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Pembury’s Phone Photography Tips ∣ Blog


Africa is a playground for photographers.

As you embark on your journey to Africa, your camera is one of the first items you grab as you head out on a day tour or game drive. So what happens when you mistakenly forget to charge your camera battery or you are out on a stroll and find the perfect scene, but you have left your camera at home?

Not having your camera should not limit you to capturing the picturesque scenes you come across. The team at Pembury Tours has been through this exact scenario. In fact, we have been through this many times!

Through our many trials and errors, we have discovered some of the best Phone Photography Tips.

And we want to share these with you!

Here are our Top Five Phone Photography Tips:

1. Focus on one subject

Traveling often means you’re surrounded by many interesting and unique subjects. One of the key elements of phone photography is setting your sights on one subject. Instead of trying to capture one subject after the other, spend time setting the light, speed and composition of your key subject.

Pembury Tours - Buffalo - Africa

An Example:

Instead of trying to capture a large herd of buffalo, focus on one specific buffalo, adjusting the light, speed and composition. This will create an amazing photograph, drawing your audience to your chosen subject.

2. Stability is best

Phone cameras have limited low-light performance so keeping steady is an important part of phone photography. If you are in a game-viewing vehicle, it can be slightly easier as you can lean on the armrest. However, there are times when you find yourself overlooking a picturesque scene and you have no tripod or other materials to assist you with balance.

Should you find yourself in this scenario, your position needs to be perfect and very steady before you even begin adjusting your composition. Our tips for the perfect standing position are:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Ensure your mobile phone is being held with both hands and your elbows are tucked into your body
  • With your mobile being held in both hands, use your volume button to snap the shot. This will help minimize movement during the shot.

3. Use Leading Lines

Leading Lines help draw your viewers to a specific point in your photo. This is particularly useful when your scene features a path, riverbed, road or staircase. Leading lines can be straight, circular or weaved. These lines are not only used to bring focus to your scenic image but also provide depth, showing more to the viewer than what meets the eye.

Pembury Tours - Leading Lines - Afric

4. Improving Composition

This is one of the easiest ways to take your phone photography to the next level. The general rule for improving your composition is the rule of thirds. Dividing your phone screen into a three-by-three grid will help with the composition of your potential image. Once you have set the gridlines on your screen, move your phone so that the subject is at the intersection of two of the lines – one horizontal and one vertical.

Gridlines tend to lead us into taking a centered shot. However, when trying various angles, we found that an off-centered subject makes your image instantly better.

Pembury Tours - Gridlines - Africa

5. Editing is a great tool, use it!

Photography is a special skill and although we would love to take beautifully edited images, it is just not possible. Our final guideline for phone photography: Don’t be afraid to edit.

There are many programs available, some even available for mobile use, such as Lightroom. Editing your phone photo could take your shot to the next level.

When you begin to edit, have fun. Use filters, change the saturation, and the brightness. Don’t be afraid to explore various features, there is always the ‘undo’ button!

Pembury Tours - Edited 2- Africa

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