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Five easy steps to taking better photos on your smartphone

 

Picture perfection is only a click away, as Katie Wright discovers.

Do you suffer Instagram envy, not because of what's actually happening in your feed, but because the photos are just so darn good compared to your own hastily-taken, barely-in-focus compositions?

Well, it turns out it's not just professional photographers who are upping the Insta-stakes.

When Carphone Warehouse asked 1,000 people to rate a series of images on a scale of one to 10 for quality and professionalism, amateurs trumped the pros in most cases.

Of the top 10 highest-rated pictures - which included misty landscapes, intimate portraits and moody city shots - only two were taken by full-time snappers.

But you don't need thousands of pounds worth of equipment or editing software to reach the standards of these outstanding amateurs - all you need is a smartphone.

"As phone camera technology evolves, we, as a community of photographers, will develop. Everyone has a camera, everyone is a photographer," says Richard Storrow, who teaches photography at Leeds College of Art and is also professional photographer.

"By creating and sharing, we can push and support each other to do more, and to do better."

Here are Storrow's five top tips for improving your smartphone shooting skills:

1 PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

Use your phone camera for its strengths. You have a very discreet, portable and slimline device that you can take anywhere. When learning to improve your photography, I always say to my students: "Take your cameras everywhere and photograph everything that sparks your interest." With a great camera in your phone, you're already there.

2 CREATE CONTRASTS

Timing is as important as composing your frame. Contrast strong architectural lines with movement and organic shapes, looking for lines and patterns.

3 MAKE DON'T TAKE

Don't take photos "of things" - this is the attitude of a hoarder, instead look to "make" photographs. Think about what you want before you take the photograph.

4 SET YOURSELF TASKS

The best bit about smartphone photography is that you can set yourself mini photography tasks when waiting for a bus or train. You can photograph the bus stop for 10 minutes, photograph the passers by, the street signs, the bins.

5 DELETE THE DUDS

Think about shape and colour, not just the subject.

Look at your work and refine, be self-critical and trash the bad photos. You can always take another.

Carphone Warehouse has partnered with Samsung on a competition to find Britain's best smartphone snapper, with prizes worth £300 up for grabs. To upload your own entry for this month's great theme - Celeb Selfies - visit: lowdown.carphonewarehouse.com/samsung- everyones-a-photographer

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