Tips For The Cell Phone Photographer

Let's face it, the majority of the photos we take today are on our cell phones, and with that in mind, I thought I would share some quick tips I've picked up for getting the most out of your phone's camera. DISCLAIMER: I am a Mac girl, and I can only speak on behalf of my iPhone, although I think the same ideas and rules will apply to other phones too. 

Lighting

FOCUS

Have you noticed when you take a photo on your phone and the people look dark and the background is really bright? This is called being backlit-all this means is that your background is brighter than your subject. The easy fix for this is to tap on your screen whatever you want to be lit properly. Not only does this fix the light, it also adjusts the white balance of the photo. The white balance is the adjustment that affects the color tone of an image. I know this seems really simple, but it is the most biggest way to change the way your picture looks. The photos below are an example of this tool (they are far from art haha). On the left, the phone focused itself and ended up adjusting for the bright window and left my bottle blurry. On the right, I manually focused on the bottom of the bottle's label by touching the screen where I wanted it and look at the difference in that simple adjustment.

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AVOID BAD LIGHT

You may not notice this at first, but any lighting that is directly above your subject's head is going to give them a very unflattering look in the photo. Likely, they will have very bright heads and faces and the rest of their body will be darker. The camera on your phone is very sensitive to bright light, so we have to help it out as best as possible!

FLASH

I know it is impossible to totally avoid using the flash on your phone, but before you let it decide it needs flash, try turning it OFF and see if it will work without it, I think you would be surprised at how well it can do without it. The reason I say to avoid the flash it because it lowers the quality of color and depth in your shots. On top of this, it can make skin look green and eyes look a little crazy, I think you all know what I am talking about ;) Below are two photos that I took one after another first without the flash and second with it. Having your main light source coming in from the left or right of your subject (like the photo on top) gives you really nice depth and contrast in your shot. For a more intensive look at light, CHECK OUT THIS POST and scroll part way down to "Understanding directional light".

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Button Tricks

Ok, I've got two tricks that might help you here:

1. You may or may not know that your volume control buttons can be used to snap the photo opposed to the camera button on the screen. This makes taking a photo horizontally a lot easier!

2. Now, one of the coolest tricks that I think the iPhone 5 has is the ability to take photos in fast succession. If you are trying to take photos of kids or sports events-anything with moving subjects, this tool is your friend. All you need to do is hold down one of the volume buttons when you're ready to take your shot and your phone will continue to take photos as long as the button is held, pretty cool, right? The only downside to this feature is that it is not included on the iPhone 4 if you are like me and haven't gotten your upgrade yet. 

 

This is all I have for now, but if you have any other tips, leave a comment below! Be sure to come back Wednesday for Katie and Brian's winter wedding!!!! Have a great start to your week and practice your phone photography!


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