Thursday, 02 October 2008

How to take great pictures on a cell phone camera

A good photograph is not only about high resolution or huge amounts of detail. Some digital cameras today provide the ability to enlarge detail from great distances. Many great photographers have never had access to that kind of equipment. A simple cell-phone camera will do the trick with certain limitations.

Something to remember is that cell phone cameras come in a huge range of resolutions and capabilities. From the most basic EGA to 5 and even 10 mega pixel cameras. Just a few years ago a 5 megapixel camera was at the cutting edge of technology.

With the quality of cell phone cameras available today, the quality of the camera reflects the quality of the photographer not the camera. The most advanced camera in the world does not turn a snapshot into a quality photo!

The first requirement for taking quality photos on your cell phone camera is to get to know what the camera is capable of. That means exploring and experimenting with the camera. Try out the various options and settings. Experiment with the camera and practice. Even a professional photographer will spend some time getting to know a new camera before using it for professional purposes. You need to get a feel for the camera. Find out what it does well as well as its limitations. Good photography is as much about working within your camera's limitations and with its capabilities.

Composition is an important aspect of photography. It applies as much to cell phone photography as anything else.

The first principle of composition to remember is the rule of thirds. Divide the screen into three horizontal levels and three vertical areas. Place the horizon or dividing point a scene along the top or bottom third dividing line. This creates a sense of balance. Placing an object on the vertical thirds intersections creates an area of interest. The rule of thirds works. Try it and use it. Once you have mastered it then feel free to abandon it.

Symmetry does not work in photography or in the visual arts in general. As a rule it is to be avoided. The rule of odds is a good principle to follow. Three or five similar objects work better than two or four. Perhaps it is the human brains quest for complexity?

A few other rules to bear in mind are that horizontal lines suggest tranquillity, a winding disappearing road or river creates an atmosphere of mystery and diagonals suggest movement.

Following these rules will generally produce above average results.

Remember to work within the limitations. A low resolution camera can produce quality pictures. These become very grainy when enlarged.

The photos can be uploaded onto your computer. Use Picasa, Gimp or Paint Shop Pro to edit and perfect your result.

A cell phone camera is just like any other digital camera with one great advantage. When you come across an interesting scene your cell phone is more likely to be available than your camera!

No comments: