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:
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
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.