How to take amazing photos in manual mode

While the automatic mode allows for quick photos to be taken, which is normal very often, the manual mode is where the real magic happens. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your camera’s manual mode.

Choose the best camera app

Some of the functions mentioned here may be missing in the manual mode of your camera app. If so, we have a list of the best camera apps for Android. Try a few and find the right one for you.

Best Camera Apps for Android

Now that you’re done, here’s how to get the most out of manual mode.

Frame your photos using grid overlay

Before photographing your subject, think about how to frame it. You can set it up so that everything looks aligned and uniform in the image, but you can also opt for an image with some deliberately messy elements. The grid overlay feature can help you decide how to frame your images.

The rule is very simple: horizontal lines help you frame the horizon, such as streets, mountains, seas and tables, while vertical lines are used to align buildings, antennas, people and objects. . You don’t need to frame the subject of your photo in the main grid box; What you need to remember here is the rule of thirds.

The rule of thirds basically states that your subject should snap to one of the intersections or grid lines. Note that no line or intersection appears in the center of the image. The rule of thirds is precisely not to center the subject, which creates more tension and interest.

Use HDR mode (sometimes)

HDR compensates for differences in light and contrast; it also changes the level and intensity of the colors. The best way to use this feature is in situations where your subject is backlit.

Personally, I prefer to capture my images without activating HDR mode and edit them in a standalone app, like Snapseed. My advice is to take two photos – one with and one without HDR – and compare them to see which one you like best.

Get up close and personal with macro photography

Macro mode can add interest to almost any object. You have just positioned your camera at the correct distance from your subject and focused. However, the results depend on the quality of the camera lens, as some smartphone cameras are more efficient than others.

To get a good macro shot, get close to your subject. But not too close: most manufacturers recommend a distance of at least 3 cm. You will also need a very stable hand, or a tripod, for the best results.

Use ISO to adjust exposure and light sensitivity

Who said that ISO testing was only for professionals? ISO controls exposure levels. This feature can therefore improve or even worsen the photos you capture in particularly bright or dark environments.

Remember to set the ISO according to your environment and subject. If you choose a high ISO setting in a bright place, the image will be overexposed and therefore ruined. Higher ISO sensitivity means a slower shutter speed is needed, which means you can capture fast-moving subjects more easily. In general, a low ISO will result in better image quality because there will be less noise. Play around with your ISO and you’ll quickly understand how it works.

Use flash sparingly

Flash should be a last resort. The purpose of the flash is not to completely illuminate dark areas; Think of it as some sort of alternative to HDR mode. If you take a photo with a bright background and a dark subject, the flash can balance the two outputs.

Avoid using the flash too close to your subject’s face or subject, or near mirrors, glass, or laminated objects, as the light will be reflected, resulting in an overexposed image.

Get your edit with RAW

Many modern smartphones have the ability to capture images in RAW format. We have already reviewed the advantages and disadvantages of RAW format , but in a nutshell, you need to know if you want to quickly download and display the photo somewhere or if you want to take the time to carefully edit all the details.

RAW data retains all of the image sensor information, allowing for very precise manual edits, but files are large and difficult to share and print. Saving an image in JPEG format, on the other hand, rejects a lot of image data, resulting in a compressed image that is easily shared on social media, in chats, etc. JPEGs are also better if you have limited storage space, for example if you are filling your gallery.

Ideally, if you are taking RAW photos, you should do so with a plan to edit the photos on a larger screen, like on your PC. Here you can adjust exposure and color settings without compromising the quality of the final product. In the end, you will export the RAW file to a more readable format, such as JPEG, before sharing it.

Know any other tips for using your camera’s manual mode? Let us know in the comments.