Cool Smartphone Photography Doesn’t Require a Fancy Smartphone
Smartphones have come a LONG way in the time they’ve been invented, and now it’s possible to do some WAY cool smartphone photography. I recently experimented with a few photography techniques using a smartphone. My phone is a pretty basic Samsung phone, with a 13 megapixel camera but not a lot of fancy features. I took most of these pictures with this basic phone, proving that cool smartphone photography doesn’t require you to have a fancy phone!
Well, some cool smartphone photography does.
These two pictures are the only pictures in this post that were taken with an iPhone, using the long exposure feature. What I did was take a live photo, and then afterwards I went in to the photo and changed it from “live” to “long exposure.” It took the footage from the 3 seconds of live photo footage and combined it into one image, just like a more fancy camera will do with a 3-second shutter speed. This long exposure technique always produces “fuzzy” or smooth water, as shown in these photos.
Lens compression: Possible on any smartphone
For these next photos, we’ve gone back to my basic Samsung smartphone camera. This is something I think is a SUPER cool smartphone photography trick: lens compression. I took the first image standing fairly close to the tripod and camera, about the distance you’d expect based on looking at the picture. Maybe a foot, foot and a half (not sure though; I’m terrible at judging distances :D). The second picture is me standing several feet back, and zooming in on the camera. The result was that the background now looks much closer. Only a small part of the background shows up compared to what it showed in the other picture. This is a result of lens compression, which is something cool that any smartphone can do by standing back and zooming in.
Portrait Depth Mode
This is an example of how not all cool smartphone photography tricks are possible on a basic phone camera. This was an experiment in portrait mode, which my camera doesn’t do very well with. I think both pictures still turned out pretty well, but I don’t feel like there is a lot of difference. I know a lot of nicer phone cameras these days take some FABULOUS portraits with the background blurred out! But my phone didn’t do too well. And that’s okay! That’s one reason I have a “real camera” too, because I love portrait photography! The first image is without any special mode, and the second is with portrait mode.
Panorama: The classic cool smartphone photography
Sometimes, you just NEED to capture everything around you, and fortunately nearly every smartphone camera these days has a panorama feature. This picture was taken at Yellowstone, while the sun was setting, while geysers were going off. I wanted to show the sunset and the steam, and how wide the expanse was. The scene called for some this cool smartphone photography technique: the panorama. The result? This beautiful image, which almost makes me feel like I’m there.
I love having a camera with me everywhere I go because of my smartphone, and I’m always looking to learn new cool smartphone photography tricks. I’d love to try some gadgets like this one by Lensta, but I haven’t yet. Have you? Let me know in the comments what you think, and tell me some you’d recommend!!