You want to learn mobile photography, but you are not sure where to start, then this article is only for you. This article will answer your question, How to get started in photography.

A lot of amateur  photographers make the mistake of purchasing a high-end DSLR camera and its various kits, without knowing the basics of photography. One should always start with camera phone photography, learn some basic concept and then switch to DSLR if you want to.

Quick Navigation
1. What are the features of phone camera?
2. Photo modes in your phone
3. How to use manual mode in mobile camera ?

1. What are the features of phone camera?

In order to learn Camera Phone Photography, first, you need to know about all the features of your phone cam.

These days phone camera offers plenty of features. Let’s see, one by one what these features stand for.

Selfie Mode

This mode is used to switch from back camera to front camera. As you click on this icon, the front camera of your phone will activate. And your phone camera is ready to take a selfie.

Google Image Search

Some of the latest phones are coming with the feature of image search on Google. You can click an image using this icon and then if your phone is connected to the internet, android’s google search feature will open a new window which will have all the search details related to that image.

Back Camera Mode

In this mode, the back camera of your phone will activate. If your phone has dual back cameras then you can select between Normal Camera mode and Wide Angle Camera mode.
Normal camera mode: Normal camera mode also known as telephoto mode, is ideal for portrait photography. This is the common camera mode present in both normal and advance phones.
Wide Angle Camera mode: This mode is ideal for clicking a wider range of objects like a landscape, scenery etc.

Video mode

This mode is used to record videos.

HDR mode

In High Dynamic Range mode, your camera will capture images that are more vibrant, with sharper edges. The bright areas will be more bright and dark areas will be even darker.
This mode is used when our subject is unevenly exposed to light. The image captured in this mode is slightly different from the one captured in normal mode.

Camera Flash

The icon is used to turn on/off the camera flash


This feature clicks photos automatically after a certain set time.

Auto mode

Camera set in auto mode, allows your phone sensors to automatically adjust shutter speed, white balanceexposure, etc. In this mode, your phone decides what settings are best for your photo.

2. Photo modes in your phone


Portrait Mode

Portrait Photo by Srijita
This mode is used to click portrait photos. Using this mode, you can adjust DOP(depth of field) in your photos. In Layman terms, if you want to blur the background in your image so that the focus is only on the subject then you can use portrait mode.

Cutout Mode

Cutout Photo by Srijita
This mode is used to take a cutout of the subject in focus. Here, when you click a photograph in this mode, then the image of the subject will be clicked rest everything will be dark.

Spot Color Mode

Spot Color Effect by Srijita
This mode converts the whole image into black and white except the subjects that are of a specific color. For example in the above image, the whole photo is black and white except the car which is of red color.

Panorama Mode

Panorama Photo by David Jakab

This mode combines multiple shots into a single photograph. This mode can be used while clicking a landscape that cannot be captured in a single shot. All you have to do is to take multiple shots of the same subject from one corner to another. Finally, your phone will process these images into one single image.

Face filter Mode

In this mode, your phone will apply funny filters like bunny ears, devil’s horn, fancy goggles, etc on your face while clicking the photo.

3. How to use manual mode in mobile camera


Manual Focus

The name is pretty obvious. This setting is used to select a focal point for your image, manually. The focal point is the point where the image is most clear in the photo. In technical terms, when 2 rays of parallel light which pass from your camera lens bends and meets each other, that point is known as the focal point. Any subject that will be kept at this point will look clear while its surrounding will be little blurred.

You may adjust the focal point by pointing your phone on a certain subject and then drag the pointer left and right.

                         Both background & hand are in focus
The background is blur, the focus
 is on the hand

To click a portrait image(single subject) with a blurred background, drag the pointer towards the left, while to click a multi-element photo like a landscape, drag the pointer towards the right.


White Balance

White balance is one of the crucial settings in mobile photography. If you are shooting in a surrounding where there is a mixture of both shade and light, then it’s a good option that you should choose your white balance manually.


Sample Photo to demonstrate white balance by Kate Veronica
As white is a color that is the base of all the colors, thus white balance is a process of color correction by changing the amount of white in the photo. Setting white balance can really change the mood of your image.


Shutter Speed

To understand shutter speed, you need to first understand what does camera shutter means. Camera shutters are the small gate through which light comes into your camera. Thus, by changing shutter speed you are telling your camera how fast it needs to open and close the camera shutters.
The faster the shutter speed, the less light will penetrate into the camera and the image will be darker. But it will freeze a fast-moving subject like a sports event. On the other hand at the slow shutter speed, more light will penetrate into the camera and the mage will be more lit. But it will blur the motion.
Fastest shutter speed: 1/6000
Slowest shutter speed: 1/3


ISO is the measure of the sensitivity of the image sensor in your camera.

                         ISO 100
ISO 3200

Higher the ISO number means image sensor is more sensitive to light. This is ideal for night time photography when the light is really less. While Lower ISO number means the sensor is less sensitive to the light.


Exposure is the amount of light per unit area reaching the digital sensor of the camera.
A more exposed image is really bright, while a less exposed image is comparatively darker.

To sum up, the combination of  Exposure and ISO decides the brightness of the image, Focal length is used to set the depth of field,  Shutter Speed captures the motion and decides how much light should pass into your camera and White Balance sets the mood of the picture.

Combing this knowledge, you may capture a perfect picture using your phone camera.

Kindly share if you like this post. Drop a comment for any feedbacks and queries. 

Some photos that are used in this article are taken from other resources and use of these images are merely for the educational purpose. No copyright infringement intended.

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5 years ago

Nice Post!
I am having so many mobile photos but want to learn photo editing using a phone. Please write an article about photo editing using a mobile phone.


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