Low Light Smartphone Photography: 10 Easy Tips and Tricks for any situation

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Camera is that one feature in smartphones that is dear to most consumers. After all who does not like taking pictures from their smartphone? However, it becomes difficult to take good pictures in low lighting conditions. Well, low-light imaging doesn't always mean taking photos at night. It can also mean taking photos in situations when there is not enough light, for instance in a closed room, or a restaurant.

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Taking images in low light can be tricky, until you know the ways to good photography even in challenging lighting conditions. Take note that every smartphone's camera is different and have different features and working software. Some camera have brilliant exposure, others are good at colours. So you will have to understand the camera of your phone to master the art.

Here we give you 10 tips and tricks for taking good photos in low-lighting conditions:

Focus on screen

First thing is that you should always make sure that you tap on the subject on your phone screen. This will help the camera in adjusting the required exposure and focus on the subject.

Understand Manual settings

For taking good photos in ambient lighting conditions, you should use manual modes to tweak camera settings. Most of the new generation Android phones' camera software offers manual mode options like ISO, Shutter Speed, and more.

Change Shutter Speed

Correct exposure helps in taking better photos in ambient lighting conditions. However, there are two elements of exposure which includes shutter speed and ISO. Shutter speed decided the light intake, which means the longer the shutter is open, the brighter an image should be. However, keeping the shutter open for longer can result in blurred images due to shakes and movement. In low-light conditions, you may want to choose a slower shutter speed and adjust other exposure elements.

Be creative

You must keep your phone's shutter open as long as it is required. Lower shutter speed is good for still photography, however if you want to add motion blur effects to photo, then you can leave the shutter open for even longer. You can also set shutter speed long to create light trails.


The ISO in manual mode is meant to determine the camera sensor's sensitivity to light. A lower ISO value would mean low sensitivity to light, whereas a higher ISO allow you to brighten an image without tweaking the shutter speed. For instance, in low light conditions, if you keep the ISO at 100 it will not take bright images, but it you keep the ISO to 800 or 1600 the sensor will gather more light for a proper exposure. However, higher ISO comes at an expense of noise into the image.

Stabilizing your shot help

Your phone may have Optical Image Stabilization option, but it is good to use a stable surface while clicking an image in longer shutter speed or with lower ISO settings. This will avoid blurs and shakiness in the image. You can also keep a small phone tripod handy to use it whenever required.

White Balance

If not controlled, White balance can make your skin colour look very different. Phone's sensor and software can get confused while handling mixed lighting conditions, especially in dim light. So you should change the White Balance settings until you get the best result.

Little light can help

When you are taking photos in low light, try to look for whatever light you can use or is available to illuminate your subjects. If you will put little light on the subject, it will result in less noise in photos. For instance, try to have some light hitting the subject or a person's face and not their backs.

Avoid the use of flash

While flash provides more light for photography, it is not the kind of light that is needed for good photos. It gives a short burst of light that illuminate the subject, but doesn't always deliver best results, especially when you are clicking portraits. Try to use the environmental lights, instead.

Don’t zoom

It is highly advised to not use zoom especially when taking photos in low light. If you want to get a better look at your subject, you should move closer to it. The digital zoom on smartphones usually blurs the image or results in noisy pictures.

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