David Behrens on how to get snap hap­pier with your cam­era phone

Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine - - Front Page -

PHO­TOG­RA­PHY has never been so avail­able or so dis­pos­able. Chances are, there’s a cam­era in your pocket right now – the one on your phone – and with no film or de­vel­op­ing costs to con­sider, you can use it as ca­su­ally as you like.

But hav­ing ac­cess to a phone doesn’t au­to­mat­i­cally make you a great pho­tog­ra­pher. It takes a cer­tain tech­nique, too – yet with a lit­tle prac­tice and fore­sight, snaps from even the cheap­est phone can be­come mini mas­ter­pieces.

Dan Ru­bin is founder and ed­i­torat-large of the au­gust Pho­to­graphic Jour­nal and there­fore the sort of man you’d ex­pect to see with a Rollei­flex around his neck. In fact, his medium of choice is In­sta­gram, the photo ser­vice that lets you take pic­tures and videos on your mo­bile and then share them across so­cial net­work­ing sites. He is on a mis­sion to spread the gospel to the rest of us – to which end, his road­show is rolling into York, where he will lead dis­ci­ples on a photo-walk of the city.

His very sound mes­sage is that no mat­ter how au­to­mated your cam­era phone, it’s worth get­ting to know the man­ual set­tings – be­cause therein lie the key to cre­ative pho­tog­ra­phy.

Here are his top five tips for tak­ing great pic­tures on your phone

1. Fo­cus and ex­po­sure. Tap to fo­cus on a darker or lighter area of your screen that will dras­ti­cally change the amount of light be­ing let into the cam­era.

2. HDR (High Dy­namic Range) Imag­ing. Turn on HDR when you can’t get the ex­po­sure you want.

3. Burst Mode. In busy en­vi­ron­ments, cap­ture mul­ti­ple shots in quick suc­ces­sion.

4. Edit­ing your im­ages. Use apps like Snapseed and Vcso Cam.

5. Shar­ing on In­sta­gram. Squar­eready will help if you don’t want to cut your im­age to fit In­sta­gram’s square frame. And here are a few of my own... Get down: When pho­tograph­ing a child, bend down un­til the lens is the same height as their eye­line. The re­sults are in­fin­itely more per­sonal and in­ti­mate.

Don’t use the dig­i­tal zoom: It’s just an elec­tronic con­trivance that will en­large the pic­ture only by de­grad­ing it.

Steady on: Es­pe­cially in low light, you’ll get sharper pic­tures by hold­ing the cam­era steady. Wedge it against a wall or on a flat sur­face if needs be.

Dan Ru­bin’s Smart­phone Mas­ter­class is at the Ho­tel Indigo, Walm­gate, York, on Thurs­day, Septem­ber 3 from 7-9pm.


AND PRESS: Your cam­era phone can do a lot more than self­ies.

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