by Ka Vang

Ben Garvin is an award-winning photojournalist—receiving the 2007 Minnesota Photographer of the Year and the 2011 Journalist of the Year awards. The multimedia journalist for KARE 11, Garvin shared some tips for taking excellent smartphone photos:

1) Don’t zoom: The zoom adjustment on your phone actually does not really zoom; rather, it just enlarges the photo, making it more pixelated. Instead of zooming, take a full frame shot and crop it later.

2) Less flash is better: Your phone’s flash actually is not a flash but rather an LED light that can cause a quick fire flash and red eyes. Instead of using a flash, have a friend shine a flashlight from the side as you shoot.

3) Shoot with your volume button: Pressing the volume button with your hand results in a steadier hand rather than trying to tap a screen.

4) Hold your camera straight: Do not tilt your camera to an angle.

5) Keep your lens clean: Your phone is often tucked away in your pockets of lint and dirt. Clean your lens from buildup. The slightest dust can affect your photography.

6) Use HDR (High Dynamic Range): Select HDR on iPhone settings to capture beautiful landscapes and sceneries. HDR captures three quick shots: dark, medium and light, adding them together into one take, emphasizing on shadows, highlights and details.

7) Get a clip-on-lens: Purchase a lens to attach onto your phone for a macro-lens capability advantage. This can give your photos an instant upgrade in phone photography.

8) Be cautious of the background: When taking a photo, you don’t want the background to negatively impact your photo or make an illusion that is unintentional.

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