Helpful Tips on Cell Phone Pics

With the iPhone 5 now out and new panoramic picture capabilities, we can’t forget the basic tips for getting a better photo with your cell phone. Here are some of my beginning tips to consider when you are out and about taking pictures.

1. Remember Your Thirds

“Composition 101″ still applies to taking pictures with your cell phone. Try to imagine two horizontal and two vertical lines intersecting across your image, and place important elements of your image at the point where two of these lines intersect. Equally, try to place important lines (e.g. a horizon) across one of the third lines in your photo. Many cell phones now super-impose these lines over the image for you, which can be incredibly helpful. Be sure to turn this feature on if you have it available.

2. Lighting is Still Key

Although cell phones have advanced tremendously, they still can’t replace your SLR. One of the key areas that many phones struggle with is in capturing enough light. To help with this, ensure that your subject is well lit. Turn on the light, open the curtains, or wait until the sun is a little higher in the sky. Try out your cell phone’s camera flash and see what improvement that provides. It may be the slight boost you need. Try using it outside as a fill-flash and get that extra “punch” you were looking for.

3. Get Close to Your Subject

One of the most common mistakes with camera phone images is that their subject ends up being a tiny, unrecognizable object in the distance. Fill up your view finder with your subject to save having to zoom in on the subject when editing it later.  The best way to deal with a crowded and busy background is to fill the frame with your subject. Get close and avoid a photo with a tiny subject in the middle of a crowded background.

4. Don’t Throw Away “Mistakes”

Wait to see your cell phone pictures on your computer. You might find that they come alive on a quality monitor. You’ll also find that even “mistakes” and blurred shots can be usable for abstract ways.

5. Take it Everywhere!

The best camera is the one you have with you!  There is no need to carry around an extra point-and-shoot, or remember to charge a second device. The cell phone can’t replace a powerful digital SLR, but it’s an incredibly capable piece of equipment. Take it with you everywhere and shoot off many shots quickly and without cost. Experiment with different modes, composition, new angles, and perspectives.

Happy Shooting!



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