Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tips for camera phone shots

Sometimes I don't have my camera with me and all I have is my phone.  I took the shots above while we were having lunch at a restaurant the other day.  Some suggestions for cameraphone shots:
  1. Reduce blur by resting your arm on a solid object or bracing yourself against a wall or post.  Camera phones usually have slow shutter speeds and shots are prone to blurring.  There's not much you can do about subject movement, but you can at least reduce camera shake by resting your arm on a solid platform (in the above shot, a table).
  2. Good lighting. Most camera phones have limited exposure controls (aperture, shutter, ISO) and have limited or no flash capabilities.  Nonetheless, you can learn to recognize good lighting opportunities.  In general, for photos of people, soft and directional light are ideal.  You get soft light from large light sources.  You get directional light when the light is coming from any direction other than straight from the camera.  In the shot above, I got soft light from a window behind me, taking care not to let the direct sunlight from the window hit the subject (direct sunlight, even from a window, would be a hard light source).  The subject was just out of direct sunlight here.  Not much directionality in the light in these shots, but at least the light is coming from above, not straight from the same axis as the camera.  There's also a slight fill from the sunlight reflecting from the table.
  3. Post processing.  Your cameraphone shots will probably benefit from adjusting at least the white balance and the contrast, which is what I did here.

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