Ready to make some mouths water? As it turns out, a high-end camera isn’t a pre-requisite for stunning images on par with what a professional could deliver. Expert director and food photographer Skyler Burt proves in this video that, with a little bit of precision and a few secret weapons, your smartphone can capture five-star photos:
If you’re ready to take your cell snapshots to the next level, here are a few ways to up your game.
Work with the Lightroom Mobile app
Especially if you already have an Adobe subscription. Lightroom mobile can do a significant amount not only for your image organization but for the quality of your shots as well.
When you take a photo through Lightroom mobile, it initially doesn’t look much different than the standard default camera apps installed in virtually every smartphone. However, when you change the shooting mode from auto to professional, an array of camera options previously unavailable will suddenly appear. Lightroom mobile also makes it easy to streamline editing and export to the cloud, your camera roll, or to an email address.
Don’t let the machine make decisions for you
While it’s possible to make great photographs with a smartphone, your best results likely aren’t going to come from the automated camera included on your phone. Just like you wouldn’t blindly take an auto shot with a DSLR and expect immediate magic, you won’t get professional results with your phone by simply snapping the shutter without a second thought.
Burt recommends the Lightroom mobile app camera, but it’s certainly not the only choice available for those looking to improve their smartphone’s photo output. Search for an app that allows you to take control of settings like shutter speed, white balance, and focus/aperture. Tools such as levels and grids can also make a huge difference in composing a professional-looking photo.
Think about the light
This may seem a bit like stating the obvious. However, whether you’re working with the world’s most expensive Hasselblad or an outdated iPhone, light is the number one component that will make or break your photographs. When working with food, it’s hard to go wrong with the soft highlights and shadows provided by natural light. Seek interesting and flattering light wherever you happen to be. If it’s not quite perfect, don’t be afraid to modify it with a diffuser or a reflector.
Unfortunately, beautiful natural light isn’t always an option. In such cases, don’t shy away from artificial continuous lights. Just shine it indirectly and use bounce cards to get a better quality of light. Paired with a few white balance adjustments, viewers will be none the wiser!
Grab a tripod
A tripod may not seem like a necessity when working with a handheld smartphone. But, believe it or not, they can make a huge difference.
When paired with a clamp and an extending central column, you can easily position your smartphone at a birds-eye vantage point. once you’ve determined that your phone is level, you can simply lock it into place rather than attempt to maintain balance by hand. What’s more, having the camera held by tripod allows you to use both hands to compose your scene while observing the camera’s view.
Don’t forget to edit!
If you pay careful attention to lighting, composition, and camera settings, you’re sure to get a great shot. However, any shot can be improved upon by taking a little bit of time in post to edit.
Of course, you should tweak the color and tones present in your shot and add a bit of sharpening to clean it all up. However, you may want to use a more advanced editing app to deal with some of the finer details. For instance, Lightroom mobile’s brush tool can be used to perfect specific areas without making overall changes to your file.
Never underestimate the power of your smartphone. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or an aspiring iPhoneographer, you’re more than capable of using the contents of your pocket to bring your next meal to life!
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