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    • To all the photography gurus out there: not being able to afford a camera, I am taking photos with a phone. What can I do to make them better? Any tips on how to take them and edit them (ideally with a phone app)?

      Photo: view from the fortress of Kuelap, Peru

    • Adobe Photoshop Express is pretty good for a free app. Good for lots of adjustments.
      There are plenty of other good paid editing apps too.

    • Vilen swears by Darkroom, so I gave it a try. Here’s what it looks like. It has tons of filters.

    • I was at SF Moma tonight and stepped out when it was a little too dark. This is what the camera captured.

    • I happen to like things more vibrant, so I just chose a vibrant landscape filter and got this:

    • Just using the iPhone’s built-in tools, which are pretty good, produced this. I selected the vivid filter, moved the cast slider to make it less warm/orange, and moved the the lightness slider up a little. Which version does it for youz? None is a fine answer. 🙂

    • Ananda Sim

      I shoot with regular cameras as well as phone cameras. A few years ago, I brought only one body to New Zealand on trip (not sure whether I will have the oppurtunity again) and dropped the camera onto the food court floor from the table. Result - I ended shooting with my phone camera (this was several years ago so the phone cam wasn't as good as new ones) and my wife's compact point and shoot. Arbitrary tips:
      * Start with a good phone camera
      * Shoot raw if that phone camera allows you to - you can adjust white balance a lot and reduce sky and cloud burn out a bit
      * Standard fundamentals of photography apply - choose a time and position where the light will be on your side, try to avoid severe dynamic range situations or "work the scene" physically
      * When editing with phone software, step away from direct sun into the shade or do it indoors - if you can't see the screen well, your assessment of colours and tones will be off.
      * Use software adjustments by choosing a setting that looks nice and then back off a bit.
      * I prefer Snapseed on Android for a "clean" tool. However, there are other tools that do over the top effects and sometimes you want to use an over the top effect.
      * Look at how other people work their photos - this fellow was talking about getting a regular camera saying that he only uses a camera phone but his account images look good.
      https://www.instagram.com/mrpogphotog/

    • Shoot raw if that phone camera allows you to - you can adjust white balance a lot and reduce sky and cloud burn out a bit

      I used to agree with this, but I'm not sure it is still the thing to do with iOS 12 and the newest iPhones. I don't know what apple has done with image processing and their HEIF image format, but the results I get shooting HEIF are better than I get shooting raw (DNG) and then trying to massage the image in lightroom. I can sometimes match the image quality, but I don't think I've ever beat it. Given that the HEIF is about 1/20 the size of the DNG I've decided to keep DNG for my "real" cameras and use HEIF for the phone.

      Lightroom does an OK job of editing HEIF images.

    • Ananda Sim

      Sorry, I am not an Apple device user. Don't intend to be except maybe use a Mac to test VBA programming in Excel for client. So, no experience with HEIF

    • A good phone camera is not only a good starting point, i think it is an essential piece of kit :)

      Keep taking snap shots but also consider a short video of your primary focus, including some of bits above and below and to the sides. Check out the video when you get a chance - it might give you insights into alternatives (sometimes in landscape mode, tilting the image well below the horizon and getting more foreground and less sky will help bring your audience into the picture - although, sometimes more sky is the better option - a bit of video can give you ideas). New versions of Adobe Premier will also let you capture snap shots from the video now or later as well.

    • @Evergreen I think there are some spectacular cameras attached to phones nowadays - but even if you, like me, have "just" a decent but not necessarily great phone, you can take and edit photos that are worth looking at. :)

      Any tips on how to take them and edit them

      The question I have is, what are you trying to achieve? Do you want realistic-looking images similar to the landscape one you gave as an example? Are you looking for more artistic (and less realistic) processing options? Both or something else? Are you looking for "one-tap" options to automatically fix images for you, or do you want to manually control every step of the process?

      I'm mostly using the Snapseed app for editing, and I think it can achieve all of the above. I'd be happy to provide example "workflows" if you're interested.

    • Thanks so much for all the answers! Trouble is, my phone camera isn't the greatest - it's a "rugged" Kyocera smartphone which means its primary function is to withstand construction/mining/military use so the camera just isn't the priority in this phone.

      Ideally, I'd like to have photos good enough for blogging purposes.

    You've been invited!