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Mobile phone photography: top 5 tips

(Image credit: Myat Min)

Image: Myat Min

With advancement of smartphone technology booming, photography has shifted from a specialist hobby and profession, to something that everyone is having a go at.

Whilst shooting using your phone can be limited in some respects, in others it can be a real advantage and get you great results.      

So how do you get the best results from your mobile phone and stand out from the crowd? Whether you're shooting with a regular single-lens smartphone or one of the latest multi-lens phones like the Nokia PureView 9, the same basic rules of mobile photography apply. Here are five amazing pictures from the Smartphone category of Digital Camera magazine's 2019 Young Photographer of the Year and Photographer of the Year competitions so far. Make sure you enter your shots now to be in with a chance of winning a share of £30,000 of amazing prizes!

1. Document discreetly 

(Image credit: Lee Ek Guan)

It's tricky to blend into the background when you're holding a big D-SLR and lens, however with your smartphone you're not going to look out of place wherever you are. If you're into street and documentary photography then you can capture some great shots of people passing by using your phone.      

2. Get the right accessories   

(Image credit: Saravanaraja_clicks)

Did you know there's a range of accessories (and no - not just selfie sticks) you can now use with your smartphone to help you get better results? For example if you're into macro photography then invest in a mobile macro lens, or for landscape lovers then look into a smartphone wide angle lens. LED light panels can come in handy for portrait shoots. There are many different options.  

 3. The right light

(Image credit: Myat Min)

Working with light is the key to bringing your image to life. Consider its direction and strength, and what it brings to the story. Whether the warm glow of golden light, a cold blue morning, or harsh midday shadows, each affects the mood of your story in different ways, so utilize them to tell it.

 4. Edit your snaps 

(Image credit: Jules)

With the creation of smartphone apps there are many different editing effects and filters you can add instantly to your image. There are many great apps out there to help improve your photos. We favour the free Snapseed app (iOS and Android) for quick edits, and Affinity Photo on the iPad Pro for the more detailed work. Both Snapseed and Affinity Photo have a facility to develop RAW files, where you can adjust Exposure and White Balance among other things.

 5. Share instantly 

(Image credit: Richard Lingo)

If you want your images to reach a large audience in an instant then there are many photo sharing apps and sites out there that you can do this through. Instagram is one of the biggest and most popular, however you should also check out Flickr, DeviantArt, and 500px to get started. 

Enter the competition here

About the prizes

Digital Camera Photographer of the Year is back for 2019, with an amazing prize fund worth £30,000 up for grabs! This year the awards are free to enter, thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, and Affinity Photo.

The expert judge's chosen winner of the Urban Landscape contest will receive a Rohan jacket worth £249. The winner of the crowd vote will receive a year-long subscription to Digital Camera magazine.

The winners will be featured in Digital Camera magazine and on Digital Camera World, as well as sister magazines including N-Photo and PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine, and they will receive additional exposure through Digital Camera’s social media. There will be an exhibition at The Photography Show in March 2019, and winners will be invited to attend a special gala reception.

The overall winner of Digital Camera Photographer of the Year 2019 will win an MPB voucher worth £2,500 GBP, a £2,000 Rohan shopping experience, a Sony A7 III + 28-70mm lens, a Rotolight NEO 2 kit and a CEWE print.  

The expert judge's chosen winner of the Urban Landscape  - 25 & Under contest will win £100 cash and Affinity Photo + Affinity Photo Workbook. The winner of the crowd vote will receive Affinity Photo and a year-long subscription to Digital Camera magazine. The top ten of the crowd vote will each receive Affinity Photo.

The overall winner of Young Digital Camera Photographer of the Year 2019 will win £3,000 cash, Affinity Photo, an iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, a Sony RX10 IV, a Rotolight NEO 2 kit and a CEWE print. 

Find out more about the competition here