Society & Culture & Entertainment Digital Art

Capturing Perfect Photos With Your Cell Phone

I decided on an overseas trip to Europe to avoid the bulky inconvenience of carrying my professional-grade camera. I instead decided to use my cell phone camera even though I knew the photos would turn out pretty bad. After enrolling in a local community center class and receiving some expert tips, I was able to produce unique and memorable photos worthy of framing.

Be Still
Phone cameras often experience a delay from when you press the capture button to the time your picture is actually taken. Remember the blurry photographs we often produced as a child? Be sure to remain as stationary as possible; use a chair, tree or other sturdy structure to support your arm and hand. You will get a much clearer shot.

Take Multiple Shots
You are not paying for any film here so take multiple shots of your subject matter. Multiple pictures captured from different angles with different lighting will give you a wider choice when editing the photos.

Get to Know Your Subject Up Close
Cell phone images are already small due to low resolution. Stand close to the object you wish to photograph. Cell phone cameras often end up taking teeny snapshots because we fail to use the entire view finder to capture our subject.

For those indoor shots we captured at dinner time we turned on an extra light.
As most of my photos were taken in the bright outdoors, lighting was not an issue. Make sure you do not shoot directly into bright lights or your camera subject will be silhouetted, however, make sure your subject is well lighted.

Be Courteous
On my trip I found many townspeople were glad to pose for a fun photo opportunity. I captured kids at recess in Berlin, painters in France, punk rockers in London and even a man enjoying an afternoon coffee in Italy. Occasionally I encountered someone who did not want to become part of my photo album. I politely agreed to their wish. Entertainment venues, concert halls and other formal events often forbid use of a camera phone so please ask before you begin to shoot.

Think Off Balance
Do not feel you have to put your subject matter squarely in the middle of the picture frame. Photos that are slightly off center are often more visually appealing. Stand on a chair, lie on the ground, sneak behind a gauze curtain or on a tabletop to find unique ways of capturing a person, place or thing.

Protect Your Phone and Camera Lens
Remember to frequently wipe your lens clean of fingerprints and grease. A soft cotton cloth works fine; a glass cleaning cloth works better. During this trip my cell phone spent a lot of time stuffed in my pocket and often became smudged. I used a plush cell phone coverin the shape of a delightful pink pig that protected my phone from nicks and scratches. While shooting during a horse ride one afternoon I dropped the phone and thought it was going to break. The phone survived the fall without mishap. Many tourists along our route commented several times on the pink pig I had securely key-clipped to my backpack.

I look forward to my next trip to Europe. The only thing I would change is the style of my cell phone cover (maybe I'll go with the bright green frog).

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