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Smartphone & iPhone Photography: Take Great Outdoor Photos

Smartphone & iPhone Photography: Take Great Outdoor Photos

10.07.2017 | Expert Advice

The iPhone and Smartphone have changed the way people take outdoor photographs. Taking good outdoor photos once meant carrying a large camera and film but now, most people will carry a powerful camera in their pocket, in the form of a smartphone, everywhere they go. This gives walkers, skiers, campers and more the opportunity to easily photograph the brilliant landscapes, wildlife and people they encounter on their outdoor adventures.  This guide will outline 10 smartphone and iphone photography tips to help you take fantastic outdoor photographs on your phone.


1. Clean The Lens

Your phone spends a lot of time in and out of your pocket where it can come into contact with dust, grease and pick up fingerprints. Cleaning your camera lens will allow you to get the clearest pictures possible.


2. Try Panoramic Shots

If your outdoor activities take you to some amazing landscapes, the best way to capture them is through panoramic shots. Panorama modes are available on most modern smartphones and work by taking multiple photos and stitching them together to get very wide angle shots, perfect for capturing those rolling hills and sunny beaches.

Iphone Photography: Panoramic Outdoor Photo

A Panoramic Shot


3. Avoid Zooming

The zoom on your smartphone is likely to be a digital, rather than optical zoom. In basic terms, a digital zoom will crop the image as you zoom in, which can dramatically reduce image quality. To get a better image, it’s best to either move closer to your subject, or crop your photo later on.


4. Look Out For Leading Lines

Leading lines is a technique perfect for outdoor photography. Leading lines allow you to create depth and draw the viewer from the foreground to the background of the photo by using lines, visible in nature and in the city, as the focus of your image. Great examples include footpaths, ski runs and the lines of trees through forests, as seen in the example below.

Iphone Photography: Leading Lines Outdoor Photo

A Forest Photo Using Leading Lines


5. Use Manual Focus

Most phones will automatically focus but to get the best picture, you should always focus manually. On the majority of Smartphones and iPhones, focusing is as simple as tapping on the screen at the part of the image you wish to focus on.

iPhone Photography: Focusing Camera Outdoor Photo

Tapping the Screen to Focus 


6. Use Burst Mode for Action Shots

Whilst hiking or skiing you may come across animals or other moving subjects you want to photograph. It can be tricky capturing fast moving subjects so try using burst mode. Burst modes take a series of photos in quick succession, which allows you to capture the moving subject and pick the best photo later. Burst mode can be activated in different ways depending on manufacturers but it’s often achieved by holding down the shutter button.


7. Utilise the ‘Golden Hour’

The golden hour, as it’s known by photographers, is the hour just after sunrise or the hour just before sunset. This is the time of day perfect for taking landscape and cityscape photos as the light is softer, giving your images a golden glow. Try getting up early next time you’re camping and take your own spectacular landscape photos.

iPhone Photography: Golden Hour Outdoor Photo

Taking Photos in the ‘Golden Hour’


8. Take Lots of Photos, Choose The Best Later

When you’re taking photos of your surroundings, you may be in cold conditions or unable to take long breaks. It’s therefore a good idea to take lots of shots without worrying about getting the perfect picture. This will allow you to carry on with your activity and choose the best photo later.


9. Keep Your Phone Steady

One of the easiest ways to take better photos is to ensure you keep your phone steady. Try holding the phone with both hands as you would with a normal camera and use the volume buttons to take the photo.

iPhone Photography: Holding Phone Steady

Hold the Phone With Both Hands to Keep it Steady


10. Think About Light

When taking outdoor photos, sunlight is a major factor in determining the quality of images. When you’re taking photos of people, try to keep sunlight behind them so it isn’t shining in their eyes. When taking indoor photos, try to use whatever light is available rather than using the flash.

Taking photos is a great way to capture brilliant landscapes and fun memories from your outdoor adventures. Photography can help you appreciate the beauty of your surroundings and take you to new places in search of the best photo. This smartphone and iPhone photography guide should give you the tips you need to start taking better photos. 

Wherever your photography takes you, Mountain Warehouse has all the outdoor gear you need to be prepared.