Photography with your Phone
Photo of a sunset on the beach
These five tips are designed for the camera most people refer to as their cellphone, but work equally well with a traditional camera. 

Staying close to home this summer? Whether you choose to travel or not, photography can give you a whole new perspective on your own familiar world. Looking through the lens of a camera forces you to notice the details of people, pets and places you see daily and take for granted – and how you catch them posing or in action can make a personal creative statement.  
1. Unless it’s a shot of an outdoor landscape, most photos benefit from getting near enough to the subject to eliminate a lot of distracting background. If possible, you want to move yourself closer to your subject and avoid zooming in as that will lower the resolution of the photograph drastically (and make your photo appear fuzzy if you attempt to print it at a larger size).
2. Take many photos of your subject; chancing it to one or two shots could leave you with a photo of someone who closed theirs eyes when you clicked the shutter, or someone who moved and blurred the frame. Digital cameras and phones allow you to take hundreds of pics, which you can easily save, send or delete. However many photos you snap, you will want to periodically clear your unwanted photos off of your phone or camera as they take up storage space. 
3. Most good photos can be made much better with a little editing! You can brighten, crop, and add filters to a photo from within your phone, and you can use a photo app to add text and special effects. Editing tools train you to improve your photographs; eventually you start arranging or correcting a photo as you look through your camera lens before you even take the shot.
4. Should your photo be taken vertically or horizontally? Pay attention to what you are shooting and what you want to fit in the frame. Choosing to use vertical or horizontal to complement the image is an easy way to enhance your photo, and if you are not sure which way works best – or how you’ll use the end photo - try both! 
5. Natural lighting may be the most important component of a great picture, especially those taken on a cellphone. Avoid flash photography when possible as it can wash out the color that should be in the photo. The very best outdoor lighting is a slightly overcast day, or the soft light that professional photographers refer to as the ‘golden hour’ (the period shortly after sunrise or before sunset).
Cellphones give you the opportunity to have a camera at your fingertips nearly all the time. The benefits? Simply, the more photos you take, the better you’ll get at photography – and with that, the better you’ll be at capturing the important stories waiting for you in your own backyard. ~


Image courtesy of Katherine Leventis, “Lake Michigan”

To view the article in the online 2020 Summer Partners Magazine, click here.



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