Cell Phone Photography

August 01, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

maxbath

 

In this every changing world of technology, more and more people are leaving their cameras at home and relying on cell phones to capture the important moments of their lives. Understandable, they are small, easy to carry and you usually have the phone with you anyway. It is easy to upload to social media sites (like Facebook, Instragram...) Many of the newer phones have decent cameras built in. I have an Android phone (Samsung Axiom), but I took a look at my friend's  iPhone so I could compare. I don't pretend to know a ton about cell phones but I am married to someone who has worked for a cell phone company for more than 20 years so a little bit has rubbed off on me. When he started they were BAG phones (no camera included back then). If you don't know what a bag phone is you had better Google it.

Photo right. Cell phone photo by my 12 year old. I'm suppose to look surprised. That was a hard shot to get because of low light.

 

So should I ditch my camera and go cell phone only?

There are several reasons why I wouldn't totally ditch larger cameras for photo enthusiast.  First of all the sensor ( it records the image) in a cell phone is quite small so even if you have several Mega Pixels the image quality suffers. It may look ok for web use but you probably wouldn't get a (good looking) large print from it.

To learn more about sensors here is a great website that explains in detail.

http://www.gizmag.com/camera-sensor-size-guide/26684/

Cell phone photos taken in a low light environment tend to be dark and or blurry.

I would stick with a good point and shoot or DSLR if you do a lot of sports photography so you can zoom in easily.

Setting Options

After delving into my cell phone camera settings as I was actually quite surprised at how many features it has including:

  • ISO - options
  • Timer
  • Effects (color, BW, Sepia..)
  • Shooting mode (Panorama, Smile shot..)
  • Scene mode (sunset, snow, fireworks...)
  • Light metering options
  • White Balance

I looked at an iPhone and talked to a few people who use them and it looks like there are fewer settings available  but the 4s and 5 do include:

  • HDR (high dynamic range).  High Dynamic Range blends three different exposures into a single picture for better image quality.   
  • Auto-enhance feature that applies some contrast and sharpening to your image
  • Panorama

Have fun with it

Playing around with the cell phone is a great way to learn more about photography. You might try taking photographs differently and more often because of the accessibility.

Instagram and Retro Camera are a few apps that I use on my Samsung Axiom .

Some Facebook friend suggestions for photo apps include: Houzz, Quickpic, Camera + and Multi-lens camera. There are many free and pay apps available for you to experiment with.

 

wine

 

I think this is a fairly successful cell phone image.

I used Retro Camera app for the effect.

 

john

Not great.

This is another image that I took with Retro camera app.

It can be rather hit or miss with the effects. Too me this looks washed

out. My poor husband.

 

 

Some extra things you should think about when photographing with cell phone:

  • Are you copying photos to your computer or cloud for backup? 
  • Can you print the photos (like a 4x6)? It's always better to set camera at a higher resolution in case you will be printing them at some time.
  • Keep the LENS clean. It is the little circle on the back of the camera. Grease and dirt can effect the quality of your photos.
  • Try to hold the camera even and steady (both hands) unless you are going for crazy crooked shoot.

 

Look what is coming:

http://www.photographyblog.com/news/samsung_galaxy_s4_zoom_hands_on_photos/

 

 

feet

Cell phone photography gives you something to do on those long  boring road trips.

I did Photoshop the bird poop off the window before posting.


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