Powys Castle - Welshpool

Phone Photography: How I Photograph Outdoor Scenes

Let me start off by saying I’m not a photographer. I love taking pictures – it’s become a passion of mine. I use a combination of my iPhone 4s and a Nikon D70. I like to use my phone for taking pictures because it’s easier to carry and doesn’t require any equipment preparation. I think phone photography nowadays can be just as good as DSLR photography (but only for online photographs.)

I always get told how beautiful my pictures are but really I can’t take the credit – I live in such a stunning place that I think it’s impossible to take bad photos! 

In today’s post, I’m going to share with you some of my tips that I use when I’m photographing outdoor scenes.

  OH and I’d love to hear what works for you so please comment!

1. Change your angle

Sometimes when you’re faced with an amazing picture before you, it’s easy to just stand there snapping away.  My best phone photographs are the ones that are not right in front of me.  I usually can be found kneeling or laying down because the lower I go, the better the angle I seem to get.  So don’t be afraid to change your eye level – be creative.

Dolmelynllyn Nature Reserve

2. Know your phone’s limits

Let’s face it, phone cameras don’t have the strength to capture very fine detail nor do they do well when you try to zoom in on a subject. I love taking macro shots and although my iPhone is good for close ups, it’s not going to be as good as say my Nikon. I know its limits so I make the extra effort to get up close and personal. I don’t expect to take far away photographs with fine detail in because it’s not physically possible.  The more you use your camera, you’ll learn its limits.

Lake Vrynwy

3. Taking a picture in automatic mode is OK

I don’t have a choice with my 4s which is frustrating at times.  There is however a lot of snobbery in the photography world about automatic. In simple terms, automatic mode means you’re camera’s doing all of the work. In my opinion, photography is not all about your camera – it’s about your creative eye and there’s no setting for that. So lighten up (no pun intended) and do what works for you!  I have been trying out the Nokia Lumia 735 and that has the option to not shoot in automatic which I love, (a review on that phone soon) but generally point and shoot photography gives you the option of more amazing photos in less time.

Cadiar Idris

4. It’s OK to use filters

It ‘does my head right in’ when I see on Instagram #nofilter. Photography is an art and that includes the processing afterwards. I’m not really into heavily edited photographs but if I’m honest, a filter brings the potential out of a picture. No camera can capture what the human eye sees and most of the time detail, colour and lighting can be too bright or too dim.  Filters are a photoshop alternative so go forth and filer (with care).

I like how over exposed this is – personal style!
5.  Focus

More specifically allow your phone to focus for a second or two. Most phones allow you to focus on the subject by touching  the screen, Do this – it makes a big difference!

Shropshire Country Side

6. Take advantage of the timer

You may have heard of the term camera shake. All it means is that the camera picks up on the unsteadiness of your hand. To get around that a tri-pod and timer can be used. When you’re using a phone, a tri pod can be tricky to find for that size and I don’t even know if one exists! However I use a wall or a floor to balance my phone (keep it away from people and animals) and I set the timer. This means no camera shake because you don’t have to press the capture button.

So these are my phone photography tips that work for me whilst I’m out in the great outdoors – how about you?

C L Haden


5 thoughts on “Phone Photography: How I Photograph Outdoor Scenes

    1. Hey Liam! Thanks so much – I’m glad you’ve found it really useful. I’ve got so many tips that I’ve collected so they’ll no doubt inspire further posts in the future.

      Keep writing!


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