How to Take Great Travel Photos Using Your Smartphone

eva_and_mark_headshot_081210 half res

Eva and Mark Greenwald, Eva’s Best Travel and Cruises, 203-221-3171, 888-499-7245,,

I love the travel and I love to photograph my travels, especially of my kids and our family while we are traveling. While your smart phone or compact digital compact camera is no substitute for wonderful digital SLRs with many interchangable lenses and all of the gadgets, I, like many of you, want to travel light. What’s easier than taking photos with your smartphone? USA Today did an great article on how to take better travel photos using your smartphone. Call us and let us know what you think or if you have other smartphone photography suggestions: 203-221-3171, 888-499-7245, text us at: 203-554-4462, email us at: Check our website weekly for travel specials and tips at:


USA Today went straight to the top photographers and travel bloggers in the biz for their tips on how to take the best photos using only a smartphone. Here are some wonderful tips and apps from top  travel photographers:

Rule of thirds
“An easy way to improve your photos is to make use of the rule-of-thirds grid in your camera app. This is a relatively common feature in today’s camera apps. Make sure to turn yours on. It’s a great tool for two reasons. One, it can be used as a guide to make sure your horizon is level. Two, it will help you improve your composition, which is probably the most important part of a great photograph. To improve your composition with the grid, try placing interesting elements on or around where the four grid lines intersect. Your composition will also be better if the horizon runs along one of the horizontal lines instead of through the middle of the image.” — David Pasillas, David Pasillas Photography

Consider your angle
“Look for interesting angles to add drama to your picture. See if you can photograph local cityscapes from a second- or third-floor window instead of street level. Also, don’t be afraid to put your smartphone down low to the ground to get a dramatic vantage point.” — Chuck DeLaney, New York Institute of Photography director and author of Top Travel Photo Tips: From Ten Pro Photographers

Stabilize your smartphone
“Nothing can ruin a perfectly arranged photo like a heaping helping of blur. Hold that camera like your momma taught you. Imagine you’re holding a big ol’ camera. Use one hand to hold it steady and the other to push the shutter button. If two hands aren’t enough, brace your elbows against your sides to add even more stability. If you really miss the stability provided by holding your camera up against your face, check out the iPhone Viewfinder.” — The experts at Photojojo, where you can take an online course in “Phoneography”

“To make the most of your photos, you have to edit them. Even if it’s just a slight bump in contrast, sharpness, and saturation, it will make a noticeable difference. There are so many apps to use for editing, but one of my favorites is Snapseed. It’s powerful and completely free.” — David Pasillas

Find the best natural light
“Landscape photos are better if taken when the sun is low in the sky, either early in the morning or toward sundown. Overhead sun in midday makes for flat lighting that diminishes the texture and features of the landscape. Also, avoid portraits in overhead sun. A cloudy day or open shade is better.” — Chuck DeLaney

Use an HDR app
“Smartphones are capable of taking great photos, but they do have some limitations because they don’t yet have the incredible sensors of an expensive DSLR. Luckily, there are some ways to work around a smartphone’s limitations. I’m talking about using high dynamic range (HDR) apps. An HDR app will take two exposures, one for the highlights and another for the shadows. Then it carefully blends them together to create an image much closer to what you see with your eyes. TrueHDR and Pro HDR are two of my favorite apps for HDR photos. I find they do a very good job even if you’re holding the camera in your hands instead of using a tripod. Keep in mind that HDR isn’t meant for moving objects or portraits. Feel free to experiment with those subjects, but don’t expect HDR to work on everything.” — David Pasillas

Use an app for after-dark photography
“Smartphones struggle with color contrast and blurring at night. The solution: Download Night Camera, one of a few great options for time-delayed image capturing. Just open Night Camera, set your phone in place, run and pose by your sweetie—then, voila, your iPhone snaps a portrait of the two of you together without that awkward arm-held-way-out pose that makes almost anyone look a little weird!” — Kirsten Alana, Aviators and a Camera
Use the panoramic feature
“AutoStitch is a great way to create a panoramic image directly on your iPhone. You don’t need to buy that expensive camera! Camera360 and Pano are additional apps that function similarly to AutoStitch.” — Kirsten Alana

Use external lenses
“Cell Phone Lenses are your phone’s best friend! Which one do you need? Macro helps you magically get closer than your eye can see. Fisheye fits an entire room into one snap. Telephoto gives your little phone lens some zoom power.” — The experts at Photojojo

About Eva’s Best Travel and Cruises:
At Eva’s Best Travel and Cruises, we get to know you, your interests and desires and customize your trip. With our affiliation with Cruise Planners and American Express Travel, our wonderful team of over 350 travel partners, all vetted through American Express for their high quality and service, will match the lowest publish price and give you the most amenities. You will save a lot of time, money and frustration as we counsel and advise you on your dream vacation. Call us at: 203-221-3171, 888-499-7245,, text us at: 203-554-4462, check our website at:

If you wish to be on our email list, just email us at:


About evagreenwald

I co-own Best Cruises and Travel Now, a full service, home-based travel agency. Our customers save a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of aggravation from travel mistakes, while we give them expert, personalized travel advice and excellent customer service. Since we are affiliated with Cruise Planners/American Express, our clients can pay for part or all of their trip using their American Express Reward points! We specialize in specialty and theme cruises and trips, honeymoons and destination weddings, corporate travel and sales incentive trips, family and school reunions and friends getaways. We will exceed your expectations!
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s