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Cell Phone Camera Challange:

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:55 pm
by TomCofer
(For those who do not have the time or patience to read my ramblings, scroll to the bottom to see my challenge.)

Once upon a time, getting a photograph was an event in and of itself. It required planning, finding a photographer, scheduling a shoot, getting dressed up, and after the shoot, waiting weeks or months to see the final results. Those photographs were proudly displayed on walls and in wallets. They were treasured, shared, and kept for generations.

As time went on, cameras and film technology “improved,” becoming available to the masses. It became possible for a family to own a 35 or 110mm camera where the film could be sent off and the prints returned within days. That was quickly followed by poloroid cameras along with 1-hour photo shops and disposible cameras. Stacks of photos were being viewed, shared, and then soon forgotten into a shoebox or photo album.

Today we are visually bombarded with 10's, 100's, or even thousands of cell phone photos daily. There is rarely any time, thought, or planning in the taking of these photos. Calling them “snapshots” is quite appropriate. They are often shated with many, but each viewer rarely gives their eyes more than a fraction of a second to view each one before moving on. These photos sit inside the phone until the space is needed and they are deleted, or they rest in some Facebook album unviewed until someone gets bored or a new “stalker” comes along to look at them.

I am not saying that phone cameras are evil or even a bad thing. They are a wonderful creation. They are light, easy to use, and almost always at hand. They allow us to share what we see and do. They help us capture and share those special moments in life.

Like a gun, knife, car, or shovel, they are a tool. Unfortunately, they can also be used and abused without skill, knowledge, or understanding of what they can or can not do. It's like we're all driving fancy sports cars just to go to and from the grocery store. We're using them to do a simple task without bothering to see what they can do, without knowing their capabilities and pusing their limits.

Today's cell phone cameras and their “apps” have a large number of features and options for those who care to explore them. Exploring them, getting to know the buried abilities of your cell phone camera might, just might, turn your dark, blurry snapshot into something that will cause the viewer's eye to linger and enjoy for a bit.

So... in short, my challenge to you is this:

Learn your cellphone camera's features and functions. Take it off the default settings and put more effort into your shots. Force the viewer's eyes to stop and actually see your photograph.

Re: Cell Phone Camera Challange:

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:57 pm
by TomCofer
Hidden within my cellphone camera's basic app, there are these features/adjustments available:

Focus: Auto focus, Macro, Face detection.
Flash: Off, On, Auto flash.
Image quality: Superfine, Fine, Normal

Shooting mode: Single shot, Smile shot, Beauty, Panorama, Action Shot, Cartoon.
Scene mode: Portrait, Landscape, Night, Sports, Party/Indoor
Exposure value: +/-2
Timer: Off, 2 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec.
Effects: None, Negative, Grayscale, Sepia.
White Balance: Daylight, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent.
ISO: Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800.
Metering: Center-weighted, Spot, Matrix.
Outdoor visibility: Off, On.
Anti-Shake: Off, On.
Auto contrast: Off, On.
Blink detection: Off, On.
Guidelines: Off, On.
GPS tag: Off, On.
Shutter sound: Off, On
Storage: Phone, Memory card.

I have two additional apps that add additional or different controls.

Re: Cell Phone Camera Challange:

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:02 pm
by TomCofer
Grabbing my cell phone and using a simple subject without any work put into the lighting other than sitting it near a window, I took these shots making quick, minor settings adjustments to the cellphone camera and these are some of the results.

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Re: Cell Phone Camera Challange:

Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:31 pm
by TomCofer
OK, I didn't stick with it until I got a "wow" photo, but my model was a bit stiff and uncooperative. :)

Still, I hope that I've got some folks thinking and willing to explore the capabilities of their cellphone camera. Maybe we can improve the quality of the photos ours eyes are bombarded with daily just a wee bit.

Re: Cell Phone Camera Challange:

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:59 pm
by Kenny123
Main fault with cellphones is inadequate dynamic range

Re: Cell Phone Camera Challange:

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:06 pm
by TomCofer
Kenny123 wrote:Main fault with cellphones is inadequate dynamic range

Cellphones do have their limitations. My point is that a person can improve their shots with them by knowing their available adjustments and features.