Ok, so I don’t have any “Eye of the Tiger” or “Rocky” themed music to insert here… (or do I?) yet this montage refers to the photographic kind! Yes, my dear readers, this post is all about how to take the best pictures using your mobile devices.. I’ll go over a few general tips, then drive down some platform specific ones.
First off, your hardware. Most mobile cameras range the gambut from 2 megapixels up to 8 (or this “41mp” behemoth from Nokia, the PureView!) Most devices are in the 3-5 range, and can provide a pretty decent picture, if you know how! First off is your lens.. Make sure, prior to taking a shot, that this is clean. Its a simple thing, but makes the world of difference. Our phones’ camera is always on back, and is often pressed against our hands, picking up dirt, grease, and oils.. usually in the form of smudgy fingerprints! Wiping this lens witan eyeglass cloth is ideal, but a shirt sleeve or pocket lining will do if you have nothing else.. Try carrying a handkerchief around! Its not only useful, but classy as well!
Second thing to consider is how your phone operates… some have fixed focus, so as long as you are more than a foot away, the object should be in focus.. Other require you tap on the object you want to have as a the focal point of the shot.. your camera should then shift until that object is crisp and clear!
Next, is a touchy subject, and something few people consider.. and that’s the use of the flash. Because most phone cameras never had a flash, these are far too overused, even though most newer devices have such superior quality lenses that he flash isn’t always needed! So try turning off the flash, and then brace your phone while shooting.. (Holding it steady will allow the phone’s shutter to automatically stay open a bit longer to allow the shot to look sharp and to let in more light) Below is an example I took with the notoriously noisy (quality, not audio) Blackberry 9900 camera with fixed focus, no flash, in night mode…
Now we have quick techniques out of the way, lets look at a couple apps… First, Instagram, on Android and iOS, this free app lets you share your photos online with friends.. It also has a number of “artsy” filters that you can apply… see some examples below..
Finally, my favorite app, Camera+ for iPhone… This thing has a timer, scores of free and add-on filters, a manual focus, manual aperture settings… editing right in the app.. What more could you ask for!? Check it out below, and as always, come by the store for a demo!