So you’re at one of the world’s most impressive airports – Changi Airport – with some time to kill and plenty of photos to take, but alas, you didn’t bring that high-tech camera gear to snap that perfect shot. What now? Here are five clever photography tricks to capture what Changi has to offer, using nothing but your smartphone.

Beat the glare in some garden shots

A person holding a pair of sunglasses placed on a wooden table

Sunglasses make a great filter if you need to block the sun's glare quickly

A person holding a pair of sunglasses as a filter to take a picture without glare

You don't need Instagram for every filter!

The pretty rooftop gardens at Changi Airport are a must-see if you're craving some natural beauty amid the airport chaos. They are also great places to photograph the planes. However, you could find yourself battling the sun's glare. You can combat this by taking your sunglasses off and placing them over your smartphone's camera lens. If you have an app that lets you adjust settings manually, you can also widen your camera’s aperture to blur out the reflections in your image. There are always exciting scenes to capture on the runways. But don't miss your own flight while you're at it!

Use earphones as a remote control release

A couple posing for a picture as they snap a shot, using the volume control on a pair of earphones

Who needs a selfie stick?

A close up view of a person pressing the volume control on a pair of earphones to take a picture

There are other ways to take group shots

Did you know that you can use your earphones’ volume control as a camera shutter release? If you need a selfie before boarding your flight and no one's remembered the selfie stick, you can prop your phone up on any suitable platform, and plug your earphones in. Then stand back as far as you can and click the volume button up to take the photo.

Have fun highlighting your food

A person holding a cup of coffee in front of a bokeh wallpaper on a laptop

Highlight your airport eats and drinks in an imaginative way

A person taking a picture on a smartphone while holding a cup of coffee in front of a laptop with a bokeh wallpaper as background

A little creativity takes you a long way!

If you're carrying your laptop with you, document your 'in-transit' food trail by using an interesting bokeh wallpaper on the screen as a backdrop. Whether you're tucking into a sneaky energy-packed chocolate bar for a much-needed sugar rush or drinking that cup of local kopi (coffee), make fun product shots from your individual edible items by standing your object up in front of a wallpaper to give it that cool, other-worldly effect.

Underwater fun

A person holding a glass half submerged in a swimming pool with a smartphone placed inside the glass

A glass makes a great waterproof case for underwater shots in a swimming pool

A great tip for taking fun underwater photos, when you don’t have a waterproof case, is to place your phone in a glass – any drinking glass will do. Dip the glass under the water with the lens pointed at the object (or person) you want to photograph and take the shot. Make sure the top of the glass stays dry.

An underwater picture taken with a smartphone placed inside a glass and half submerged in a swimming pool

Who needs a waterproof case with this smart photography hack?

You can practice this at Changi Airport's rooftop swimming pool in the transit zone at Terminal 1. If you're stopping by on a sunny day, consider taking a selfie or two under the water!

Frame your butterfly friends

A person holding a cardboard cutout as a photo frame for capturing butterflies

Make your own frame for your fluttery subjects

Instagram offers some excellent frames, but wouldn't it be more interesting if you made your own? The Butterfly Garden at Changi Airport’s Terminal 3 is a great place to practise presenting an interesting subject in a unique way. Cut out a frame from a piece of cardboard or anything you like (pack it in advance!), and frame your shots in real-time. Hover over a butterfly as it comes to rest on a pretty flower – ready, quick, snap! If you can do this without disturbing our fluttery friends, you're guaranteed some great shots. Check out the glass enclosure with its cool cocoons – they won't move at all, so you can frame these beauties however you like.

Pssst, have you seen our Instagram feed @ChangiAirport for inspiration?

Instagram offers some excellent frames, but wouldn't it be more interesting if you made your own?