SHARING THE LOVE OF MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY | Sharon Henry
Confession time. I didn’t take my camera phone seriously until the batteries ran flat in the compact. This is the first time I’ve ever made this admission and Darrin, a stickler for topped-up batteries will not be impressed (sorry!) We were first timers in Chicago, USA where the azure waterways and stunning architecture begged to be photographed so I switched to my smart phone. I haven’t looked back since, mobile photography has me hooked and I take my camera phone everywhere.
The Advantage Of Long Arms
There’s a certain freedom to mobile photography, it’s fun, unobtrusive, and the phone is easy to whip out at a moment’s notice with its user-friendly automatic settings, the only obstacle slowing the process is punching in a security code. To save even more time I keep mine on camera mode.
I love the wide angle and macro ability of the small lens and its portable size allows pictures to be taken from different perspectives, limited only by your arm reach or imagination. Let’s not forget, the phone’s access to upload and instantly share photos with family and friends on social media.
Further motivation for me comes from our photo-a-day ‘Project 366’ challenge, and I’m always at the ready for moments, scenes or images that ‘strike’ me.
Most mobiles nowadays have decent cameras and can take surprisingly good pictures, my Samsung Galaxy A3 has 8MP resolution.
8 Tips To Improve Mobile Photography
If you are new to mobile photography or don’t take your camera phone seriously like, I did, here are a few tips that might help you along. With knowledge of a few do’s and don’ts, you too could be sharing the love of mobile photography (if not already.)
Hold It Steady
This applies to all photography. But doubly so for mobiles which are prone to camera shake because of their small size and also slow shutter speeds the camera automatically compensates with in low light conditions. To combat this, use both hands to hold the camera steady and brace your arms against a sturdy surface whenever possible to reduce shake. Blurry photos can be such a disappointment.
Tap To Focus
Tap the screen on your subject to set the focus before taking the shot. It’s similar to pre-focussing on a regular camera by holding the shutter halfway. The camera will focus automatically but tapping a point on your screen allows you to control what the part of the picture you want to focus on, ie the flower in the foreground or the one in the middle. Once the focus is set tap the shutter release button on the phone screen.
Clean The Lens
Unfortunately the advantage of carrying your camera phone in a handbag or pocket brings about the disadvantage of a dirty lens, anything from smudged fingerprints to used tissues (eww) as there is no protective lens cover. A dirty lens affects the quality of your images so clean it regularly with a soft lens cloth.
Don’t Use Zoom
Ever! The digital zoom diminishes the picture quality by simply cropping the wide angle image on your screen. The answer? Get as close as possible to your subject and take the best image without using the zoom. The result is a better quality shot for printing later or that can be cropped in processing.
Use The Light
Okay, this is not a news flash but still deserves a mention. Good light maximises your chances of capturing great mobile photographs. I find it difficult to take a sharp picture in low light with my phone because of slow shutter speeds, often I don’t even bother. It’s worth getting to know the light capabilities of yours. For landscape or most outdoor photography, early mornings and late afternoons offer the best light; avoid the harsh midday light.
Set Camera To Highest Resolution
The higher the camera resolution, the higher the photo quality. You never know what you might capture so make sure it’s the best quality possible.
Take Multiple Shots
We all know it takes umpteen shots to capture that perfect, natural looking selfie! That’s the beauty of digital photography. So when you see something that warrants a photo, don’t just take one, take a few including from different angles. Hopefully within the batch there’s at least one keeper. Plus practice makes perfect.
Go Large – Use the Panoramic
Sometimes the view is so immense you just can’t fit it all in – thank goodness for the panoramic feature. To do this you can either hold the camera upright in portrait or in landscape position, tap the shutter release button, pan slowly to capture your scene then tap to stop. Voila!
I hope these tips have enticed you to take your camera phone seriously. As the saying goes; the best camera is the one you have with you – which 9/10 times is your mobile phone. Might as well put it to good use and partake in the love of mobile photography!