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Summer smartphone photography with capable budget phones

As the weather gets warmer and the sun shines brighter, we’re all going to be spending a little extra time outdoors. This means it’s also time to capture joyous moments this summer. Warm-toned selfies and nice food shots are our favorite subjects to capture. Okay, you got us – we also love a good park picnic, going on bike rides and exploring new trails. We’ve got a handy guide that explains how to capture stunning photos this summer, no matter your favorite summer activity.

If you’re thinking this guide isn’t for you as you don’t have a fancy-schmancy smartphone with a bazillion megapixel camera, fear not, as these tips can be applied to most smartphones. We also feature our top picks of capable budget phones that have a great camera and won’t break the bank. 

Different angles for new looks

Try shooting the same subject from different angles. If the sun is shining bright, it gives us an opportunity to shoot 360 degrees around the same subject, producing different results each time. You can try laying down to get a worm’s-eye view or stand on a surface to shoot from a bird’s-eye view to get some nice results. This is a great technique as it provides an opportunity to view ordinary subjects from a new perspective and helps your photography be unique. 

Taken with moto g pure
Taken with Samsung A53

You can also use the wide-angle lens if your phone has one. On the hunt for a smartphone with a wide lens camera? The moto g pure has a 13MP wide-angle lens that allows you to capture beautiful sunsets and much more. Want to expand your frame even further? Take your photos to the next level with the Samsung Galaxy A53’s 64MP wide lens and a 12MP ultrawide lens.

Say yes to pool and beach days

Generally, smartphones and beach days don’t work well together for many reasons. Your phone screen might not be bright enough, the phone itself isn’t water-repellent, or the sand goes everywhere – including the headphone jack. We believe most of these problems might be solvable. For starters, don’t be afraid to bump up your screen brightness all the way up high when taking pictures, as you want to see what you’re capturing clearly. 

Make sure your phone is clean while shooting, particularly the camera lens, which makes a world of difference. Don’t be afraid of water splashes if your phone is water repellant, as long as you’re not submerging your device underwater. Our top picks for water-repellant phones are the moto g pure and the moto g power. The Samsung Galaxy A53 and the iPhone SE are great waterproof phone choices as well for shooting underwater.

And of course, the golden hour

Ah, a classic time to take perfect pictures – the cherished golden hour, when everything captured on camera looks amazing. The golden hour is the ideal time to take excellent photos with any smartphone camera that you may own. This is roughly the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset. The natural light is soft and diffused, perfect for a warm color cast. The possibilities are limitless here, and no two shots will look the same as the sun is moving fast. 

Taken with moto g power
Taken with iPhone SE

You can try to harness the power of the sun to create silhouettes and shoot starbursts to get stunning images during the golden hour. Another way to utilize this time is to shoot portraits – the yellow-red hue of the light makes the skin look warmer rather than neutral and makes skin tones look better.

Night-time photography

This one’s for you if you hate the sun or if you’re a vampire. Or maybe you’re at a music festival at night-time (which is more likely than being a vampire. Or is it?). Nevertheless, don’t let low-light or night-time situations stop you from capturing great moments. Most devices have low light or night mode settings to help you get that perfect shot. The moto g power offers a ‘Night Vision’ mode, which is an added bonus considering its price point. If your budget isn’t as restricted, the Samsung Galaxy A53 is a fine choice for shooting in low-light conditions, offering plenty of detail with relatively low noise.

No matter the phone you own or choose to buy, here’s to having lots of adventures this summer and polishing your smartphone photography skills. 

Stay on budget with Ting Mobile

Ting Mobile is the perfect companion to your cost-effective yet capable budget phone. We offer a variety of affordable plans that fit every user’s needs. Get unlimited talk and text for just $10, then add data as needed on our Flex Plan, choose one of our Set plans, or get all the data you need with one of our Unlimited plans.

All Ting Mobile plans come with nationwide LTE coverage and 5G coverage (where available). We’ll never lock you into a contract, so you’ll always be free to choose the mobile solution that’s best for you. See which Ting Mobile plan is the right fit. Want to explore great deals on new and refurbished phones? Visit the Ting Shop.