Not only are smartphones everywhere these days, but the cameras included in these devices have become more and more powerful and sophisticated. In fact, many people are able to take pictures and video using smartphones that rival professional equipment that typically costs nearly 10 times as much as the phone itself. However, lighting may be the most important element as it allows camera enthusiasts to achieve all kinds of professional looks.
When it comes to photography or videography, lighting is often considered a background element by hobbyists. The truth of the matter is that proper lighting often can make or break a photo or video. Below are some tips to get the best lighting when using a smartphone for photo or video shoots:
1. The Flash Isn’t Always Your Friend
When it comes to professional-grade cameras, flashes are typically constructed in such a way where they add, not detract, from the final image. With smartphones, however, manufacturers include simple flashes in order to allow you to take pictures and video in dark areas while still maintaining clarity. Instead of relying on a flash, consider letting natural light into the area to warm things up. Natural light is not only brighter, but it is less focused in most cases, meaning the subject will be illuminated from all angles equally rather than just from the point of a flash.
2. Keep Your Lens Clean
When lighting is used in photography, even the smallest amount of dust, dirt, or grime can be magnified on a smartphone’s camera lens. As a result, you’re going to want to make sure your camera’s lens is clean before each use. You can use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the lens, and you should avoid using things like paper towels as they can leave behind bits of paper and may even scratch the plastic or glass in front of the lens.
3. Try to Use Indirect Light
Even though today’s smartphone cameras are more sophisticated than ever, many are still not able to handle direct light. When a picture is taken with direct light, or light that is shining directly on a subject, the camera may have a hard time accurately displaying the image. This occurs because there is too much light on the subject. To remedy this problem, consider using indirect light. You can do this by shining a light on the subject, but then place an opaque, white umbrella backwards in front of the lighting source. This will diffuse the light while allowing it to illuminate the subject in a softer manner.
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