Shoot In Focus With Your Smartphone

Anchor arms against the body for stabilization

Instagram is a fantastic outlet to express your creativity. But in addition, it has the potential to be used for marketing. Maybe you have an Etsy store or an online business? Instagram creates opportunities to show potential customers what you do, as well as simply giving you the chance to connect and communicate with interested people. But you’ll want to shoot in focus to make the most of Instagram!

Having spent decades of my life standing next to pro photographers as I directed photo shoots, it’s a fun to be the actual shooter. Through trial and error, I discovered ways to shoot better photos. My primary tips: Shoot pictures that are in focus and think about framing.

Available and low-light

Your photos will look best if they are in focus, and shot in available light. What is available light? This means: don’t use the flash. It’s 2019, and more smartphone cameras have improved their low-light capabilities and many compensate for low light. In fact, Google Pixel 3 has a very cool feature called Night Sight, and it’s really quite amazing.

Door jamb used to straighten camera

Low light can create challenges for focusing, so if you’re in a very low-light situation, a tripod will help as it stabilizes the camera. It’s easy to throw an image OUT of focus on Instagram, and you can “sharpen” a photo’s details, but you can’t really make a blurry photo sharp.

How to focus

On most camera phones, tap the area of the screen you want to be sharp. The camera focus circle or box will appear, and the lens will adjust. Simply anchoring your phone against a solid, plumb surface, like a table or wall or door jamb will go a long way to make sure your shots will be in focus AND perpendicular to your horizon line. If your shots are hand-held, the key is to be as still as you can. By anchoring your biceps against your body (like a support brace) and holding your breath when you shoot, it improves the chances of a sharp picture.

A sub-category of shooting sharp, (in-focus) photos, is shooting straight. For example, when you shoot a lake, and the horizon line is leaning a bit, it can look odd. The same goes for buildings. So if you find your shot is skewed, don’t worry. Instagram has an option to correct the rotation. OR you can purposely tilt your camera, which can result is an interesting photo.

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For more tips, check out How to Make Your Instagram Images Better.

More About Terri:

Her store on Alki Beach: Alki Surf Shop
Terri Nakamura Design
Terri Nakamura on Twitter
Alki Surf Shop on Twitter
The Horsfall House on AirBNB
More by Terri Nakamura

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