Ant Pruitt: Smartphone Photography Elements

Our Ant Pruitt discusses smartphone photography elements as they relate to this week’s featured iPhone 5 photo by Liana Lehua. Texture, cropping and POV. Beautiful! — As many of you know, I host the Smartphone Photographers Community on Google+.

I really enjoy hanging out in the community and trying to learn how to be a better photographer with my trusty smartphone’s camera.

Being in a community with hobbyists as well as professional photographers has been a tremendous experience in allowing me to capture better shots of my beloved #hardheadz.

Each week on the show we discuss smartphone photography elements . . . and elements of photography in general. In this piece, I’d like to share an amazing photograph taken by community member and Pixel Corps employee, Liana Lehua, I’ll share some smartphone photography elements and also relate these elements to the shot from Liana.

Point of View

It’s quite easy to capture a photograph with the subject facing you directly. Why not challenge yourself with different angles and points of view? If you happen to see a beautiful tree on your afternoon stroll, don’t just take a snapshot of the big Oak head on.

Take a shot from the bottom of the trunk aiming up towards the sky. Or take the shot at sunrise or sunset to see how light shines on it and casts shadows differently depending on the time of day. Or how about getting up close and personal with the tree? Capture the texture of the bark in a nice macro shot.

Color Versus Black and White Photography

Some of our smartphone cameras capture vivid photography. Some smartphone cameras focus more on low-light photography which tends to cause problems with the color output of shots. This is when you take the pros of your camera and put them into your photograph. Vibrant HDR color photographs can be absolutely beautiful. On the other hand, black and white photographs can be just as beautiful.


Rule of Thirds

Lastly, the Rule of Thirds. I had never heard of this element of smartphone photography. I’m a total noob when it comes to photography. When this terminology was brought up to me, I scratched my head in ignorance. In short, the Rule of Thirds asks you to put an imaginary grid on your subject dividing it into 3×3 sections and using the intersections of the imaginary grid as interesting points in your photo. Take a look at some of your favorite photos online and draw the imaginary 3×3 grid. You’ll be surprised at what catches your eye. Usually, it’s the intersections.


Image credit: Liana Lehua

Now onto Liana Lehua’s shot shown above. Sure we have a pair of nice sunglasses racked onto a Los Angeles Angels baseball cap, but there’s more to it. She didn’t use the typical 16:9 crop we’re accustomed to seeing in photography today. She has excellent detail from her iPhone 5’s camera as you can easily see the texture of the wool and the stitching on the hat. Love it.

But wait, there’s more. Look at the Rule of Thirds. Where do your eyes immediately go when you look at this photograph? My eyes go straight to the halo and the pitcher’s mound. As I draw the imaginary 3×3 grid, I can see that those are intersecting points in the Rule of Thirds. Next, the perspective of this shot. Liana cleverly captures the baseball diamond in the lens of her sunglasses. We all know a baseball field is just a “little bit larger” than sunglasses, but she managed to capture a point of view fitting not only the field into one lens, but the majority of Angel Stadium! Three elements of smartphone photography captured. The cropping, the texture and the point of view.

Kudos and props to Liana Lehua with this photograph. So many things are well done about this shot. Do you have any smartphone photography shots that can compare to hers? Does your photograph capture specific smartphone photography elements? Let me know in the comments section below about some of your favorite photographs you’ve captured. If you’re curious about the Smartphone Photographers Community, click on the hyperlink to request an invite.

I’m Ant Pruitt on

Based in Charlotte, NC, Ant Pruitt is an IT pro, a columnist and the podcast captain at Look for his Smartphone Photographers Community and on Yet Another Tech Show. Follow him @ihavnolyfe or on Google+ and email him at See all Ant’s articles on by following this link.

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