Saturday, December 9, 2023


Phone Photography Tip #8: Tap and hold to set your exposure

Here we are, already to Tip #8 in our series of “Getting The Most From Your Smartphone Photos.” Remember, each week we are bringing you an easy-to-use tip that will take your “unshareable” smartphone pictures and turn them into photos you’ll be proud to hang on your RV wall.

This week’s tip is about another new habit you need: an easy step to set the proper exposure before you take your shot.

Tip #8: Tap and hold on your screen to set your exposure

Last week, we told you how to tap your screen lightly to set the focus on your subject before you hit the shutter button. This week, our tip is how to easily control your exposure.

When you first open the photo app on your smartphone and point toward your subject, your camera will do its very best to properly expose your shot. But sometimes (and sometimes way too often) the camera gets it just a bit wrong.

An easy habit to develop is to press and hold your finger on the smartphone screen right in the center of your subject until you see a little yellow box appear that has a tiny yellow “sun” icon to the right of the box. The sun will be centered on a vertical line. Now, take your finger and slide up and down to move the little sun along the line, either up for a brighter photo, or down to make it darker.

This simple tip helps you get the right exposure set before you take your photo and will cut down the need for “post-production” fixes and disappointing shots that just don’t match what you see.

Give it a try. You’ll like the control you’ll have over the final product.

LAST WEEK’S TIP: “Tap your screen to set focus”
NEXT WEEK’S TIP: “The Flash Isn’t Really a Flash”

Mike Gast was the Vice President of Communications for Kampgrounds of America, Inc. for the past 20 years. Now, he’s the Managing Editor for His series of cell phone photo tips come from a lot of trial and error after 50 years of taking good (and also very bad) photos.


Mike Gast
Mike Gast
Mike Gast was the vice president of Communications for Kampgrounds of America Inc. for 20 years before retiring in 2021. He also enjoyed a long newspaper career, working as a writer and editor at newspapers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon, and Montana. He and his wife, Lori Lyon, now own and operate the Imi Ola Group marketing company, focusing on the outdoor industry.



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