Social media mavens have noticed a trend over the last few years: Images have begun to displace words as the dominant cultural currency. While services like Twitter – once the third most trafficked social network – have stagnated, apps such as Instagram and Snapchat have exploded. Experts estimate that we upload nearly 2 billion images to the Internet every day, which isn’t surprising when you consider that Instagram alone now touts more than 400 million users. Photography, it seems, is the language of social media, and everybody is speaking it.
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However, it’s no coincidence that the spread of social media photography happened alongside the rise of the smartphone. With each new generation of hardware, smartphone cameras get more advanced, and the apps used to edit and share photos become more intuitive. People are using their phones to document their lives, and it’s almost as if smartphones are cameras first, and phones second. That does not mean everyone’s photos are good, though. Facebook feeds are routinely clogged with poorly-lit and ill-framed photos of cats and breakfast plates. Some might attribute these bad photos to the camera phones themselves; “Naturally, an Android phone cannot compete with a Canon,” they might say.
They might have a point – after all, high-end cameras offer lenses and sensors that could never fit on or in a smartphone – but that doesn’t mean phones can’t take great photos. In the right hands, with the right technique, an Android phone can be a wonderful tool for the budding photographer. Here are some easy tips for Android users to improve their photographs (but could be applied to all smartphone users).