Camera Phone Primer

Not taking pictures on an assignment because you don’t have a camera with you is no longer an excuse. Just about everyone carries a camera phone these days.

The images taken by today’s camera phones are of higher quality than the film cameras most of us carried 20 years ago. Apple’s latest iPhone, the 11, has three lenses, optical zoom and delivers 12 megapixels in resolution. Even most older cell phones take pictures good enough for digital media.

It’s rightly said that the best camera is the one you have with you. So, here are some tips to taking better photos with camera phones … the ones you have with you.

·      Get Shooting Quickly – Click the “Home” button, then swipe the screen to the left. This opens the camera, without having to open the phone and search for the camera icon.

·      Shoot Using Volume Controls – Turn the camera to the side so that the volume controls are atop the phone. Instead of touching the shutter on the screen to take a picture, press down on one of the volume buttons and the camera phone will take a picture. Plus, media prefer horizontal pictures to vertical ones.

  • Learn How to Use The Camera’s Modes:
    • Time Lapse – takes frames over time
    • Slo-Mo – creates slow motion video
    • Video – takes live video
    • Photo – the normal setting for taking pictures
    • Portrait – focuses attention on your subject
    • Square – an artistic and retro format
    • Pano – a way to take wide-angle and panoramic photos
  • Put A Grid On Your Screen – Go to Phone Settings, Camera, Grid. By turning on the grid, cross hatching will appear on your screen which helps you frame images and visualizes the Rule of Thirds.
  • Turn on HDR – Settings/Camera/Auto HDR – this function sets the camera to focus as your eye sees things, with depth of field.
  • Exposure Meter – You can easily change the exposure. Tap the screen and a box with a yellow sun will appear. Scroll up and down your finger on the screen and the exposure will change.
  • Burst Mode – Every camera phone has an internal motor drive. Press and hold the shutter and multiple pictures will be taken. This is particularly useful when shooting action, sports, animals or children. Be sure to delete frames you don’t need or aren’t best, as they take up memory.

This article was written for iPhones, though similar controls are found on Android phones.

All Images by John Poimiroo, taken on his iPhone 5 while on assignment in Iceland

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About
John Poimiroo

John Poimiroo

Editor of CaliforniaFallColor.com. Member of OWAC Board of Directors.

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