A Smart Phone can be a great camera

May 08, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

When out and about, you see an awesome scene. Whip that smart phone out and take the shot. Not thinking much about what you are doing, you get an average image. If in the future, just before you take that shot, stop, look again for color, angles, where is the most exciting part of the scene, then press that button.

 

I recently purchased the i Phone 11Pro and challenged my self to take it on vacation with me instead of my normal travel camera. That would  be a big no-no for me, but this time I thought "DO It". I was pleasantly surprised at the images I made, especially after I learned how to use and visualize what the 3 lenses on the camera would capture. Of course, now, I make sure that I have my i phone 11Pro wherever I go so I am ready at a moments notice to capture what I see.

There are certain rules that apply to whatever you are using and whenever you are trying to take an photograph. Look for complimentary colors, angles that create visual energy with their direction, that the point of interest is in the best place and check your angle of view.

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I like having flowers in bloom all over my home and property and am lucky to have this red amaryllis flowering. The red flower and the blue pot behind it are complimentary (opposite) colors, so they create a certain amount of visual energy. That energy is in the bottom third which is a dynamic area and a good place for those colors to be. You also can see the arrow shows the angles that are created  by the direction of the flower petals.

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In this image, on the Goddard Park beach, the angles created by the clouds and shadows dynamically lead to the trees and the rising sun behind them. This image is simple and strong. The sun is in the upper right third of the photograph and that is a very good place to be.

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While skiing in Lech, Austria I took this photograph. The image has an incredible amount of angles expressing a powerful amount of energy. The river and the sun are in the important intersections of thirds (see circles). The amount of textured trees (also angles) are opposite the smooth sky which is creates good balance and relaxes the eyes. 

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This is a skylight in my bathroom! We had just taken down a very large tree that always filled that upper space and I was very excited to see the sky that morning! The molding of the skylight makes an interesting frame and the walls of the space add another dimension. The texture of the clouds and trees kind of tickle each other and the strong division of that space emphasize that activity. Lastly, the color of the tree bark and the blue of the sky are complimentary colors and work very well together.  

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I recently posted this image on Facebook. I was walking around my yard inspecting all of the emerging buds and leaves when I bumped into this tree, a chestnut. I don't think that I had ever paid much attention to it in the past, but now while looking I was struck by the engineering of the leaves. It starts as one big bud and then multiple leaves pop out, just incredible! I cropped the photograph on the left to get the bud more into the upper left intersection of the thirds. Note the arrows that show the leftward angle of the stalk, very dynamic.  I purposely changed my angle to the subject and made sure that there was mostly sky behind the bud so that the viewer could see the detail of the bud which would make more of an impact.

If you keep practicing taking photographs and thinking about the space, colors, lines and placement of the subjects you will become more masterful at capturing the story impactfully and it will show in your photographs. It actually doesn't matter what you use as a camera, it matters how you make use of what you have.

 


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