How to take great outdoor photos on your phone

Make amazing summer memories with our top photography tips.

10 May 2021

When the weather's good and you're out and about, you might fancy taking some snaps to share on your social feeds. Inspiration can strike at any time!

With that in mind, here are our hottest tips for taking unforgettable outdoor shots on your smartphone.

Go ultra-wide for epic landscapes

Most phones these days come with multiple camera lenses under the hood. But are two (or more) lenses really better than one?

In short, yes. Why? Because, with a dual-lens camera you can snap between both lenses easily on the fly, giving you different results depending on what you’re taking a picture of.

It can help you get sharper images with more detail, give you an ultra-wide-angle frame or help you take photos with a shallow depth of field, making the subject of your photo really pop.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 has an amazing triple camera, with a 12MP ultra-wide lens to bring your landscape shots to life. Plus, no more squishing needed to get everyone in the group photo.

Use the power of Portrait Mode

When it comes to putting your friends and family in the frame, nothing looks quite as professional as a portrait and now, you can use Portrait Mode on most good phones.

Portrait Mode uusually calls on the multi-lens cameras to keep the subject sharp, while creating a beautifully blurred background – perfect if you want to keep the focus on someone special in a gorgeous summery setting. Fancy putting yourself in the picture? You can even take selfies in portrait mode with the front camera on some phones.

One of our favourite phones for taking portrait shots is the incredible iPhone 12. It takes studio quality shots, and gives you the power to choose exactly how blurry you want the background to look.

Become a selfie master

Friends taking a selfie

If you love a good selfie and you’re keen to up the Insta ante this summer, a front-facing camera with a wide-angle lens is the only answer.

A selfie may just be a selfie but without the extra field of view, you won’t be able to fit more of your friends – or the background – into the frame. The latest phone cameras let you avoid the stress of having to ask bystanders to take pictures of you and your mates at the seaside or a rooftop bar.

For super selfie snapping, we’re going with the Oppo Find X3 Pro.  Its 32MP front-facing camera has a super-wide 81° field of vision, so you can get everyone packed in for great group selfies.

Boost the dynamic range

For shots full of detail, we need to talk about HDR (which stands for High Dynamic Range). Put simply, it takes three pictures with a single click, but each has a different exposure level: an overexposed, underexposed and balanced shot. Then it stacks all three together to create a bold image, rich with shadowing and highlighting.

So, popping your camera on ‘HDR mode’ will help eliminate any overexposed or underexposed anxieties you may have – giving you nothing but beautifully detailed photos.

One phone capable of taking great HDR shots is the Huawei Mate 40 Pro. Its awesome triple-lens camera combines with a speedy AI processor to give you ‘Instagenic’ shots anywhere, anytime.

Your camera knows best

Lots of phones now come with AI technology built into the camera, which helps you take professional-looking photos anywhere you go. Its clever sensors figure out what you’re looking at and adjusts the settings to get the best shot.

Whether you’re taking photos of the pooch at the park, a plate of mouth-watering BBQ food or a landmark you’ve travelled to see in the sunshine, artificial intelligence can adjust the camera settings to give you amazing pictures. That means you don’t need to fiddle around with your settings – just aim and capture. Nice and easy.

A great example of AI camera technology at its best is the Huawei Mate 40 Pro. Like we mentioned above, it has a speedy AI processor that does pretty much everything to make your photos look perfect It works out exactly what you’re shooting, and adjusts everything from focus to brightness. It’s all done for you.

Get a great phone with a great camera

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