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The TELUS 10: Our Top 10 tips for taking amazing digital photos with your smartphone


Today, we’re introducing the first in a series of monthly blog posts we’re calling “The TELUS 10,” where we bring you our top 10… well, anything goes! Prepare to be entertained, surprised and amused, and hopefully you’ll learn a little something along the way.

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In the spirit of celebrating the beauty of the fall season, we’ve put together a list of our top 10 tips for taking amazing digital photos with your smartphone or point and shoot camera. Whether you’re out on the town with friends or enjoying a day in the park with your family, the tips below will help you get the most out of your device’s camera-bility:

1.    Get cozy with your camera

2Knowing your smartphone’s camera capabilities inside and out can result in stellar photos. The more you can learn about the internal camera and all of its features and settings, the better the image you’ll produce. Many smartphones now come equipped with manual settings that allow users to adjust exposure controls and better control the photo. For example, the Nokia Lumia 1020 allows users to manually adjust focus, shutter speed, white balance and more with easy and intuitive controls.

2.    Pay attention to lighting

The right light can make or break your photos, so be sure to consider your environment when you’re ready to start snapping. For best results, try to shoot your subject outdoors or in a well-lit area and, when snapping a pic, make sure your subject is facing toward a light source. But if you want to get artsy with your shots, experiment a little and see what different lighting does for your pics.

3.    Apps, apps and more apps!

3There are plenty of photo editing apps out there for Apple iOS, BlackBerry and Android devices that can help you selectively focus areas in your image, control exposure and colour, and create different visual effects in an instant. Consider loading up on a handful of apps to keep your picture snapping and creative juices flowing. Some of our favourite photo editing apps include Snapseed, Hipstamatic, Panorama 360, and Photo Studio Pro. And don’t forget to share on your social networks (hello, Instagram)!

4.    Keep the lens clean

It might seem obvious, but it’s important to make sure that your lens is clean and free of debris before you start snapping. Smartphones get a lot of action throughout the day and are constantly touched and tossed in pockets and purses, and that can result in a dirty lens that will cause blurry pictures. Give your lens a wipe with a soft cloth or your t-shirt before using it!

5.    Watch your resolution

Consider your resolution setting before you shoot. The higher the resolution, the clearer your photos will be however your image files will be quite large. To free up space on your phone, be sure to back up your photos and delete shots you don’t want to keep. If you’re planning to share photos via text or email, be sure to check your data plan.

6.    Focus, people, focus!

4Be sure your camera is in focus before taking the shot. To achieve a well-focused shot, watch the LCD display, wait for the subject to be in focus, and then take the shot. There are also a number of great apps you can use to selectively focus areas in your image such as Focus Twist and Pro HDR Camera.

7.    Hold your smartphone like a camera

When taking a photo, hold your smartphone as close as possible to your body, instead of holding it with your arms stretched. Try holding your phone with both hands, tucking your elbows in and hold your breath for best results. This will ensure your body is stable and help to avoid blurry shots.

8.    Whoa nelly: take it easy!

Just because you’re shooting with a smartphone doesn’t mean you need to snap quickly and instantly upload the photo for friends and family to see. For the best results, take your time and think about the lighting, angle and composition, and aim for that perfect photo.

9.    Use your feet to zoom

Many smartphones typically offer a digital zoom function, but you’ll find the when zooming in on your subject the resulting image will often be blurry as the zoom may cause the image to degrade as less information is captured in the final image. When possible, “zoom” with your feet and get as close to your subject as possible, and then crop it later with your digital editing apps.

10.  Keep your charge

5This might seem like a no-brainer, but when you’re out and about shooting your adventures, be sure to pack your charger to ensure you don’t miss a moment due to a dead battery. Some new smartphones come equipped with longer-lasting battery power, like as the Sony Xperia Z1. The Z1 is equipped with 3000mAh battery built to keep up with the powerful display, allowing you to get through the day in a single charge.

Have any other good smartphone snap-happy tips to share? Leave a comment below!