Photography is something that never stops being fun for me, and maybe not for you either. Maybe you are just starting out as well. If you are, this is a good place to be. It isn’t always easy to get a hold of a camera to get started, and you don’t necessarily need some great expensive camera to get the best shots. Technology today has brought us SO far! When you see advertisements for phones’, one thing they are always bragging about is the camera! Now no they are not all the same, but as my photography teacher once told me, it isn’t the camera that makes a photography, it is their ability, and everyone must start somewhere. Here I am going to show you, exactly what you can do with a phones’ camera. Proving exactly what that teacher said to me.
What Happened Was….
Now if you have read my other article on photography like, Photography and fun, the first series of this, you will have read that I used my Nikon D3000 for my photography. I will say I had every intention of using it again on this trip I am about to tell you about. Now as life would have it, I am naturally a forgetful person. The night before my travel companion and I took off for good ‘ol Colorado, I set out everything I was going to need for my camera on the kitchen table, and even stuck my battery to charge right next to it, so that it would be ready for all of our inevitable stops on the way from point A to Point B. Sadly, I packed up all my gear, and forgot the most important part! My battery. Leaving only my super duper cell phone to capture all the great moments. Now this is why I say if you are starting out, this is a great place for you to be! All great photographers have to start somewhere, and I would say it is a lot easier to start out in todays’ world, than in any previous time.
A cell phone is something that is pretty common for someone to have these days, and most of them are equipped with a decent camera. Never worry about if it will work or not, I mean have you seen the Instagram posts people make with their phones’ today!
Where to begin…
In the camera app… duh… Really though, where does one begin. Well first off find your subject matter! For this article, I went all the way to Colorado! Well, not just for this article, I just figured why I was there visiting family, it would be a great opportunity to get some great shots to share with everyone! Since I can’t usually take my paints with me, my camera is my go too. In this case, it is my phone.
If you are not a big traveler, or even just starting out, I suggest beginning with your own street, or maybe a walking path you haven’t taken before. There is no limit to what you can use as subject matter. You can go to the closest city, if you don’t live in one, and take pictures of the buildings. This is something I used to love to do when I lived near Houston.
What to look for, before you shoot…
What you are looking at is always a big deal! Something I had to really focus on when I first started was not getting power lines, or random signs in the background. If you are trying to take a picture of the mountains, seeing a those pesky power lines in there can really disrupt your image.
Next thing you want to check is your lighting. Is it completely in the sun? Or is your subject matter have some shade cast on to it. If you are shooting people or a close up of anything, this can really change your image and how it comes out. Now we don’t always have the use of reflectors / deflectors to help out. If you have a really good flash that can cast out that shadow, you can use that. If not, maybe try a different spot that is either complete in the light or in the shade. The other thing you can do, if you are blessed with such a moment. Find that perfect spot, that puts your subject half-way in each. That drastic change could be something of beauty. With the right angle and contrast.
Think about what you are trying to shoot before you capture it. What is the angle you are going for? Is it a landscape or portrait? One of my older sisters used to always give me a hard time when I was starting out, because I would take my landscape photos in a portrait style. Now I think, if that is the only way you can get that shot without some obstructive object in the background, then go for it, but I tended to do this even at the top of a mountain when there was nothing in my way. Just keep it in mind while you start this journey. Sometimes we don’t even realize what we are doing until someone else points it out to us.
Also, keep in mind, that if it is a little dark and say your flash isn’t doing the best it could, if you have a good shot, most the time you can edit it on the computer, or even through another app on your phone. There is nothing wrong with a little editing these days. Now if you are a perfectionist like my self, you will take the same shot a thousand times till you get it right, because you don’t believe in editing. One thing that has always bugged me about todays’ age, was how quick people are to edit their shots, instead of focusing on getting the perfect one without editing. If you ever plan on using film, editing won’t be something you can do. I worked with film in my earlier days, so that’s why I am the way I am. You focus on getting your shots, and worry about if you want to edit them later or not. A little is okay, but if you take it to far, people with start to notice. Just like with the Kardashians and their botched photo edits.
My shots to share
I did say I took some shots for you with my phone camera. So here they are, I probably took over five photos per one shot I wanted, and some shots I went for, I am not using, but I will throw in a comparison for you.
Now this is my first example of stuff to avoid. The fence in the foreground really throws off this otherwise decent photo. Same with the power lines, by cutting out these two things, the photo would be much better.
Now this is much better! A little blurry but I cut out the fence, by stepping up to it, instead of taking the shot further back. The power lines are still there too, but instead of a landscape shot, I took a portrait shot, and zoomed in to where you couldn’t see the lines or poles. I also cropped the photo to cut out the other wooden posts that were further behind the fence.
Now this photo, the light didn’t fill the whole shot. I was on a bridge for this one, everything drops into darkness that no flash could ever reach. By simply cropping the photo, you can still get a great shot. My focus was the mountains and clouds in the distance, so cropping the bottom also helped to focus you there, instead of the darkness that lays beneath that is under the tree in the bottom left corner.
Now I wanted to show you wanted a grainy and unfocused shot looks like. This would have been a great shot, if I had taken the time to let my camera focus. When it comes to photography, it can be best to take your time. If you are ever shooting people, they will understand. The perfect picture takes time and precision.
You can tell I took more time with this shot. I even waited on the clouds. With how windy it was, that didn’t take long. Perfect takes time. Trust me on that.
I hoped you learned a little something in this article. If you have been a photographer for a while, then this is probably nothing you haven’t heard before. Let me know what you think in the comments, or if you want to share any of your tips and tricks for other readers feel free! I have a few more shots I am going to put at the bottom, but only because I like to share the art I come across in small towns while I travel.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask! I will respond at my earliest convenience.