Whether you’re aiming to be the next ADV Instagram star or simply want to take better photos that capture the scenery or the ride better, there are a few simple tricks to make phone photography more interesting. While I’m by no means claiming to know much about the art of photography, I’ve picked up some helpful tips along the way – and here’s what usually results in better photos:
Getting the Angle Right
Here’s the thing: motorcycles rarely look good when photographed head-on, unless it’s done by a skilled photographer. If you’re armed with nothing but your phone, take photos at an angle: with the bike standing at 45 degrees, for example:
The above photo isn’t exactly exceptional, but the bike above looks better than in this one:
Equally, photographing the bike from below can add a little variety to your photos; or, focusing on nature and leaving the bike out of focus:
When taking shots of friends riding, crouching down to get the “hero shot” usually works better than taking the photo head-on or from the side, too:
The Aperture Function
Most modern phone cameras have a nifty little feature – the aperture setting. For someone as visually dyslexic as I am, artsy photos are impossible to make… Unless I cheat and use the magic aperture setting, which results in this:
The idea is to have your subject in sharp focus and leave the background blurry. It doesn’t always works, but every once in a while, you may hit gold.
For me, getting scenic shots right is mission impossible – I seem to never be able to get the composition right, and the photos end up being boring. But much like with other photos, scenery shots can be made a bit more interesting with the same focus trick: a tree or a flower in focus, the mountains behind slightly blurred. It doesn’t necessarily make an objectively better photo, but it makes it a little more interesting and tells a story – in this case, of a lonely tree against a desert plateau.
Do you mostly take photos with your phone while you travel, and what useful tips have you picked up along the way? Share the wisdom in the comments below!