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Using Your Camera Phone

Friday, April 27th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Digital Photography

Using Your Camera Phone

Do you have a cell phone that also has a camera with it? If so, you have what is called a camera phone and today, I’m going to give you 10 tips that will help you take better pictures with it. By following them, you will be able to get as much out of your camera phone as you possibly can. Here we go!

Whether you’re a novice or a pro with your camera phone, I’ve got some tips that will help you take better pictures. Camera phones don’t capture enough detail to make high-quality prints, but they’re great for spontaneous pictures and sharing them through e-mail or the Internet. So, grab your camera phone and start experimenting!

1.) Take Lots of Pictures – The more pictures you take, the better you will get. Remember the “use and disuse” theory? Practice, practice, practice is the best policy.

2.) Move in Close – Since most camera phones don’t have a terrific zoom feature, it’s best to move closer to your subject to take the photograph. Even if your camera phone has a zoom feature, it’s best to avoid it, because most pictures get foggy when it’s done that way.

3.) Shoot at Eye Level – This is one of the first and foremost tools of photography. Always shoot the subject at its eye level, not yours. Be it a child or a stone bench, the picture seems more real and tangible when you get down to its level. So, if you are taking a picture of a dog at your eye level, the picture won’t have the impact it should, unless you shoot at its eye level. The dog will look more friendly/unfriendly (whichever the case may be) and you will have captured it at its very best angle.

4.) Watch the Light – Lighting plays a key role in any form of photography and particularly a camera phone, because of its limited camera functions. Though some cameras come with the flash feature, it’s best used in dark surroundings. Just make sure that you don’t have a bright light behind your subject while taking a picture. Always get the light fall on the subject and not the lens. You will come out with a much clearer picture that way.

5.) Use a Plain Background – If you are using portraits, it’s best to take pictures with a white background or any plain light colored background. Just make sure that the subject isn’t wearing white and the background is also white. If you do that, they will merge with the background. Choose backgrounds that contrast the subject and avoid merging them into the background. If the subject’s wearing white, use black for best results and vice versa.

6.) Try Different Angles – Since you have a digital camera phone that allows you to see the picture as soon as you take it, you have the flexibility to shoot the same subject and setting in different angles. You know, like a low angle, a high angle, a close up, a wide angle, etc. Try any or all of the angles that you can think of and then choose the one that best compliments the mood and setting.

7.) Discover Your Camera Phone’s Capabilities – Do a lot of trial and error using your camera phone. You could read the manual and experiment or you could just experiment with all the features your camera phone has. Remember, every camera phone comes with its own value additions. Know what’s given in your camera phone and make the most of it. It could be the “macro feature” that allows you to take pictures from an extreme close up angle, etc.

8.) Be Courteous – Don’t just go on taking pictures of people and places without taking relevant permission. Sometimes, it’s best to ask the people you are photographing for their permission. If you are taking candid shots, you could ask for their permission after the photography is done. It’s best to avoid any legal trouble while you’re taking pictures.

9.) Don’t Forget Your Regular Camera – While you are taking pictures with your camera phone, be sure to bring your regular camera along too. While camera phones are used to take casual, not so important, but primarily functional pictures (like taking a picture of a new dress you saw while window shopping), if it’s proper photography, be it portraits, landscapes or wildlife, it’s best to use your regular camera first.

10.) Store and Share Pictures – All the pictures you have shot are best enjoyed if stored and shared. You could download your pictures on your computer and e-mail them to your friends and relatives. You could also join an online photo sharing site like Flickr and let the whole world see what you are up to.

Either way, have fun taking pictures with your camera phone!

~ Zahid H. Javali

One Response to “Using Your Camera Phone”

  1. […] Using Your Camera Phone – A general guide that echoes a lot of what was said in the guides above, but has a bit of useful information specific to portrait photography regarding colours, backgrounds and lighting. […]

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