Creating a bespoke canvas print for your home or a wonderful gift for a loved one is such a great way to design something special!
However, if you've ever come to upload a photo of your treasured moments and found them grainy, blurry or out of focus, we've got some tips to ensure you put your phone camera to better use.
A huge number of canvases, posters and accessories we produce are created from a simple phone snap. With some pointers from the artwork experts, there is no reason you can't capture everyday images on the go!
Today the Personal Canvas Prints team has collated our go-to advice to make sure every mobile photograph is as vivid as possible.
How to Take Great Photos on Your Phone
Almost every smartphone out there has an incredibly high specification camera, so it's all about understanding how they work to ensure your photography speaks for itself!
- First, experiment with your camera, primarily if you've not used it much before or have a new device. They all have different settings, timers, filters and functions, so getting to grips with the functionality is step one.
- Next, make sure you know how to turn off the flash.While a flash was essential for an older digital camera in a dark space, they aren't so crucial with advanced mobile camera technology.The best images are taken in natural light, and a flash can cause a glare that won't look good in print.
- Third, DON'T be tempted to zoom right in! We know that it's tempting to use digital zoom to get close to the person or object you're photographing, but many phones just enlarge the image rather than actually zooming.
The result is a grainy capture that would have looked just fine cropped down from a larger image.
You don't need to be a photography professional to take incredible phone snaps, but you need to practice making the best of the camera you have.
Keeping the lens clean is another sure-fire way to improve your photos since a grubby fingerprint or dust detracts from the sharpness your phone camera is capable of.
Getting the Right Exposure on Mobile Photography Captures
Now, we all know that lighting is crucial to taking great images, particularly if you're hoping to print and frame the moment on a canvas print that you'll be able to enjoy forever!
It's really tricky to take a decent photo even on the best mobile camera in the dark, so grey days and nighttime events aren't the best moments if you're planning a family portrait or visiting your favourite landscape.
- Sunny days are ideal, and a pro tip is to plan for the 'golden hour'.
- Just after the sun has risen and just before it sets are extraordinary times to take photographs since the gentle nature of the light is flattering, delicate and translates beautifully into print.
- If you haven't tried it, play around with taking a selfie outdoors in the morning and then again at lunchtime in the same spot, and you'll see the difference!
- And, while the sun is a photographer's friend, you want it ideally behind you, with the light falling onto your subject matter.
- Taking images facing the sunlight often results in a glare, or means your capture will look more like a silhouette with the features and detail obscured.
Does Photo Editing Help Design Better Quality Canvas Prints?
Photo editing apps are controversial but, if used correctly, they can be an excellent way to sharpen images, deepen colours, or design something quirky and original!
The trick with photo editing is always to enhance the quality and aesthetic of your photos, not to try and morph or change them to the extent that they look unnatural.
Let's think about landscapes as a great example - here are some of the most popular photo editing apps for iPhone or Android and the effects they make possible:
- Snapseed is a Google app created to replicate some of the features in Adobe Photoshop (but for free). You can crop, add a vignette, insert text, or change the depth of field to blur the background and highlight a specific person or object.
- Prisma is something somewhat different. Users can upload an image and transform it into a painting or drawing through AI technology. It's also free and is excellent for designing a cartoon or changing a photo into a painted picture.
- Photo Collage offers a tool to create a collage, so you could select several shots and combine them in a professional-looking frame and have the collage printed onto a canvas print! There are over 100 layouts with a range of sizes and grids.
Those are just a tiny snapshot of the apps out there, and if you do decide to try out photo editing, we'd recommend going for a free version and only paying for a premium app if you're comfortable that you'll get enough use out of it.
How to Take Amazing Portraits Through a Mobile Camera
They always say not to work with kids or dogs - and if you're struggling to get that perfect capture to turn into personalised gifts, cards or canvas prints, you'll know it's true!
There are quite a few ways to make it easier to help your fidgety photo subjects stand a little more still.
- Keep your phone straight, lined up with the horizon.
- Use moving pictures if you have that option. Your image replays like a GIF on your mobile, but you can flick through each second and choose that one special moment.
- Set the timer button - having a countdown from five is ideal for little ones who get restless pretty quickly!
- Take a video and screenshot great images. This solution is excellent for capturing a dog mid-jump or a soggy head shake after a cooling dip.
If all else fails, a few treats don't go amiss either!
By using all the advanced settings on your camera phone and aiming to take your photos in the best light possible, you'll have a memory card full of fantastic shots that you'll want to remember.