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Advice for making the most out of camera phone photography 476

Hero Member Posts: 929
Advice for making the most out of camera phone photography
« on: July 24, 2020, 08:22:25 AM »
hey guys, so I don't have a dedicated camera (and don't see a need for one even if there was the budget!) so I make do with my phone (Oppo Reno) but want to take it up a notch. I received an LED ringlight for my birthday and will be acquiring some clip on lenses (macro, telephoto etc.) soonish. The light has very adjustable brightness and three temps:Cool, Warm, Neutral so my questions are:

How can I get the most out of the light for gear pics?

I occasionally tinker with the exposure in 'expert mode' on my stock camera app for particularly bright days, is there any general guidlines for what exposure for what conditions?

And help in general, gear pics and otherwise appreciated too!

Thanks in advance  :salute:

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Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,650 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Advice for making the most out of camera phone photography
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2020, 10:01:43 AM »
Experiment.

I am not a big fan of cell phone cameras as I find them very limiting. I tend to use a camera with a clip on flash unit that swivels up to bounce off of the ceiling. The trick is to get diffused lighting to eliminate shadows...mind you, shadows can be good as well.

Ring lights tend to be used with a camera shooting through the ring light...good for portraits, product photography, etc.

I have a good set of clip on lenses for my cell phone and I never could warm to them due to lack of quality, but I am used to dedicated cameras. The fun here is to experiment to see what works.

What I do suggest is post processing using some sort of darkroom software, be it Adobe, Corel, or something cheaper. This is the real important part...something to improve your photos in regards to brightness, contrast, colour, etc.

You could try a light box, either a bought one or a home made one. You could get white paper and curve it so as to eliminate any sharp corners. Here again, try different colors, etc.

Best of luck. I would love to see some photos down the line with your setup. The fun part with photography is to have fun experimenting.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 10:10:28 AM by Chako »

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Hero Member Posts: 929
Re: Advice for making the most out of camera phone photography
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2020, 12:55:14 PM »
Experiment.

I am not a big fan of cell phone cameras as I find them very limiting. I tend to use a camera with a clip on flash unit that swivels up to bounce off of the ceiling. The trick is to get diffused lighting to eliminate shadows...mind you, shadows can be good as well.

Ring lights tend to be used with a camera shooting through the ring light...good for portraits, product photography, etc.

I have a good set of clip on lenses for my cell phone and I never could warm to them due to lack of quality, but I am used to dedicated cameras. The fun here is to experiment to see what works.

What I do suggest is post processing using some sort of darkroom software, be it Adobe, Corel, or something cheaper. This is the real important part...something to improve your photos in regards to brightness, contrast, colour, etc.

You could try a light box, either a bought one or a home made one. You could get white paper and curve it so as to eliminate any sharp corners. Here again, try different colors, etc.

Best of luck. I would love to see some photos down the line with your setup. The fun part with photography is to have fun experimenting.

Thanks! I guess I always considered post processing to be fixing pictures that wasn't taken well to begin with, it felt like... cheating? But I'll definitely take a look into it!

Some pictures since this is a camera thread, the ring light itself and  a picture taken with it on warm:




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Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,065 Yoo-hoo, big summer blowout!
Re: Advice for making the most out of camera phone photography
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2020, 01:24:45 PM »
Based on those photos, I think you already know about what I'm about to say.  :D

Phone cameras these days have more pixels and resolution than you need, you just have to work around their drawbacks. :tu:
The automatic settings are very smart these days, too.

Drawbacks:
Small pixels and lens, so they do very poorly in low light.
No awesome optical zoom like on a camera with big lens, so you need to be close-up. Most phone cameras have a fixed lens with no optical zoom.
Don't touch the digital zoom, all it does is crop the image. :ahhh

The picture sizes are bloated, if you want to post on the internet.

Often with a image resizing program, you can get to 400kB without cropping or compromising the quality, simply by reducing the resolution and applying a mild compression.


Hold the phone very steady, keep it close so that most of the pixels are on the thing you're interested in, make sure it sets the focus in a place you like, have lots of light, and take a variety so you can select the best!
Composition of the set is a learnt skill, practice makes perfect and all that.

Post-processing is a valuable tool if used sparingly. Things like adjusting the white balance, contrast, etc are great to make a photo look more like what you see with the eye.

Hooked, like everyone else. ;)

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Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,650 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Advice for making the most out of camera phone photography
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2020, 03:31:29 PM »
Quote
Thanks! I guess I always considered post processing to be fixing pictures that wasn't taken well to begin with, it felt like... cheating? But I'll definitely take a look into it!

Not sure why a lot of folks think this. Back in film days, when I brought my colour film to be processed...the lab would do a bit of post processing to improve them. Heck, when I did my own B&W darkroom stuff. I would always try different techniques to improve them. I would hazard that most professional photographers improve their photos with post processing. It is most definitely not cheating.

In fact, RAW format...basically takes what the sensor sees and gives it to you unprocessed...meaning you as the photographer can post process it to a greater degree. A lot of pros shoot in RAW. I do not know if some cell phones can shoot in RAW these days. if yours does...may I suggest you try it out and post process it on a computer using a suitable program.


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Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 52,523
Re: Advice for making the most out of camera phone photography
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2020, 06:05:37 PM »
 :iagree:  post editing is pretty standard in photography. I use google photo and or windows photo. Both are pretty good and free. Another free one that's not too bad is Polarr.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,772
Re: Advice for making the most out of camera phone photography
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2020, 10:57:47 AM »
I am way late to reply, but hopefully my 2 cents will worth something.

I think it's a myth that cell phone can't take good pictures, it has been even used for professional shoot like Vogue, and compared to early generation of digital camera, cell phone camera is light years ahead of that.  For casual picture taking, cell phone camera is truly a real force to reckon with.

Anyway, back to the topic--

1) Every lens on camera has a minimum focusing distance, and even cell phone has one.  I find that to get really crisp picture, sometimes it may be more beneficial to take a half step back(and zoom in a little) than to get close and blurry.

2) RAW photo taking is an option, but what really interesting and marvelous about modern cell phone tech is the post processing capabilities within. 
The camera on the cell phone has often been tested by professionals(I happened to know a photographer from Nat Geo that was hired for that kind of jobs), and the cell phone would apply some of the most commonly desirable post-processing needed automatically.  You could definitely try to get the RAW and post process later on, but don't be surprised the end result is just on par with the jpg you get from the phone.

3) For quick on cell phone adjustment/post processing, I really do like the app "Snapseed", otherwise, you could import those pictures into your favorite post processing software on PC.  Personally, I highly recommend adobe lightroom, for not just the quick adjustments, but it's photo organizing capability.

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Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,650 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Advice for making the most out of camera phone photography
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2020, 11:59:30 AM »
My beloved Canon G12 died recently, forcing me to use my cell phone for the most recent photos. I have had to adapt to the camera, but I have found it to be more than enough depending on everything said above. I have quite a few DSLRs but I do not want to use one for photos I take for this forum as they tend to be big, and not as convenient to use as my cell phone. I can tell you I have a simple Nikon point and shoot, and the cell phone beats its simply because I can see the LCD at a more acute angle compared to the simple Nikon which fades away into nothing (I tend to do a lot of overhead photography).

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Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,656 Little to the right...
Re: Advice for making the most out of camera phone photography
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2020, 12:39:32 PM »
My advice?  Just use it.  Get used to it, play around with it, and don't overthink it.

Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 24,508
Re: Advice for making the most out of camera phone photography
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2020, 05:41:07 PM »
 :like: :iagree:

Have fun.  Members here take some great photos and while I'm not one of them  :facepalm: I still try.   

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