February 22, 2012

How to take a snapshot with your mobile phone – the problems (and solutions).

SLR quality? Nope -- but who cares. It's a snapshot.

You’re treating your mobile phone like you used to treat your point-and-shoot, aren’t you?

Something happens, You grab your phone. You fire up the camera. And you shoot. No time to think about this setting or that function. You just shoot. Later, you might touch up the photo and post it somewhere.

But if you could just have that one second back – so that your subject was just a little more sharp, or you didn’t obliterate the shot with your flash.

The thing is, you don’t have to pray yourself to a good snapshot – even when it comes to your mobile phone. Just do a little prep work. You could pick a program and use a few good point-and-shoot settings (the right white balance, “TV” or “S” mode, flash off) if you’re out for the day or arrive somewhere interesting.

Shot look boring? Try some perspective (stuff closer to the camera looks bigger).

You can also do this – think about the problems that show up in most mobile phone photos and compensate for ‘em. Here’s a few of the biggies:

You autofocussed on the wrong thing
·      Most mobiles let you tap the screen to choose an autofocus location
·      Do this in thre steps. Pick the point of focus, turn yourself into a human tripod, then take the photo (try it in two and everything turns out blurry)
Mega shutter lag (you missed the shot!)
·      Mobile phone cams are slllllooooowwwww in taking a shot
·      Set up and anticipate your shot
·      If your software supports it, use the burst mode to get a bunch of shots in a row (some apps let you choose how many)
Things are blurry
·      Your camera is probably compensating for not enough light
·      Get more light into the camera with shutter speed, aperture or ISO
·      Use a table or sturdy object to hold that camera steady
·      Go with it! Figure out how to turn the blurry photo into something cool
The lighting is beyond awful
·      Not enough light? Use a tripod (or become one) and a long shutter speed
·      Ugly light? Move your subjects somewhere else
·      No choice? Use your on board flash (if you really, really have to)
Everything is a weird colour
·      Adjust your white balance
·      Edit your pic in black and white – you are now a clever artiste
Shot looks boring
·      Look for something cool to add to it (see light and perspective up above)
·      Turn the camera for a diagonal look
·      Turn your subject to get a little more “dimension”
·      Make your subjects laugh or wait for a natural shot

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