Shooting macro using a cell phone

June 16, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

GlowGlow

"Wow, this is a great picture. What camera do you use?" is probably the biggest (and not uncommon) insult to a photographer who is proud of his/her skills and creativity. Expensive cameras do have distinguished features that make many photographers drool, but a camera does not take a picture by itself. "Did anyone ask Hemingway what brand of typewriter he used for writing?" said Frank Peele, my instructor at West Coast School this week. That is absolutely a brilliant analogy; an artist's skills are more important than his/her tools.

Now, I am not about to argue that there is no need for quality equipment that tends to be pricy; after all, I have done my fair share of investment. However, when I passed by some beautiful flowers today and I only had my iPhone in hand, I realized that after all, "the best camera is the one you have on hand".

Anyway, I gave it a shot and used my mobile phone for a macro shot of the small, red flowers, back-lit by the setting sun. With some minor touch-up in an app, the results were actually more than pleasing.

When taking macro pictures using a cell phone, there are a few things you can do to maximize quality:

  1. Walk as close to your subject as possible, instead of using the digital zoom;
  2. Look for optimal lighting; avoid low light which makes your image grainy;
  3. Stable your phone: any movement may result in the loss of focus;
  4. Touch the screen to focus on the subject;
  5. Adjust brightness: with auto-brightness, if your focus lands on a dark spot, your image may end up overexposed; the opposite is true: if your focus lands on a bright spot, your image may be underexposed.

Let's all go capture life's amazing details!

 


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