Nature’s Smartphone Photographer Part 1


It wasn’t all too long ago that the world of photography required specialized equipment and years of training and expertise in order to capture those breathtaking gems, but in the age of the smartphone it’s possible to take professional-quality photos on the fly (and without a college degree).  Still even smartphone photographers can use a few tips to improve their game, and so for your viewing pleasure we proudly present some suggestions and life-hacks to make that next pocket-photo look stupendous!  Go and photograph the world, campers!

Don’t be afraid!  Get up close and personal!
Phone cameras lack the raw optical zoom of their pro and semi-pro counterparts, but the camera sensor itself has a fairly wide depth of field that allows you to photograph objects with ease…provided you are near enough, of course.  Getting close to your subject also means that lighting is less of a problem, as less surface area to contend with means there’s less chance of odd light distortions causing your balances and focus to go out of whack.  It can be a bit frustrating if you’re used to the magic of optical lenses, but don’t knock the up-close-and-personal approach until you’ve tried it!

Never cut the crop
Despite their small size, smartphones have the wonderful ability to take photos and videos in HD.  This means the resolution of your photos will be very nice even without zooming in from 500 yards away.  To that end, it’s important to appreciate one of your best photo-editing tools: cropping.  Try taking a wide or panoramic shot before cropping and scaling it down, and you will see results that turn out much better than trying to make that digital zoom feature perform to professional standards.  It’s also worth noting that taking photos is all about capturing the moment, and it’s much easier to take the time to isolate those moments from wide-angle shots than it is to try and zoom and pray.  Bottom line: take non-zoomed photos and make friends with the crop feature and you will be all the more happy for it.

App-reciate your Options
While all stock phone camera apps are not created equal, third-party camera app developers are in business for a reason.  Just like traditional digital cameras, smartphones have limits on the software that controls their functions, but UNLIKE traditional digital cameras, smartphones allow app developers to tweak that software and put the control back in the hands of the user.  Some camera apps allow users to manually adjust the auto-focus separately from the exposure, or save multiple images of the same shot at a time using settings that you control.  Regardless, playing around with free aftermarket camera apps is guaranteed to open the door to some exciting possibilities.

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