Can you take decent photos from your cell phone?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Article written by and photograph taken by
Bob Carlson-AUXPA1, 025-25-06

Your cell phone serves as a great back up camera!

Just about everyone has a smart phone, even kids and grandparents. The cameras on these new phones are constantly being improved. I have an iPhone 6s Plus and the camera on this phone takes decent photos. As a photographer, I like to use my digital SLR, but when I’m not lugging around all of that equipment, my iPhone is an ideal alternative. There are so many models, price points, and extra features that you must consider regardless of the brand of the cell phone or the carrier.

New camera phones have built in flash, auto exposure and focusing. By placing your fingers on the screen you can even zoom in or out and redirect the focus and even adjust the exposure. The panoramic feature is also handy when photographing wide areas like ships or displays at the Academy Museum (see photo below).

Taking a photo with your phone also allows for the convenience of sending the photo by email or text. You can also select the digital size of the image- but I generally recommend full size for optimum clarity.

One negative feature of my camera phone is shooting outside on a sunny day. I can’t see the monitor, but In that case, I aim and take several shots at different angles. Chances are you’ll get one good shot. There are accessories to rest your camera on a surface, attach a zoom lens, or a pole to take selfies and over the crowd shots.

My college professor told us to use your camera as an extension of your arm. Don’t be afraid of shooting at different angles high and low and take plenty of shots… and that was in the days of film!

Interested in learning more about photography? Check out the PA website, for great examples or for on-line courses. Even as an experienced photographer, I found the courses to be outstanding. We all learn from each other so look at different angles, exposures, depth of fields, and have fun telling the Coast Guard story.





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