The fun thing about smartphone photography is that anyone with a smartphone camera can do it. The downside is that many smartphone photos start to look the same. For example, whenever there’s an impressive sunset in your area, image after image of it will inevitably turn up in your social media feed until it begins to get a bit boring.
If you know a few tricks though, you can turn your humdrum phone snaps into images that are truly eye-catching. In the below video, the photographers from COOPH share five ways to use your smartphone (and a few props) to shoot photos that should turn heads on social media and elsewhere.
As with most of COOPH’s how-to videos, the below smartphone photography tutorial is mostly a visual affair. Here’s a rundown of the five tips that COOPH photographers demonstrate in the video at the bottom of this story.
Use a grill and some cotton balls to create a circular frame to shoot through from below. Light the cotton balls on fire and have a friend pretend to be grilling a hotdog. Capture the scene with your smartphone from under the grill for a unique perspective shot. One warning: watch for falling bits of hotdog when you’re shooting.
#4 Can Tunnel
Arrange a circle of cans in a bucket. Place your smartphone at the bottom of it with the self-timer on to trigger the camera. Reach down into the bucket to grab a can just as the camera snaps to create an unusual selfie.
#3 Rainbow Beads
Pour a large number of colorful beads into a clear container such as a fish tank so they fill the bottom. Place the container in an elevated position that allows you to shoot from below. Clear a circular area in the beads and capture portrait while shooting up so it looks like your subject is at “the bottom of a rainbow.”
#2 Miniature Light Painting
Place a small toy car on a flat panel and sprinkle some flour under it so the car leaves miniature tire tracks. Place your phone in a small tripod and turn on the light painting feature so it’s capturing the car scene. Turn off the lights and use a flashlight to create light trails over the car to create a futuristic scene.
#1 Glow in the Dark
Use some UV (ultraviolet) paint to cover small toys and objects on a powdered glass panel. Darken the room and turn on a UV light. Capture the glow-in-the-dark scene with your smartphone to create a disco rave effect.
To get a better idea of how to set up and execute all of these smartphone photography tricks, watch COOPH’s video below.