Louise’s Blog

Course: Yearbook 11/12 ; Unit: Photography (Only a sneak peek into what we do.)

Learning HTML


USE YOUR SMARTPHONE

These days, you don’t need an expensive camera to take good photos. Your smartphone has the ability to snap really good shots – and you always have it with you.

Tips on using a cellphone for photography

    • Clean the lens of your phone’s camera before you take any photos.
    • Use natural light.
    • Do not use your flash. You will be amazed at how creative a photo can turn out.
    • Get close to your subject. Using the zoom will cause the photo to look grainy or blurry. Don’t compromise on quality. You can always crop your photo later on.
    • Use leading lines – horizontal or vertical – to emphasize your subject.
    • Use background and negative space cleverly. Getting up close is important, but having some background or negative space (i.e. the “boring”, plain surface of a wall, table, etc. brings your subject to life.
    • Use the rule of thirds, although this is not a fixed rule. (You can set gridlines on your screen.)
    • Touch the screen to focus on the subject.
    • Don’t ask your subjects to pose by standing in a straight line. Your photo must tell a story, and posing will rob your photo of that.
    • That being said, don’t be afraid to stage your photo. If your subject(s) don’t behave, show them what to do.
    • Use shadows and reflection, e.g. the reflection of a tree in a puddle.

One of my students took the photo (above) outside the school. With a little cropping this will be a beautiful pic.

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This photo of a hiking trail at Skagit Valley Park was taken with a smartphone.

There are some wonderful smartphone apps to help with the editing of your photos. Check out this website.

If you are considering buying a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera, though, you will undoubtedly have more options. See the basic differences below:

Using the zoom reduces image quality. A good zoom lens will bring you closer to your subject without compromising on quality.
Night time photography will be tricky – especially if it is very dark out. You will need to use your flash, which is fairly weak, so you will have to get close to your subject. A good flash, and the option of changing the settings on your camera, will make night time photography very possible.
You have limited functionality, i.e. no option for adding a different lens. You can buy different lenses for a most creative approach to photography. (It is expensive, though.)

HAPPY PHOTOGRAPHY!



4 comments ↓

  • #   aober on 11.05.16 at 15:24     

    Hi Louise,

    I love how you added colours and a boarder to your table. Those are some beautiful pictures! I agree with you, I only take photos with my cell phone despite a large purchase of a SLR camera about 8 years ago. I blew up some canvas prints from my SLR and they are quite grainy. I believe that my iPhone camera has better pixels than the SLR! It’s incredible how much technology has changed in the last 10 years!


    • #   lkondos on 11.06.16 at 14:05     

      You are so right about smartphones! I know there is a new phone on the market that is actually more camera than phone. There is no need to haul with your heavy camera and lenses, unless your plan is to focus on photography.


  • #   keith webster on 11.06.16 at 12:12     

    Hi Louise,

    This is a good integration of the html exercises into a useful post. I agree with your points in smartphone cameras. I’ve even done some production video work at Royal Roads with my phone (had to do some post-production on the audio though).

    I think the advantage smartphones have today is the preset software and decent pixel capture. I still do better work with my SLR or a professional video camera with a tripod.

    Keith


  • #   lkondos on 11.06.16 at 13:59     

    Keith, you remind me that I should use the term smartphone rather than cellphone. One of my students still uses a cellphone that cannot take photos – old flip phone. She took the photo in my post with my smartphone.

    I actually had quite a bit of fun using HTML. I also found video on YouTube where this fellow explained how to use HTML to build a basic web page. I had him on my son’s iPad, and your post open, while I “designed” on my computer. Definitely had some frustrating moments as well. Struggled to get my photo to display, as you know. Thanks for the advice. I had just the tiniest coding error. I also initially struggled to get the two columns to be the same width. But it was an interesting learning experience. If I had more free time, I believe this is something I could pursue quite seriously: using HTML to design blogs or websites. It is like putting together a puzzle. I love the idea of using code and watching it become something significant!


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