How to Take the Perfect Picture With Your Phone

14 Tips on How to Take the Perfect  Picture With Your Smartphone

You don't need an expensive camera to take an incredible picture.

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Taking pictures makes an experience last forever. Make sure you give that experience what it deserves by producing an amazing photograph. Here are 10 tips on how to take the perfect picture.

Use Lighting to Your Advantage

The most important aspect of photography is lighting. If you have poor lighting, it ruins the entire picture no matter how well you do everything else. Avoid taking pictures in direct sunlight, but use natural light when you can. The "golden hour" is a perfect example of using natural light to create an incredible picture. The golden hour is the hour before sundown when there is enough sunlight for the picture, without it being too bright.

Take Several Pictures Before Looking at Any of Them

A big mistake many beginner photographers make is to immediately look at a picture they've taken. This prevents you from capturing special moments if you're taking pictures of other people. You might miss the perfect smile or a unique expression. Instead, take many pictures before pulling back and looking at what you've got.

Learn How to Frame

Framing is so important in photography because it allows the photographer to tell a story and provide a more aesthetically pleasing picture. Avoid putting subjects in the middle of a shot, especially if they are walking or moving in one direction. You can use grid line tools to help create balanced, well-framed photographs on your phone.

Try Unique Perspectives

Perspective can change the meaning of a photograph, so don't be afraid to play around with it. Get low and take shots of things above you or climb up a ladder and take shots of things directly below you. Perspective allows you to explore some of your creativity when taking pictures.

Avoid Zooming In

Smartphones have significantly improved their cameras over the last decade. You can take incredible pictures that look like they were taking with an expensive camera. But that quality quickly diminishes when you start to zoom in on your subject. Your smartphone quality is at its best, by far, when it is completely zoomed out.

Keep it Simple

If you have too much going on in your pictures, it can look crowded and feel a bit overwhelming to look at. When photographing a subject, keep the background and surroundings as minimal as possible. This allows the eye to capture and focus on what the picture Is about.

Edit Your Photos (But Don't Overdo It)

You should strive to take the perfect photo while actually taking the picture, but that doesn't mean you can't edit it a bit afterward to make it look even better. You can edit pictures to make the subject pop out more, or enhance the colors and lighting. You can also use editing to create a unique style or aesthetic for the photos you take. Read more here about some creative photo ideas. But make sure you don't overdo it. Too much editing can take away from the beauty of the original picture.

Use Your Camera's Focus

Utilize your smartphone's focusing ability whenever taking a picture of a subject. This allows the camera to sharpen on the subject, and slightly blur the background making the image pop a lot more. Get creative and play around with which part of the frame you want to focus on. Sometimes focusing on background objects instead of the subject can create a uniquely interesting photograph.

Look for Leading Lines

Using leading lines in your pictures can create a unique sense of depth. Leading lines are straight, circular, or spiraling lines that lead towards the focal point in your frame. Think of roads, spiraling staircases, or trees as some great leading lines to create more depth in your photographs.

Find Symmetry

Symmetry can create an incredibly aesthetically appealing photograph. To create symmetry, you need to use framing to make your picture perfectly balanced. There should be something in the center of your picture, and the exact same thing on either side. Symmetry creates a powerful photograph if done correctly.

Look for Repetitive Patterns

Using repetitive patterns is another way to create a beautiful and powerful picture. They are pleasing to look at and create a powerful image. Look for repeating lines, geographical shapes, or objects to create this appealing effect. You can either create these images on your own or look for them where they naturally occur in the world.

Understand the Importance of Small Details

The tiniest of details can tell a story in a photograph. Use your phones focus and get up close to capture these small details. For example, you can photograph the tiny crevices of a tree trunk, or the incredible detail of a spider web. There's beauty all around you, all the time, waiting for you to notice and capture it.

Take Candid Photos

When photographing people, there's something magical in capturing the most human moments. It's one thing to ask someone to look at a camera and smile big. But it's something entirely different to capture the way a lover smiles at their partner when they aren't looking. Capture these everyday moments that make us who we are, and you'll end up taking some incredible pictures that could never be recreated with something that's posed or planned.

Don't Be Afraid to Break the Rules

While there are many rules in photography, it's important to know that you can break them and still capture a brilliant picture. Aim to be unconventional and unique. Take pictures from strange angles, use different lighting, experiment with ideas that other people try to avoid. If everyone followed the same rules of photography, there would be no creativity in the art. Find your style by trying new things and stick to it.

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Dear Taylor Swift, Christians Are Not Homophobic Bigots, Sincerely, The Majority Of Christians

Taylor, you need to calm down when talking about how most Christians act.

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When Taylor Swift released her newest single "You Need to Calm Down" last Friday, I didn't agree with the entire message of the song, mainly because of its heavy political overtones. But as the great Dick Clark once said, "It's got a good beat, and you can dance to it." So, for what it is, it's really easy to dance to this song, and I can see it becoming a pretty big hit.

But then the video came out, and I saw something that really bothered me.

In the music video for "You Need to Calm Down", Taylor is seen partying and hanging out with multiple LGBT+ icons in honor of Pride Month, such as the hosts of Queer Eye, RuPaul, and Ellen Degeneres. There's also a moment with Taylor, dressed as French fries, renewing her friendship with Katy Perry, who's dressed as a hamburger, which is as amazing as it sounds.

However, there's another cast of characters which acts as a foil to the happiness and colorful joy which is taking place in the video. There's a group of protesters surrounding the trailer park where Taylor and all her friends live. They're all dirty, buck-toothed, and dressed like your typical redneck stereotypes. They're also holding up protest signs while screaming at everyone in the trailer park. I saw one of the signs said something about Adam and Eve, and I realized most of the protesters were most likely meant to represent Christians.

And that...didn't sit well with me at all.

I know that these people never explicitly said they were Christians in the video, none of them even wore a cross. But, whenever someone sees anyone protesting rallies and organizations such as Pride, I can guarantee you that most of the time, the first thing people think is that they're from the Westboro Baptist Church, which is notorious for its protests. And I won't lie, there are some Christians who act that way.

But if you haven't heard this yet, let me be the first to tell you that not all Christians act like that. In fact, most of them don't act that way.

Christians don't agree with the LGBT+ lifestyle because of what the apostle Paul wrote in the book of 1 Corinthians (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). However, Jesus never once taught that just because you don't agree with a person doesn't mean they're automatically your enemy (Matthew 5:44). Christians are supposed to represent the love of the Savior of the world, which encompasses every and all aspects of humanity. This definitely includes people whose lifestyles we don't agree with. By not showing love to certain types of people, we are directly going against one of Jesus's greatest commandments.

Not agreeing with people is one of the cornerstones of humanity. It's a divisive world out there to be sure, but that doesn't mean people from any side of the debate need to perpetuate the division. Grouping all Christians into one group of hateful bigots is no different than Christians grouping all the members of the LGBT+ community into one group of evil people. One of the key elements of Christianity is showing people who have different beliefs from us the same love Jesus would show to anyone. And I know I'm not the only Christian who wants to show love to people of all walks of life. I may be the only Jesus they ever see in their lives, and we all wish to express the same love to others.

So Taylor, it looks like you're the one who needs to calm down on this issue.

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3 Ways to Save Money on Utilities During Winter

As college students or young adults, we're always looking for ways to save some extra money each month. Here's how you can keep your house warm without spending a fortune on heating this winter.

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Don't leave your heater blasting for the next two months and pay a ton of money to the utility company. Here are three ways to keep warm and save money.

Make Sure Your Heating System Is Performing Optimally

Your heating system is what will keep your house warm throughout the winter months, but don't pay a ton of extra money because your system is working harder to heat your home. If your heating system is working at its best, it will save you a ton of money during the winter. If you think your system isn't working properly, you can have professionals come out and take a look.

Keep Your Home Insulated

Insulation helps to keep your home warm without using extra heat. By keeping your home insulated, you can save a fortune on utilities because your heating system will be doing a lot less heating. If you don't want to pay for insulation, you can do small things around the house to keep it warmer. Keep the curtains closed all the time to hold in heat. Have the fans turn the opposite way to circulate warm air. These small things can really make a difference.

Bundle Up

Instead of jumping straight to turn the heater on when it gets a bit cold in your home, bundle up with a sweater, sweatpants, and a blanket first. Keep yourself warm using comfy clothing instead of paying money to heat your home. You'll still feel just as toasty, and you'll see a big drop in your monthly utility bill from not using the heater as much.

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