Monday, April 4, 2016

Photography Magic with a Tablet or Smartphone

Often the difference between an OK picture and a WOW picture is just a matter of angles, the composition. The great thing about using a tablet or phone to take a picture is you have that screen to view the potential picture before snapping that picture. Don’t be afraid to move your camera around, change the angles to get a more pleasing view. Don't worry about what you look like, right then, all that exists is you, your tablet or phone, and your subject.

Here are a couple of tricks I use to get better pictures, first I get as close as possible to the subject, tablets & phones are not known for their ability to zoom, sometimes I end up forgoing a shot that would be terrific if I had a camera with a zoom lens, but that doesn’t happen very often. Make sure your settings on your camera app are set to the maximum quality, that way you can always zoom in and crop on the resulting photo if necessary. The photo examples I include here are in grayscale so you can focus on the composition.

I fill the frame with the subject, sometimes that means I have to get up higher (climbing on something) or getting lower, on the ground, having a tablet that has a voice activated camera app comes in handy about then.

If you can’t get in close, but still want to get the picture, then my second trick comes into play, I use a prop to “frame” the shot. One of my signature styles is to use an old fence post up close and personal on the side of the shot, the older, gnarlier and covered with wire the better, I get close enough to the post that you almost get splinters, then I have the subject of the shot in the rest of the picture, usually a mountain, sunset or some other equally scenic scene.


Sometimes I get lucky and have something to frame the scene on both sides, for me that usually ends up being trees, I walk around, holding up my tablet, gauging the scene as it moves across my screen, once the picture is what I want to see, I snap the picture.

Don’t be afraid of snapping lots of pictures, it’s not uncommon for me to go out for a short time only to discover I took 100+ shots. I then spend time going through the shots and pick out a few of the best and delete the rest. Sometimes I get nothing, none of the shots are worth keeping, but that’s OK, it’s all part of the game, and it’s only digital, no film was injured in the process. :)

Wretha Smith

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