The Ultimate Guide for New Aspiring Mobile Photographers
A girl takes pictures of the sea with her mobile phone

As a photographer, you need to make the most of the tools at your disposal. Thanks to mobile phone technology development and their new adds on such as mobile lens kit, the photo quality have gone beyond everyone’s expectation.

Today, more and more professional photographers use their smartphones exclusively for work. For newcomers, it has never been easier to take world-class photos on your phone. So, where to start? If you want to master the sublime art of mobile photography, we have put together an ultimate guide for you. Without further ado, let’s jump right in.

Introduction: Smartphone vs. Camera 

Just a few years ago, mobile photography was seen as a joke. The smartphone’s image resolution and definition were not comparable with the ones of any DSLR or mirrorless camera.

Back then, DSLR cameras could capture a wider color range with a faster shutter speed paired with better zoom and flash. Besides, professional cameras had variable focal length apertures, regulating the amount of light reaching the optical sensors. To put it simply,  DSLR cameras used to win the battle for the best image quality.  

Nowadays, it is all a different story. Mobile photography has been booming for more than a reason. We are not talking about taking amazing selfies with your phone, but rather about amazing shots worth winning the National Geographic Awards.

As a matter of fact, mobile photography has advantages on its own. If you are going out or traveling, would you prefer to carry with you a bulky DSLR camera or a much lighter smartphone? Of course, it is more practical to carry a smartphone in your pocket or bag. Mobile phones are easy to handle, and you can edit and share your masterpieces all in a matter of minutes. 

What about image quality? No doubt that a professional camera has a great advantage on this side. However, the gap is filling as you can now take much better photos with your smartphone. Even better if you use clip-on lenses, which will allow you to take shots worth the best professional photography equipment.

apexel lens

Mobile Photography Must-have Accessories

There’s nothing wrong with taking photos with your phone. It’s actually a wise choice for taking photos everywhere you are. You can clip on some mobile lenses to turn your smartphone into a portable professional camera. A mobile lens kit is usually made of a macro lens, telephoto lens, wide-angle lens, and fisheyes lens. While they might sound new to you, give them a try and with a bit of practice you will soon notice the difference.

Dewdrops on leaves

Macro lens

With macro photography, you can capture every little, tiny detail about the flora, fauna, arts, and crafts. Some example? Take a picture of insects on the top of gorgeous flowers. Do not worry! You do not need to go far away in the jungle somewhere. You will be surprised by the amazing world that is currently hidden in your courtyard or in the garden near your home. If you are not ready to get closer to bugs, you can use these lenses to portrait the refined craftsmanship of jewels and other objects.

Macro lenses are specially designed for a high optical performance at short focusing distances. Generally, they have a sharper rendering for close-ups. Here at Apexel, we have thought of various solutions for macro photography. Phone cameras like the 100mm HD Super Macro Lens enable capturing life-sized images of tiny subjects. 

The 100mm macro is developed with a large aperture controlling the light for the natural blur effect. Furthermore, the add-on can work within less than an inch away from the subject, showing particulars that we would not be able to notice otherwise. Overall, the image has a low distortion and presents itself crystal clear. Here, you can find our complete guide about "How to Capture Stunning Macro Photos With Mobile Camera Lens!"

The Moon at night

Telephoto lens 

Use telephoto lenses to take a breathtaking shot of inaccessible landscapes and subjects far away. These lenses hold an important place in our company as in photography history. They allow you to turn your smartphone into a long-range cannon to shoot the distant object with ease. You can take pictures of sports events, wildlife, night-sky, UFOs (if you catch one), and our favorite, the moon. Fascinating, right?

Telephoto lenses have the fundamental function of magnifying the subject of the frame. However, the effect is not identical to zooming or getting closer. Due to the effects of perspective distortion, the different planes entering the frame appear “closer” to each other. Put it simply, you can play with the perspective to make the farther subject look bigger.

We at Apexel have prepared a special gift for you, a new set of telephoto lenses called the 60X Zoom Mobile Camera Telephoto Lens and the 36X Super Zoom Phone Camera Telephoto Lens. With 36x to 60x magnification, there is no place that you will not be able to reach. Because these lenses reduce the depth of field, they are also ideal for portraits or isolating subjects. To know more about telephoto lens, check our article: Top 5 Ways To Make The Most of Your Telephoto Lens Shots.

natural beautiful scenery

Wide-angle lens 

Wide-angle lens is among the equipment that should never be missing in a photographer’s arsenal. We remember going to New York to take some beautiful photos of “The Big Apple.” Walking around looking at the high skyscrapers, we were not able to get the full picture. Here is when the wide-angle lens turned out to be our invaluable companion. 

Wide-angle lenses have a shorter focal length than traditional ones. In particular, lenses with a length of less than 50 mm are generally considered to be wide-angle. By exploiting the perspective with a wide-angle lens, you can enhance the foreground subject by further distancing the secondary layers. Feel confused? In a nutshell, these types of lenses expand the field of vision, capturing more of the objects or subjects at once.

Considering the 110° HD Wide Angle Lens as main example, we at Apexel have thought about a wide range of new tools for all photographers who like cityscapes and group photos. Our wide-angle lenses differ from others as they are made following the cinema design process of aerospace-grade metals and polished glass. This way, the lenses do not suffer from fisheye distortion and generate astonishing crisp HD images. Interested in a wide-angle lens? Check out our guides!

Shot with a fisheye lens

Fisheyes Lens

These lenses push outward the center of the image, giving the feeling of looking through a peephole in a door. Fisheyes lenses are quite similar to wide-angle lenses, but the widening effect is more extreme.

Fisheyes lenses are widely used in sports photography, particularly in gravity disciplines such as skateboarding and BMX. They are also commonly used for landscapes and abstract photography. The focal length of fisheyes depends on the size of the frame. For the 24mm × 36mm frame, typical focal lengths span between 8-10mm for lenses that produce circular images, and between 14 and 16mm for those that produce full-frame images.

The new 195° Universal Super Fisheye Lens perfectly reflects our identity. Apexel goes beyond 180° with a wider coverage of 195°. You can use our lenses to get the distorted effect for amazing artistic results. Distortion can be annoying sometimes, but with some tricks, you can use it to your advantage. To know more about fisheye’s lens, check out our guides!

Accessories: Tripods & Night Vision Binoculars

Other than mobile lens kits, a tripod is one of the main accessories to bring everywhere with you. It can help by dampening and eliminating the micro-vibrations generated when you try to shoot freehand. For other particular shots, such as a telephoto lens, you must hold the smartphone to a specific height to achieve the best result.  

If you love night photography, your must-have equipment should include Night Vision Binoculars. The Apexel binoculars are used in daylight and in absolute darkness, thanks to their infrared LED light. Night vision allows you to study and get prepared for awesome shots. For more information about this topic, check out this guide at Night Vision vs. Thermal Imaging.

Tips to Improve Your Mobile Photography Skills

Having the right equipment is just one of the many steps to become a professional photographer. However, mobile lens kits are often not enough. You will need to have a basic knowledge about photography.

In case you are wondering where to start, we have summarized here below the main concepts to grasp for boosting your photography skills.

Two photographers were talking about the beauty

Angulation & Stabilization 

One of the most common reasons for blurry images is camera shake. You need to stabilize your phone, especially if you plan to shoot in low light conditions. Fortunately, it’s fairly simple to solve this problem. You just need to set up the stabilizer or help yourself with a tripod. Trust us! You do not want to portrait your subject as an impressionist painting. 

About angulation, guessing the best angle to take a photo can greatly change your result for the better. Depending on what you want to shoot and the position, there are different techniques. A common technique is called the “Rule of Thirds,” which describes a photograph’s basic compositional structure. The result is achieved by splitting an image up to 9 segments to decide the focal point better. 

The city at night

Pay attention to exposure

Calculating the right amount of light can be challenging. When we take a picture, our aim is to obtain adequate exposure (not too bright and not too dark). This way, you can see clear details in the scene you are shooting. If the image is underexposed or overexposed, you can easily lose details and sharpness. Play with the aperture settings on your smartphone or add external light sources.

Bonus Tip: Flash can be one of the worst nightmares for novel photographers. We used the world nightmare because it can result in your subject having all red eyes or resembling ghosts. For this reason, it is not recommended to use the phone flash to take pictures, as it creates a strange weak light. You will then risk getting too close to use it, burning the image. Much better to ask a friend or two to illuminate the scene with their phone light.

Cell phone capture of off-year

Focus & Zoom

How can we set the right focus? You should know that focusing problems can occur in any lighting condition. If you always rely on autofocus, it will inevitably leave you on foot from time to time. Relying on a different mobile lens can help you out. For example, a telephoto lens can help to isolate a subject making the background blurred.

If you tried to zoom with your smartphone, you had probably noticed that the more you zoom in, the more the image is distorted. In most cases, mobile phone zoom has an optical and digital part. To take a picture at the best resolution, you should only use the first part of the magnification, which is called “optical”. Fortunately, as for the focus, a mobile lens kit can come to our rescue.

These were just a few of the aspects you should be aware of to improve your techniques.  Check our guides to learn more about this topic.

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