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Taking good photos using a cellphone

Okay! I admit it. I usually go with the old-fashion way of doing things. However, recently I made an enormous discovery – my cellphone takes pretty good photographs. Imagine not having to shlep my big old camera around with me?!?!? How great is that!

My camera still takes super photographs and there is no way I would give it up completely. However having my cellphone camera with me means I can now catch memories to fleeting for my camera.

As thrilled as I am with my recent cellphone photos, I know there is much to learn. Here are some tips I picked up from far more experienced cellphone photographers.  Several are very much like the guidelines you should apply when using a “regular” camera:

  •  Give the camera a chance to focus on your subject. Do not just point and shoot.
  •  For a good “close-up” shot, don’t used a zoom lens. Get as close as you can without distorting the image, snap the shot, and crop.
  •  Use flash sparingly. A flash tends to wash people out and eliminates things like highlights and shadows which give photographs character.
  •  If you need a bit more illumination, take another cellphone and use it’s flashlight through a white napkin or handkerchief.
  • Light in the “golden hour”, about an hour before sunset and an hour after sunrise, is amazing and produces the best images.
  • Make your photographs unique and yours but taking them from a different angle or by stressing (focusing) some close-up detail.
  • Use the rules of third for a more imteresting image. In other words, don’t put the dominate people, place, or thing in the center of your pictures. Let about a third to two thirds of the photograph be dominated by it and the rest just “space.”
  • Action photos are difficult but taking several shots in quick succession increases your chances of getting something worth keeping. My cellphone is an Android which, I am told, has a “burst” function. Still looking for it but there is also a Burst Mode app at Google play that does the same thing and I might just get it.
  • Don’t over edit your photographs. You should not go beyond editing the brightness, contrast, and white balance unless you are doing some art project.
  • Practice will make you better so shoot away.

Grassland trail must deal with barbwired pasture land

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Fred and Suzi Dow