How to Take Better Vacation Photos With Your Smartphone

Jul 20, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 comments


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Besides a t-shirt from Zion National Park or perhaps a few postcards, photographs of your adventures are the best souvenirs you can bring home from your Southern Utah adventure with Watchman Villas.

You don’t have to have an expensive or complicated DSLR camera to capture stunning pictures during your vacation. Armed with your smartphone and a few simple tricks, you can take awesome photos you’ll love to show off when you get back home. Keep reading to learn the tips you need to take your smartphone pictures to the next level.

Turn on Gridlines

One of the details that set great photos apart from good ones is the ratio of the shot. The “rule of thirds” is an artistic principle that photographers use to line up their shots. Imagine that your field of view is divided into three sections vertically and three sections horizontally. The two vertical and two horizontal lines that divide your image, as well as the places that they come together, are where our eyes naturally go when we look at a picture.

Placing your subject on these lines and points, or dividing your landscape up evenly in those horizontal and vertical sections, will help you fill the frame and create visual interest. For instance, if you want to capture a shot of your friend standing in the middle of The Narrows, don’t line them up in the middle of the shot. Instead, place them on one of the two vertical lines in your shot. If you want to take a picture of the peak of Angels Landing in the distance, place the sky above the peak in the top third of your field of view, the peak in the middle, and the cliffside in the bottom, to balance your shot.

The result will be a more professional-looking image that you’ll want to print and frame when you get home!

If you have any trouble imagining those gridlines on your own, you might be in luck. Many new smartphone cameras have a setting that allows you to display gridlines on your screen. This makes it fast and easy to get awesome shots!

Change Your Focus

With every new model, smartphone manufacturers compete to produce phones with the latest features. This means that they change each new model’s features to fit what users want, based on how they use their phones each day. And with selfies or quick, everyday snaps so popular, it makes sense that smartphone cameras are designed with that in mind. 

When you take a picture on your phone without changing any settings, your camera will likely focus on the foreground. Many are equipped to find faces or movement and zero in on that. That’s great for getting a picture of your dog right before he catches a treat. It’s not so great for capturing landscape photos. It can cause your phone to focus on whatever is closest to you, and leave your background blurry and out-of-focus.

To fix this, all you’ll need to do is tap your phone’s screen to adjust the camera’s focus. Tap on the spot that you want the focus to be on, like the person or animal that you’re taking a photo of. Your camera will automatically adjust the focus to give you a crisp, clear picture.

Look for Patterns

Among the pictures of wildlife or landscape shots, try adding a few unusual shots to the mix.  If you want a few more frame-worthy pictures, keep your eye out for patterns occurring around you during your trip.

The movement of the water over rocks, interesting patterns on a rockface, or a unique plant along a trail might not seem like great camera subjects. But zooming in close to let these patterns fill your frame, or maybe taking an unusual angle to get the shot can lead to some of your favorite photos of the whole trip! Even image of cloud formations around the peaks you can spot from your Watchman Villas’s patio can make for a professional-quality shot.

Turn on Burst Mode

Dreaming of capturing a picture of a condor dipping down from above or of your friends racing over a sand dune on an ATV?

Even with lightning-fast fingers, capturing those fast shots can be a challenge. There’s nothing more disappointing than seeing something incredible and thinking you captured it on your camera, only to find that you snapped your pic just a little too late.

Luckily, most smartphones are equipped with a tool that can help with this; burst mode. On an iPhone and many Android phones, holding down the shutter button when you’re taking a picture will cause your camera to continue taking pictures until you release it. This increases your chance of capturing the perfect shot.

Capturing Your Memories of Your Watchman Villas Adventure

Taking home a memory card full of pictures is a wonderful way to share your Southern Utah adventure with friends, or to look back on your memories for years to come. With these tips, you can improve your photography skills with the phone you already have, no expensive camera equipment is required! And when you stay in the middle of the action at Watchman Villas, you’ll have no shortage of Kodak moments just waiting for you to capture them.

If you’re ready to put your new camera skills to work, book your next stay with us today!

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