Mobile Photography: Create Impressive Images with your Smartphone | Daniela Lambova | Skillshare

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Mobile Photography: Create Impressive Images with your Smartphone

teacher avatar Daniela Lambova, Food Blogger & Photographer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (24m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Mobile Photography Basics

    • 3. Shooting

    • 4. Shooting Angles

    • 5. Basic Composition Rules

    • 6. Image Editing: Landscape

    • 7. Image editing: Flat Lay Product Photo

    • 8. Using presets for image editing

    • 9. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

You don't need expensive photography gear in order to create beautiful photos!

In this class you will learn how to shoot and edit images with your smartphone and create impressive photography for Instagram, Facebook or just for your family and friends.

The class gives you information of how to use your mobile phone camera in the best possible way for different types of images: landscapes, street photography, product photography, still life, portraits.

Main topics you will learn in this course:

  • Tips and general rules about shooting with mobile.
  • How to preserve the image quality
  • Basic composition rules: how to structure your image for an eye pleasing result.
  • Best mobile shooting angles for the different photography types
  • How to edit your images in Lightroom Mobile for a great final retouch: you will watch me edit three different mobile photos.

This class is created for beginners but even people who have experience in DSLR can benefit from it. 

All the photography displayed in this class have been shot by me with an iPhone 8 and edited in Adobe Lightroom Mobile!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Daniela Lambova

Food Blogger & Photographer


I'm Daniela, a Food Blogger, Food Photographer and Cookbook Author based in Sofia, Bulgaria. I love everything about food, especially desserts. In my blog Dani's Cookings you will find all kinds of sweets, including sugar-free, low carb and vegan. 

I've been baking since I was a child and I enjoy helping other people become confident in the kitchen. My philosophy is that everyone should be able to eat good homemade desserts, made with love and without guilt.

In 2019 I published my first cookbook about healthy desserts (it is only in Bulgarian for now but I am planning to release it in English soon!)


My second big passion is the Food Photography. Since I started my first blog in 2012, I have gone... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hi everyone, my name is Daniela. And in this class I'm going to teach you how to take beautiful photos with your mobile phone. We're going to discuss the types of mobile photography, like landscapes, portraits, food photography, product photography. And I'm going to give you all the tips and tricks I know about how to create impressive images just with your phone. I'm going to give you a few composition tips. I will also explain you how exactly to shoot for best results. We're going to discuss also the shooting angles for each type of photography. I'm a food photographer and blogger, and I also love taking photos with my mobile sometimes. I don't always bring my camera with me and that's why my mobile is my first photography friend. I take a lot of photos of landscapes, street photography, and I always edit them for best results. The goal of this class is to teach you how to get the best out of your mobile camera and how to create impressive results with your mobile phone. This is a course for beginners, for people who want to make impressive images with their mobile phones. You're going to learn a little bit about lighting and composition, which is very important part of photography. When you take photos, the most important is to have fun and to enjoy the process. I hope you will enjoy this class and you will take beautiful images for your Instagram or just for your family to have nice memories. 2. Mobile Photography Basics: The first thing you have to understand about the mobile photography is that mobile phones have wide angle lenses. The twice, you see everything on the screen much smaller, then when you see it with your eyes. Just might be disappointing when you're trying to shoot fireworks or the moon, for example. But there are workarounds to make your images better. The wide-angle lenses are not the best for certain type of photography like food photography, for example, but they are great for landscapes, for shooting groups of people as well. One of the problems that you might face with wide-angle lenses is that they create a lot of distortion in certain angles of shooting. The twice the best angles for mobile photography in my view, are flatly or from above and straight on. Another good thing of the wide-angle lenses of the mobile phones is that sometimes you may take good images in lower lighting conditions compared to some DSLR cameras with lenses like a 100 millimetres or 80 millimeters if you're taking photos also with a DSLR. And your DSLR photos are not grouped in low lighting conditions. For example, it early evening. You might not do that with the phone. Sometimes you might make impressive images in the same lighting conditions. One of the first things you should learn about mobile photography is that you need to forget about the zoom option. Zooming images just makes their quality lower. So you better take a whole image of what you're seeing in front of your eyes and crop it later in post-processing, post-processing keys very important. There are a number of applications for mobile that you can find and we're going to talk in details about it later. For now, just remember that zooming the images while shooting is useless. And post-processing can fix these much better. Another very important point is to ensure best possible lighting. The mobile phones cameras have automatic settings and they ensure sometimes good lighting, even in low lighting conditions. But if you take photos in a corner of your house where light is very low, you might end up with grainy or blurry images depending on how your camera decided to adjust settings. So the best is always to find a good lead corner of your house or to take the photos outdoors. You might have noticed that the best mobile photos are taken outdoors because the lighting outside is much better than the one in closed environment like house end. In order to make your indoor photos better, you should always aim for the best lighting spot of the house, but you need also to be careful not to have direct light on your shooting. Seeing the sun, for example, if it's shining directly, this is not a good condition. Good light for photography is diffused. Light, which means light during cloudy weather, or light which comes through transparent curtain or something else, transparent photon the window. Of course, there are a lot of nice images taken on direct sunlight, but we're not going to discuss them in this class because it is meant for beginners. The Hard Light style is a more advanced photography technique, which we're not going to discuss now. So good lighting is a key for good photography. 3. Shooting: I will show you now how to take photos with a mobile phone in order to make them the best possible. As already mentioned in the previous video, if you don't have enough light, you might end up with a grainy or blurry image. Therefore, it good to use all available light that you can get inside the house? Of course, if you're outdoors, it would be much easier. Just the subject in the frame. You can use the grids to follow the rule of thirds, which is the easiest photography composition. What is rule of thirds? As you can see the grid, you can place one of the important objects in the inside corners of the grids. This is a composition that looks very pleasing and nature of the GI. The third step is to focus on your object. Touch the screen on the place where the ice should look first, if you're shooting a portrait, focusing the eyes of the person. If shooting landscape or street photography focused on the most interesting objects in front of you. In still life photography or food photography, the so-called hero object should be always in-focus. Focuses very important and we sometimes tend to forget it, which is a mistake because then we see blurred and the main object, which should be actually the sharpest one. Next step is to adjust the light. If applicable, when you focus, you see there is a some icon that appears and you can move it up or down to make the image lighter or darker. This is very useful because usually if an image looks very light, maybe this is the automatic adjustment of the phone. And turning it a little bit down might make the image with better quality because in post-processing you can make it lighter again and then shoot the Dragon with a different angle. Focus again. Take several images from slightly different angles and don't worry, the horizontal is not very straight because you just hit during the post-processing. Okay. 4. Shooting Angles: Jingles of shooting is extremely important for mobile photography. And actually not everybody realizes this issue is that, as I already mentioned, mobile phones have wide angle lenses, which unfortunately sometimes creates a lot of distortion. And the objects look on nature really distorted in some specific shooting angles. This why I recommend using mainly the straight on and the flatly shooting angle. Of course in some cases, you can use also others. In the next slides we're going to review exactly how to select your shooting angle. So in still life photography portraits, you can select straight on. You see the photo here. It is straight on, not exactly really straight on. The mobile phone is slightly tilted, but the nature of objects and the whole scene that we're representing allows that little tilde over the phone. Whoever it in some cases, the straight on needs to be really straight on. And you can see the following example. These mug, I tried to shoot it first with a little tilt of the phone and then exactly straight on. So the little TO create a little bit of distortion, the top is a little bit larger than what it is in reality. On the next slide, you can see how it is when you shoot straight onto the distortion is minimal. Our thin and existence. The mug is exactly as wide on top as you see it in this photo. So here we have minimized the distortion by shooting right in front of it. You probably notice that in both pictures, you see the bottom of roses on tablecloths in front very large and the ones on the bottom are super small. This is the specific of the wide-angle lens is the front objects look very big compared to the objects on the back. We should consider always this when we use our mobile phone to shoot. That's also one of the reasons why mobile phones are so good for landscapes and city photography, because you manage to represent the objects in a way that is better for the I by using the distortion in your benefit, the other good angle and actually in my opinion, the best tango for food and product photography. This is flatly, again, this angle ensures minimum distortion because it is like the straight down, but on the other side is 90 degrees object. I would even say that for food photography, this is the one anomaly shooting NGO that ensures good food photos with a, with a mobile phone. And in some cases it is very beneficial to capture a lot of the scene. But of course, these two shooting anal shouldn't be the only ones. Especially with landscape photography. Sometimes you can use the distortion in a way that represents the theme in a much nicer way actually then in reality, for example, let us see this photo. If you look carefully on the bank. In fact, the building is a little bit tilted. This is because I have tilted the form while taking the photo, but to my side, not to the front. Basically, it is tilted to the death, makes the building in the bottom Loci von smaller and it is slightly tilted. You can see this. But what we want to highlight in this image is the tree. I wanted to show the most out of the tree and to display the beautiful colors. So by making the building in the breakeven smaller through tilting the phone, we have highlighted the beauty of the tree in front. 5. Basic Composition Rules: I want to show you few composition techniques that you can apply on mobile photography. Competition is very important, especially for mobile photography. When you want to take photo of different objects or landscapes, you need to follow certain composition rules in order to create an image pleasing for the array. The first and probably most important rule is to avoid clutter. Here is an image of coffee on which we see a lot of objects on the BEC, somebody's hands, some papers. This is not good image because all these objects in the background are not adding any value to the aesthetics of the image. We want to see. The coffee would probably also want to see the vase and the nice woollen background. But all the surroundings on the Becker, not very pleasant. 48. And in fact, they are not telling us interesting stories. So the easiest way to ruin an image is to have clutter somewhere to have unnecessary objects in this particular image. We cannot even crop them because we are going to crop the whole vase. And basically the image will not be that nice anymore. If you have something small on one of the corners, of course you can crop it. It's easy. But in this particular case, the image is ruined. So going to the next composition rule is one that we already mentioned. This is the rule of thirds. It's easy to apply because your camera has agreed that abuse automatically when you start to shoot. And here we have an example. These spots on the window are placed in the inside corners of the grid. This is not a finished image, but you can understand the idea. Leading lines is another very good composition rule that you can follow easily, especially for landscape street photography. Here on this particular image, you can find a lot of lines, actually, not only the ones that are highlighted, also the windows, the pillars, there are lines and as you can see, here is a little bit of a distortion D, I would not see the building in this way. It is distorted in one side. But this distortion actually adds value to this image, makes it more interesting because the image is taken from a particular angle that makes this distorted lights. If the lines were straight, there wouldn't have been that interesting as they are in this image. Another example of leading lines. In fact, you can see here more lines than the ones that are highlighted is a good photo that demonstrates this particular rule. Patterns season other nice composition rule. You don't need to have even particular hero objects on your image when you have patterns repetition, like these tiles. Of course we see here also lines, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you need to have lines when you have pattern composition. For example, this image with the leaves. It is in a way or bottom composition because we don't have our hero object. The color pattern is actually what draws the eye to this image and what makes it interesting. And another nice composition style is curves. When you have curved lines in your image. Really nice for the eye. It is one of the composition techniques that are used a lot also for food photography. But as you can see, even in City photography, landscape photography, you can use curves as a nice way to structure your image. And another one of my favorite compositions is framing. As you can see in this particular image, we are framing the building with the branches. We can also of course T lines here. I honestly see lines everywhere, but I believe that the charm of this particular image is in the exact way of building, is framed in these branches. And also we can see some light coming around. And one more way, especially to show landscapes in the sky, the horizon line. If you consider the horizon line, you can place your main objects under or above it. In this case, even though domain objects looked at is the building, for me, the colors on the top are very important parts of the image. Saw the horizon line is the one that gives the special thing of this image. 6. Image Editing: Landscape: I want where did this landscape? This is a morning view of the sun rising in the background. It is nothing special landscape, it doesn't glow. Very interesting, but we want to make it nicer and more interesting for the eye. So we start with a light adjustments. We increase contrast with decreased shadows in order to make it lighter. I will increase also the exposure and the whites, I want to increase the vibrance in order to make it more colorful and the clarity, which is my favorite tool, and it makes the details of the image more clear. I will sharpen it also a little bit because I think the forecast is not perfect. I will decrease the highlights and I will be cleared the shadows as well. I also like to work with individual colors. The colors you can increase saturation, which means the intensity of the color. You can increase or decrease luminance, which is the lightness of the color. And you can make the color a little bit different by turning the hue to the left or to the right. So I would like to highlight a little bit orange, the yellow of the sunrise and the leaves. But at the same time, I also want to make the skies more blue, even though I'm not sure if this is really possible in this particular image. And actually I want to fix the composition by cropping the image. So I'll try to apply something like similar to the rule of thirds. And now we see better the details. The image looks nicer with this composition and with the aid is that we did. 7. Image editing: Flat Lay Product Photo: In this video, I'm going to show you how to edit steel knife image. This is public photography or still-life photography. And I'm starting with the light option, disease exposure, contrast, shadows, highlights. I would like to increase little bit exposure to decrease the shadows and to decrease the highlights. So we continue with the color. I would like to increase a little bit the vibrance. And then I want to work separately with the cars. The green eye will increase in order to flower, to pop, and also the pattern on the tablecloth. I will also make it more luminance by increasing the luminous. This creates lighter in the green. Then the aqua, i will decrease the saturation because I don't want this pattern of the tablecloth to be to blueish. And for that reason I also declared in saturation of the blue as well. We wanted to highlight green and magenta, but to make the blow less visible. So that's why I would increase also the situation and the luminosity of the magenta. But the picture is not ready like this, even though it looks a little bit better. So I go to clarity, which is one of my favorite ways to improve the image, then I want to do some vignetting here in order to make the image more interesting and automatically it became darker. So y will increase also the explosive. In fact, I don't need to have the contrast higher, so I will eventually decrease it. And I want the image to be slightly more warm. So I will move the temperature to the yellow. And also I will move the tint, the pink side because I want to see a little bit more pinky shades. And additionally, I will increase the yellow and red in order to make the notebook in the middle. And we'll bring the green a little bit to yellow. So now ultimately, I will increase a little bit more exposure to make the image lighter. And we'll decrease the highlights to avoid some parts of the images looking like burned out. This creates a little bit of glow. And the image looks more vibrant, lighter, and ultimately nice in my view. So I will decrease the shadow so little bit more as well. And it will decrease slightly that whites. Eventually I'll bump up the overall saturation to make it even more vibrant. And now you can see the difference. 8. Using presets for image editing: How to use presets for mobile photography, Lightroom presets are very useful not only to edit your images. In fact, they are more useful to learn how to edit your images. I will show you how I will let it this image with one of my presets. I have a lot of presets in my Lightroom Mobile, and most of them are created by me. So this image is a little bit dark, skies, nicely blue, but the image by itself is quite dark in the middle. And we're going to fix these UC Health. So I will go to the presets and I will select one of my proceeds. I think this one is actually called Open preset di created it, but the image is very dark. This is what I don't like. And increasing just the exposure is not going to help much for the middle part. So here I will use the selective adjustment. Selective adjustment is available only for users who have Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. In most cases, the other tourists are more than enough to AD2 remains nicely. So I will use these to the red part which you see shows where the effect to take effect. But we don't have effects yet and just activating it now. So what I will select these light, I wanted to decrease the shadow, See how it decreases them. And probably a little bit of exposure to submit. Okay. And now is much better, as you can see, that they don't like the down part that is too light right in front. So let's see if it can be fixed. It vignetting effect, vignette. There is a little bit, but I will try to increase it. This looks better. I also want to check because this was a proceed. I don't remember the exact adjustment it have's. So I want to check if the color so right, for this particular image, in most of my editor, I like to play with the colors, including in some of my presets. So let's see if the colors are appropriate for this particular image. Very important. Saw the hue is not important, but the saturation, I would like to increase it. The oranges decrease, but I want to increase it because here it is going to be nice. The yellow is already decreased. This is grouped in degrees already decreased, and the luminosity decreased. This is fine for me. The blue and the aquatic quite high, but that is fine. I like this guy this way. So I think this image is more or less goods visually compared to the original. 9. Final Thoughts: Thank you very much for taking this class. I hope you learned a lot and now a lot of things clearer for you in terms of photography. Of course, you need to practice in order to achieve the best results. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask me. I'm happy to answer and to help you and will be hippie also, if you read this course, this will help me a lot to understand how to improve it and also my future classes. And it will also help the poster rack in the platform. Thank you once again for watching the course, and I wish you good luck in your photography journey. Okay.