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Genius Tricks to Take a Postcard-Perfect Picture on Your Smartphone

Updated: Oct. 13, 2022

These tips will help your photography look professional.

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Choose a focal point

One of the best ways to make a landscape appear more interesting is to add a focal point. This could be a tree in the distance, a landmark, or a person. Choose something that will capture your audience’s attention and keep them interested. Your focal point could even add an element of story or mystery to your photo. Here are tips to make yourself look better in photos.

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iStock/Borut Trdina

Create a sense of depth

Beautiful landscapes sometimes don’t transfer successfully to photography because the picture doesn’t capture the depth and scale of the landscape. Try focusing on an object in the foreground like a rock or tree. The depth in your photo will make it more engaging and interesting to look at. “It’s always good to try to include a person or object in your scene to give a sense of scale,” photographer Cotton Coulson told National Geographic.

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Experiment with your angle

Too many elements in one photo can be overwhelming to the viewer. Stick with a minimal background, focusing on one part of the landscape. If your photo seems too busy, try changing your position to capture the same subject from a different angle. The most intriguing photographs are shot from unexpected angles, so experiment with positioning the camera above or below your subject until you find a unique shot. These are stunning photographs you won’t believe are real.

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Check your lighting

Keep in mind that during sunrise and sunset, colors will be warm and golden. Plus, the position of the sun during this time creates interesting shadows that will add to your photo. But it doesn’t always have to be sunny to capture that postcard perfect photo. Overcast or rainy weather can great a more dramatic backdrop for your photo. “Shooting in bad storms can always give interesting results, but my favorite light is bright overcast, open shadow, or even a bit of fog. For technical reasons, the small sensor in the iPhone will handle this light best,” Coulson told Nat Geo.

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Shoot with the sun behind you

The sun will light up your entire subject in a flattering way if you shoot with the sun behind you. However, if your focal point is a person, avoid direct sunlight on your subject. Direct sunlight can cause unattractive shadows, as well as squinting.

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Keep your phone stable

If you don’t have a tripod, hold the iPhone with your left hand and release the shutter with your right thumb. The camera shutter is only released when you take your thumb off of the camera button. Keep this function in mind, and try not to move your phone until after you’ve released the button and the photo appears in your photo stream.

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iStock/Todor Tsvetkov

Download a photo app

The app Pro HDR X is specifically designed for taking landscape photos on your iPhone. This is because it combines multiple different exposures of the same image into one perfectly exposed photo. Or, in manual mode you can select the exposure by hand. However, there’s one catch. Because photos take a little longer to take than on the regular camera app, you may need a tripod to keep your iPhone perfectly still.

Up next, browse this list of gifts for photographers.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest