Improving Your Cameraphone Photos
With cameraphones becoming one of the fastest growing segments in the digital camera market, it is important to make the most of them. The biggest problem is that though the newer ones have higher megapixels, better lenses and high capacity storage, the results aren’t as appealing. Some of it could be due to lower quality cameras, but it is also often a result of poor photographic technique. So, below are a few tips for all you cameraphone owners that will help you get the most from your handy gadget!
1.) Light Up Your Subject
Lighting plays an important role, particularly since the cameraphone isn’t as well equipped as a stand alone camera. The better the light around your subject is, the clearer your image is likely to be. Here are some easy tips: Shoot outdoors where there is natural sunlight or shoot indoors where the lights fall on the subject evenly all over. Some cameras have a built in flash that doubles as an LED torch. Use that to give a greater clarity to your pictures, even if you’re shooting outside.
2.) Don’t Use the Zoom
It is best to come closer to your subject than to use the zoom on your cameraphone, because it could result in pictures that are less sharp and sometimes blurry in low light conditions. What’s worse, if you don’t come closer to your subjects, they will look like a speck in a large shot and therefore, they won’t be distinguishable. Cameraphone images tend to be smaller due to low resolutions, so fill up your view finder with your subject to save having to zoom in on the subject in editing later (which decreases quality even more).
3.) Avoid Camera Shake
Try to lean your cameraphone/hand against a solid object (like a tree, wall, ledge, etc.) when taking your shots. This is particularly true in low light conditions when the camera is prone to using longer shutter speeds. That means it’s a longer exposure and it demands that you stay put for at least a few seconds after pressing the shutter down.
4.) Store All Pictures
It’s best to keep all the photos you have taken from your cameraphone for awhile and revisit them when you have more time to spare. What you initially thought to be bad photos, because they were blurry or out of focus, could be quite useable in an abstract kind of way. Even more, they could be used to create a painting kind of effect in Photoshop later on. Also, remember that the photo might appear bad on someone’s computer, but not yours. So, if possible, hang on to your shots until you can get them on your PC.
5.) Feel Free to Experiment
Because they are mobile and tiny, cameraphones are quite handy in allowing you to not only take as many shots as you want (cell phones usually have 8 GB memory cards), but they also help in experimenting with different angles. For example, you could shoot from down low, up high, close up, etc. and you’ll end up with interesting and cool shots. You can always discard what you don’t like later and you don’t have to pay a penny for your indulgence, which is one of the many benefits of being digital, I might add!
6.) Break the Rules of the Game
Before you do that though, you need to know the rules of composition. For example, the Rule of Thirds mandates that you place your subject a third of the way into the frame and not bang in the middle. But, who stops you if you fill up your frame with your subject, leaving no room on either side or placing your subject right at the corner of the frame? Or, better still, take only half of the subject’s face to show off your creativity. Once you know the rules, the new rule should be: anything goes!
7.) Clean Your Lens
Fingerprints are a common problem on camera lenses, especially if your phone doesn’t have a lens cover. Treat the lens of your cameraphone the way you would treat your sunglasses. In fact, use the very same cloth to wipe the lens every time you use it for shoots. Since cell phones are usually outside and some don’t even have dust covers, it’s important to clean the lens before starting to take shots.
8.) Set the Resolution Every Time
Make sure you set the resolution of your cameraphone every time you are using it. If it’s just shooting pictures that you don’t really feel the use for, set it to a low resolution. But, if it’s an important shoot where you’ll want to keep your pictures for posterity, make sure you have it set to the highest resolution. Also, remember that the higher the resolution, the larger amount of memory it will use. So, it’s advisable to use at least a 2 GB memory card. That should allow you to take at least 800 pictures at the highest resolution.
~ Zahid H. Javali