In the Central Savannah River Area you'll find one of two specialty camera stores in all of South Carolina



Super Smartphone Shots


We may not always be prepared with our high-powered cameras, but rarely do we find ourselves without our smartphones. Today’s models boast impressive features, but combine those features with some simple strategies, and you have Instagram-ready images sure to impress your followers. Here are our top tips:


Get Closer instead of zooming:  While today’s smartphones incorporate sophisticated algorithms that can zoom in, they aren’t always the best choice. Unlike cameras that utilize optical zoom, smartphones must interpolate the data – meaning, an educated guess – to generate enough data to zoom in. Instead, move closer to your subject if possible and then use the cropping tool. You’ll have a higher quality image from the start, allowing it to stand up better once cropped.


Quick Access Tools:  Each smartphone model has tools that allow you to quickly access the camera function from a locked screen. It’s important to understand how these tools work so that you are ready when a perfect photo moment presents itself. You don’t want to be fiddling with access when the event happens. A few minutes of practice will save you the aggravation of missing countless shots down the road.


For example, let's start with an iPhone that's in the locked mode. When you take it out of your pocket and press the round start button you'll see the screen shown at the right. Normally you make a swiping sidewards motion to the right in order to unlock the phone.


Instead put your finger tip on the camera icon (where the arrow points in the illustration to the right) and swipe your finger straight up. The phone opens immediately in the camera mode and is ready to shoot.


Stay Still:  Smartphone cameras are particularly sensitive to movement and a shaky hand can result in a blurry image. Whenever possible, steady your hand by placing your elbow on a solid surface to provide extra stability. If nothing else, be extremely aware of any movement while taking each photo.


Use a remote release - maybe you've already got one. One of the ways to trigger an iPhone's camera is to press the + button on your headphone's volume control. Great for clandestine street photography or when using a Selfie Stick!


Timing Really is Everything:  Do you know when your smartphone actually takes the photo? Is it when you touch the “shutter” button or when you release your finger from the button?  Make sure you understand how your touch affects timing, and also how your smartphone adjusts to low light and movement, as these factors will also affect the final result. Play with these features to get a feel for how to make the most of your smartphone’s abilities.


There are some accessory lenses that actually make sense. I'm not wild about the clip-on telephone lenses. They take too long to put on and don't provide much magnification. Usually you'll get comparable results by stepping closer. But the wide-angle lenses are great, particularly for vistas and interiors. And the fish-eye lenses and circular polarizers give effects you can't get otherwise.


Clean Your Lens Regularly:  This seems like such an obvious statement but few of us actually do this on a regular basis. Your smartphone is rolling around in a handbag or pocket, being pulled in and out of a holster and being handled by kids wanting to borrow it for ‘just a minute.’ Using a cleaning cloth on the lens will greatly improve your images. Combat that foggy and smudged look by picking up a cleaning cloth or a complete kit at Chris' Camera Center.



Next workshop October 7 and 14