look around you as you go about your daily life and see what you spot – after all, since your smartphone is always with you, you can capture photos whenever you want.