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Get great holiday shots on your phone. Expert advice



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Never before has it been so easy to capture an image on camera and share it with the world. The smart phone really has revolutionised the way we take photographs.

A quick swipe or press of a button and your image is up there for your followers to see.

But how do you ensure that your shots stand out from the crowd?

Budget Direct Insurance has put together a few simple steps to get your pics noticed!

Use angles and try the rule of thirds

This means thinking about your shot or photo in terms of thirds, with your subject taking one third of the space. By putting your subject off centre you are creating dead space and making your photo look a lot cleaner. Turn on the grid lines to guide you when you take a shot by going to settings on your phone.

Angles are another way to give your photo a different feel. Hold your camera above your head, lie down, shoot from under or below things and look for reflections or shadows which can make shots more interesting.

jet plane
Use angles

Get up early

Shoot a scene showing it in a way the viewer wouldn’t expect – a busy street empty, a monument or famous place devoid of visitors. You may have to get up early to do this and be patient. Popular places like Angkor Wat in Cambodia or Borobudur temple, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, may be heaving with sightseers but wait till the crowds start to move and pick your moment. It’s said the most beautiful light at Borobudur is around 45 minutes after sunrise, when it is bathed in a golden light and the morning mist has settled.

Candi Borobudur
Capture the misty mornings at Borobudur

Capture the “afterglow”

This is when the sun has gone down but there’s a beautiful graduation from last light to dark, with a dramatic colour in the sky. You will need to do a little bit of homework on locations known for an afterglow. Places like Railay Beach near Krabi in Thailand won’t disappoint. The effect comes from the glow of the reflected light coming off the still lit clouds.

Krabi Province Thailand
Get the afterglow of a Thai sunset

Use black and white

Nowadays it’s easy to switch between black and white and colour to see which works best. As a general rule if you have a scene or subject with bland or subdued colours the image might look better in black and white. By removing colour you are left with only differences between tone, lights and darks in the shot. The bigger the differences between these the more striking a black and white photo will be.

ski sports
Black and white on the slopes

Attach a lens

Cheap and easy to use is a Fisheye smartphone lens (8mm) or a Macro or Wide Angle Lens to transform your flat photo into wide and up-close images. A wide-angle lens will capture large crowds (useful at concerts), great landscapes and increases your view range by around 40%. When the same lens is set at macro you can really create a great close up, at around 10-23mm.

As the name suggests a Fisheye lens creates an effect like looking through a fishbowl and can make an unusual shot. These attachments are cheap and easy to fit onto a smartphone. There are also Apps which give the same effect but seeing the shot at the time of taking it is more fun!

Fisheye view of Hong Kong
Fisheye view of Hong Kong

Close wide angle shot
Close wide angle shot

General tips

Crop don’t zoom. As soon as you zoom you will notice your shot degrading.

Download an image editing App which will allow you to make more adjustments instead of using the same filters everyone else is using. It will help you to develop your own style.

Try not to use the flash, instead seek out a light source, like a neon sign

Give the lens of your smartphone camera a clean from time to time with cleaning solution.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, it’s vital to have good Travel and Car cover.
Check out Budget Direct Insurance for your best deal

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