Smartphone Photography Tips

Submitted by reb on Wed, 06/08/2016 - 14:41

* Very simple tricks any beginner can do with their smartphone camera. Or, any camera. Smartphone camera hacks are fun in social situations, for blogs, or to show off. They aren't intended to be professional. 

* Smartphone Photography (aka hacks for any camera). Because todays 16 megapixel smartphones can handle the basics. 

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Make SURE you have great phone insurance before going near water or doing anything dumb!

* Lens safety! Put hot-glue dots around your camera lens, so if you set down the phone it's not being scratched up. A scratch in your lens IS the end of the world for your new photography career. If using a big camera, use a clear glass lens protecting filter. Keeping your lens 100% safe, means your camera will focus faster, your photos will be clear, your experience will be vastly better.


Macro (Microscope) Lens
* Macro: Completely remove your lens. Be extremely careful of scratches and dust. Even a tiny movement will blur the image. Know exactly how far to be from the subject. Manual mode allows lens-less photos.

Telescope (Zoom)

* Binoculars up to your phone camera.

Around Water

* Underwater Housing: Place top of your phone in a clean clear thin vase, half under water. Never get phone wet.

* Macro Lens: A drop of water over a waterproof phone camera, creates a microscope of sorts.

Shadows n' Lighting
* Focus Light: Use a 2ft mirror for a blinding 2ft beam of light on your subject. Photographer holds the mirror. A silver car windshield sunshield is a softer light focus. This also creates a sharper shadow behind your model.

* Light-Painted Backdrop: Set an action figure (or anything) on your table. Set camera to ISO 100 f14 (slow exposure photo), and then slowly walk by with a tablet with a fun background. The tablet background will be motion blurred as the backdrop of your photo.


* Panodash: Slowly rotate camera. Have your buddy in the photo as you pan past him, and have him run behind you so as you keep panning he's captured again. So he shows up 4 times in the same panorama.

* Pano-Drive-By. Slowly drive by a building and panorama it. Lots of fun things happen.

Tripods n' Stands
* If no tripod, use a lamp, just remove the shade. Some are the right size.

* Shortie Cam: Tape your phone to the top of an RC car (use a monopod if you desire height), looking slightly upward, and record a tour of your facility.

* Selfie sticks rock for group photos.

* Fun Apps: World-wide police scanner. Free security cam viewer. Remote Desktop (Control your home PC with your phone). GoogleEarth topography and 3D buildings. GoogleEarth Streetview (your phone gyroscopic sensor rotates the panoramas of street view).

* Use your phone as the viewer screen for a QuadCopter or RC boat.

* Control your home PC with your phone.

* Remove crowds: Take 20 photos of a building (using a tripod) with people walking in front of it. In photoshop you'll likely have more than enough bits of the building to piece it all together.

Specific Phone Features
* LG G4 has manual camera controls, 16mp raw photos, voice activated shutter, and arm-motion activated shutter. G3 has no manual control.

* Audio shutter: Some phones, like the LG G3 and LG G4 take a photo when you say "Smile".

* Some iPhone headphones can take a photo when you press the mic button.

* A photo through a big glass ball is a nice rounded effect.

* Pretend to be holding up a building.

* Shaped frames. Cut a heart out of a piece of paper, hold it up to your lens. Heart shape will likely be blurry.

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