How to Take Unique Photos at the Pool on Your Phone

You don’t need to be a professional photographer or use a DSLR to get your favorite poolside photos. You can take incredible photos using only your smartphone.

Before the days of smartphones, you had to bring along a bulky camera by the pool and worry about it getting wet.

Thankfully, camera technology advances quickly. Now, we can take high-quality photos and let the phone do most of the technical work. This allows you to focus on being creative and capturing exciting memories in a unique way.

Follow along for some awesome tips to get the best summer poolside photos with only your smartphone.

Phones Are Water-Resistant, Not Waterproof

It’s important to note that many smartphones now are water-resistant. This doesn’t mean they’re waterproof. This is definitely helpful when taking photos by the pool, but it doesn’t completely protect it from water damage.

Water resistant means that your phone can withstand a water splash or even a quick drop in the pool. It cannot survive an extended amount of time underwater.

If you want to fully protect your phone, then a waterproof case is the way to go. This is essential if you want to dive into the world of underwater phone photography.

Shoot Above and Under the Water

Underwater photos are a different way to capture your poolside adventures. This can offer you a unique perspective, but it can take a bit of experimenting to get right.

Keep lighting conditions in mind as the sunlight penetrates the water differently. Shooting when the sun is at its brightest can get you a more vibrant look. This usually happens between 10am and 2pm.

Another component of underwater photography to keep in mind is that the deeper you go, the less color and light you’ll capture in your images.

When trying out underwater photography, play around with various perspectives between you and your subjects. This can be done by putting the phone lens halfway underwater or fully submerging in the pool.

Experiment with different angles and various distances underwater to find unique ways of shooting.

Set Up Your Grids

One of the quickest ways to improve your technique, no matter your genre of photography, is to turn on your smartphone camera grids. This will show a series of intersecting lines that will help you follow the “rule of thirds” theory.

This concept can take your photos from amateur to expert by creating balanced compositions regardless of what you’re photographing. By putting your subjects in these grid intersections, your image becomes more visually-pleasing to the eye.

If you look at any of your favorite images by professional photographers, you’ll notice that the main point of interests are placed in these areas.

To get started using these grids:

iPhone: Settings, choose Photos & Camera, and switch Grid on.Samsung Galaxy: Launch the camera app, Settings, switch the grid lines option to on.

Avoid Zooming

Although the zoom features on phones are consistently improving, it’s important to not rely on them. Zooming in too far can create a blurry or pixelated image.

It can be tempting to zoom when you’re further away from your subjects. It can be challenging to get the right composition while at the pool, but it’s better to take a photo from a distance and crop it later to maintain the best resolution.

Capture Candid Action Shots

There’s no shortage of action shots you can capture when you’re around the pool. The best photos usually come from unposed, spontaneous moments, so be ready when opportunities present themselves. Look out for people jumping into the pool, making splashes, and other quick, poolside action.

Rapid-fire shooting is essential to getting the perfect action shots and having many to choose from. On an iPhone, you can continuously shoot by dragging the shutter button to the left and let go when you’re done shooting.

By snapping many photos at once, you’ll have a better chance of getting clearer shots if your subject is moving quickly.

How to Edit Pool Pictures

Once you’ve captured all your poolside fun, it’s time to put some finishing touches on your photos. Edit through your camera app directly, or you can use external apps like Create, Snapseed, ColorStory, VSCO, or Photoshop Express.

A lot of these apps offer easy-to-use filters. Keep in mind that less is usually more with editing. Luckily, it’s easy to undo editing choices with smartphone technology.

Usually, you’ll have some harsh light and shadows on a bright summer day. Under these conditions, it’s best to adjust your highlights and shadows. If you want to soften everything up, decrease your highlights and brighten up your shadows.

If you want a more dramatic look, do the opposite and see what works for your photos.

Smartphones offer us more flexibility and ease when it comes to shooting poolside photos. Since much of the technical work is done by your phone, you’re free to focus more on creating compositions and capturing all the fun, candid moments that happen poolside.

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