How To Take Great Photos On Your Mobile
How To Take Great Photos On Your Mobile
Stuart Headlam gives you the lowdown on taking photos on your mobile phone. Take expert photos 'on the go' by enhancing your knowledge of mobile phone technology.
Step 1: Image Size and Quality
Every phone model is different, but there's a few common options you should look at on any handset. Firstly, somewhere in your camera settings should be a menu that controls the size of the image your camera takes - set it to the largest option. If you don't have a clearly labelled "maximum" setting, remember that the higher the number of megapixels, the better quality the image. A rough order of camera phone image quality starts at VGA, which is equal to 0.3 megapixels and is the lowest quality camera you'll find on a phone, SVGA, which is 0.5 megapixels, 1.3 megapixels, 3.1 megapixels, 5.2 megapixels, and so on. Larger images will take up more space on your phone, but will give you a much better quality image. In the same menu there may also be a setting for image quality. Also set that to maximum.
Step 2: Common Settings
Before you take your shot, see if your phone has settings for indoor or outdoor conditions or low light. Try turning them on to see what results they give, but you don't have to stick to what the setting's are for, though. The key here is to be creative.
Step 3: White Balance
White Balance adjusts for the varying colours or "temperatures" of different kinds of light. For example, daylight is actually quite blue while electric lights give off a yellow, orange or even green light. Your phone's white balance settings will allow you to match your pictures to the lighting conditions and produce more natural looking colours in your photos.
Step 4: Exposure and ISO
Exposure will basically affect how much light the camera lets "into" the picture and a similar function is controlled by the ISO settings if you have any - the higher the ISO the less light the camera needs to make an image. So in a dark environment, you might set the Exposure to as long as possible and the ISO as high as possible in order to get the best results.
Step 5: Taking the picture
When taking your shot hold the camera as steadily as possible and continue to hold it in place for a few seconds after you hear the shutter noise as some phones can take a few seconds to actually "take" the picture even after they've made the noise. You get better, more interesting pictures if you try and snap the action as it happens around you. This may mean you have to be practically sneaky with your camerawork, but the results are usually worth it.
Step 6: Take several shots!
They key to a great photo is actually to take as many shots as possible. Even if you're happy with your first shot, try and take a few more from different angles or with different settings - you may get a picture that's even better than you expected. Taking several shots may help build the confidence of people who are traditionally camera shy. If you explain beforehand that you'll take a few photos and let them pick their favourite, the chances are you'll end up with a picture that you're both happy with.
Step 7: Printing and Editing
Remember that you need to have taken your pictures with at least a 2, maybe 3 megapixel camera if you want decent quality prints. Personally, I think you have to put your pictures onto your computer first to get the most out of them. Once you've got your photos onto your computer, Mac users can drag them into iPhoto, where you can adjust the appearance of your pictures and tidy up anything you're not happy with. Windows Vista users can do the same with Vista's built in Photo Gallery. If for some reason you don't have a suitable program on your machine, you can go to Improveimages.com where you can upload pictures and they will be automatically "improved".
Step 8: Neat Image
Neat Image is great because the most common problem with digital photos from mobiles is that they can be very grainy or "noisy", especially if they've been taken in low light. Neat Im