This is our fourth post discussing Cell Phone Camera Tips. The first post introduced camera settings and revealed the #1 villain behind blurry photos. The second post warned about the evil digital zoom (don’t use it) and discussed techniques to improve your portraits. In the third post we discussed clutter reduction – an important aspect for photos taken with any camera.
In this post we will assume you’ve got your camera settings covered, you’ve eliminated camera shake as a concern and you have begun to examine your frame for unwanted/distracting clutter.
If you look at most camera phone photos you’ll recognize a persistent “look”. The look we’re referring to is not caused by any limitations inherent in a camera phone. Rather the “look” comes from the eye-level, far-from-the-subject composition employed when shooting snapshots from a camera phone.
We’re going to illustrate unique perspectives and, hopefully, convince you to think “out of the box” to capture stunning photos with your camera phone. In an earlier post we discussed how to use unique perspectives when shooting children.
Get down to kid height to record children playing.
Or, if you want to portray a sense of power shoot from below.
But, most important, get close to your subject. Fill the frame with your subject. Get low and close to emphasize and highlight the subject matter.
Putting the major scene element in the foreground – filling the frame with it – makes it appear larger than life. That’s clearly demonstrated with the surfboard and the remote control Barbie car photos.
If you want your portrait to take on a fashion look – get below waist level.
Sometimes you need to get above the scene. In the beach photo below I set my tripod on top of a picnic table getting as high as I could.
For this photo from a recent wedding I was standing on a stool.
Sometimes you need to get even higher to get the photo you want. Climbing to the top of the bleachers worked for this photo.
Sometimes the shooting angle is the entire reason for the photo.
If you want the viewer to join the scene, get low and close to allow them to join in the fun.
Or look for that unique perspective that tells the complete story without revealing any more detail than necessary.
When you get close and photograph from an interesting angle it allows you to get creative with your post processing to add another unique look to the photo as shown below.
So – take your cell phone camera and start looking for unique angles.
Experiment, have some fun, learn the details of your camera/phone in the process. Knowing all you can will enable you to start thinking about and “seeing” interesting compositions. You will develop the artistic skills and vision that lead to great photos – even from a lowly cell phone camera.
Feel free to comment or show off some of your own compositions that illustrate this tip. In the meantime, stay tuned because more Tuesday Photo Tips are right around the corner. Better yet – be updated automatically by “friending” our Facebook site.
PS - This is one of dozens of photo tips in our continuing Tuesday Photo Tips series of posts. There are other resource articles on our site you may enjoy covering basic and more advanced photography topics. There are also tips covering topics such as preparing for family or infant/child portrait sessions. If you would like a topic covered just jot it down in a comment or send us a note.