Taking Better Phone Photos

It is always with us, comes in handy for receiving messages, getting help in an emergency, talking to our children and the home front, and most of all, documenting our busy lives by taking a photo of everything we see and do.  So how do I take a better picture so I get the very best out of my phone’s cameras?

When a person starts out playing golf, they spend a lot of time concentrating on the fundamentals. How should they stand? How should they hold their arms? Are their shoulders correct? Is their head down?

A new golfer thinks about these things as they approach the T-box. They think about it as they’re lining up for their shot. And they’re really thinking about it after they shank their drive into the left rough.

So, what does this have to do with photography and composition?

It’s about taking methodical steps to become proficient.  Ask yourself questions, train yourself to see the frame, be alert to colors and objects that attract you- but there is more that you can do.

When you take a photograph that doesn’t work the way you envisioned, analyze it. Don’t just toss it aside and move on. Figure out why it didn’t work.

You can also take this step further-

Search out photographs that you think are fantastic and analyze why they’re fantastic.

Imagine if that image were formatted as a vertical instead of a horizontal, or vice versa.

Change your angle of shooting. Use model cars.

car

Imagine if the subject of the photograph was centered, or not.

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Now let’s take a photo:

For those that want to take your photography to a higher level- learn your “phone”.

Your phone is a wide angle – fixed lens

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The winner of the phone wars will be the one that makes an optical zoom, has a bokeh or blur background, while still having ease of use. Several phones have multiple cameras to accomplish this already.

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When you capture the image, you need to make a workflow for post-processing.

When to do what, when to use what app:

Capturing:

  • Shoot in default
  • Use burst mode – hold down the shutter button
  • Take cool silhouette pics by shooting into the light
  •  Phone a friend. Use another camera phone for a light source.
  • Change the way you hold the phone. Try it upside down and a lower angle and reflection.
  • You don’t have to unlock your phone.
    • Swipe left. Apple
    • Hit the power button twice for Samsung.
  • Tap for focus and set the exposure- works like a point and shoot.
  • Tap and hold until the yellow rectangle locks it in.
  • Use remote shutter release. On the iPhone, it is either the up volume button or the up volume button on your earbud if you have one.
  • On a Samsung, set it to Voice command and your hands never leave the phone for stabilization. Say “cheese”.
  • Never just punch the screen. Always take the time to focus first.
  • Look for the “light bulb” icon so you can change the exposure before the shot.
  • Once your phone is focused, it will appear.
  • Then move around and it will keep the frame lighting.
  • Review images after taking- does it catch your eye? Start deleting.
  • Useful- create an album on the device- call it “to edit”- move into an album and you can see them all together.  Much easier to find.

Do small specific apps first that do one thing at a time. (heal or clone)

Use the final photo with an app like Snapseed, VSCO, Camera +, Cyberlink PhotoDirector, Adobe Photoshop Express, or Lightroom CC.img1547408754609

Take a class at the AGE Computer Lab on Taking Better Photos. 

Next issue will be on Photo Phone Apps- stay tuned.

 

 

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Happy Holidays from AGE

Happy HolidaysHappy holidays from all our volunteers here at the lab.  We have been working hard to bring you up to speed on all your devices and PC’s. Last year we made books, posters, movies, notecards and learned about our Digital After Life. this year will be just as exciting.

I found a great article on pairing fonts (Font Pairing) was very helpful in my Holiday newsletter as well as my book for the family. I have been using Mixbook and enjoy the interface and the print quality. for postcards and greetings cards, I have been using Touchnote, an app on my phone and iPad. Touchnote

Do you still need photo downloading help from your phone or how to take better photos? Check out our January calendar and get some help from peers like yourself who understand that you weren’t born with a digital literacy. http://www.agecomputer.org

September is Save Your Photos Month

YOUR PHOTOS ARE ONE OF YOUR MOST CHERISHED POSSESSIONS.

Photos tell the stories of our lives.

However, in this chaotic, rapid and ever-changing digital landscape, our photos are scattered across multiple devices, in numerous boxes tucked in a closet and stored in outdated media. They’re disorganized, vulnerable, and in some cases, inaccessible.

Save Your Photos Month is the direct result of witnessing devastating losses many people experienced after natural disaster struck their communities. Wild fires, gas explosions, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters are a constant in the daily news. Natural disasters or human error will always be a threat to your photo collection. We can help you safeguard your memories so you can prevent the loss of these irreplaceable treasures.

Follow the whole blog at Save your Photos  a professional photo organizer group.

Aaron Siskind once said,
“Photography is a way of feeling, loving, and touching.
What we have caught on film is captured forever.
It remembers little things long after we have forgotten everything.”

Also there is a very interesting blog,  DIY for using Photodex Pro Show video slide show maker.  Andrea Sims writes a comprehensive blog on how to organize, get started and execute your video slide show from photos. Read the rest of it here.

If video is not your favorite form of saving photos, try our September Make a Book class or Restoring your old photos or Learning Adobe Photoshop Elements . Nothing is more permanent for future generations than keeping and treasuring a book. cat-254572_1920.jpg

Tech Tips for the Summer

1. Are you  looking for new and easy ways to make your computing life stress free? Here are a few random tips that I found helpful.

Check out our August and September calendar for more classes and tips.

Techspot for all PC Tips and Tricks techtips

2. Did you know that Amazon has thousands of Kindle ebooks on photography, from beginner to advanced – and every level in between?

Many titles are absolutely free, and you won’t even need a Kindle device to enjoy them!

Click here to check out the awesome selection of free and low-cost photography ebooks at Amazon!photo tips

3. For whatever reason, the folks at Microsoft have decided that it’s a good idea to hide file extensions by default in recent versions of Windows, and Windows 10 is no exception.

You can easily force Windows 10 to display all file extensions from this point forward. Here’s how: 

1 – Press the Windows+E key combination to launch File Explorer.

2 – Select the View tab.

3 – Click Options (located at the top right-hand side of the window). The “Folder Options” dialog box should appear.

4 – Select the View tab.

5 – Uncheck the box beside Hide file extensions for known file types.

6 – Click Apply, then click Ok.

That’s all there is to it. From now on all of the filenames listed in File Explorer will include their file extensions.Windows-10-logo-300x154

Camera Cheat Sheet

Print this off and keep as a handy reference in your backpack or pocket. Watch for some out in field photo excursions in June and July. Info courtesy of Pic Monkey photography-cheat-sheet.jpg

Aperture

Aperture is all about light, numbers, and the sixth letter of the alphabet. Keeping track of how those things combine can be tricky, especially if you’re new to photography or haven’t had enough coffee. Take a look at the aperture section of this cheat sheet and determine which f stop suits your purpose.

Shutter speed

Is your shutter feeling the need, the need for speed? It better, if you’re after an outstanding action shot. But it should probably go slow if you’re looking for some beautimous motion blurring. To make sure you know just how fast or slow your shutter should go, we’ve included this handy shutter speed section on the cheat sheet.

ISO

Check out the ISO section of this cheat sheet to get an idea of the proper degree of light sensitivity for the setting. ISO settings range depending on the camera, but “normal” is said to be between 200 and 1,600. The lower the number, the less sensitive your camera’s sensor or film will be to light.

Exposure

If you’ve ever seen the exposure triangle, you know that exposure has to do with ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. On this cheat sheet, the exposure section is all about your light meter. Use it to remember whether that + or – in your display means your image will be over or underexposed, and adjust your shutter speed and aperture accordingly.