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A Blog for Cell Phone Camera Enthusiasts

Due to leaps and bounds in technological advances over the past few years, your cell phone camera has the capability to take really awesome pictures. However, all that technology won’t take good pictures by itself. After all, it’s not the camera that makes a picture great, it the photographer. We’ve put together a few of the best tips for taking excellent pictures with your cell phone. Follow these tips and you’ll enjoy better quality photos.

1) Take Care Of Your Equipment

It’s been said that a camera is only as good as its lens. It’s true that your lens is of utmost importance when it comes to the quality of your photos. A scratch or a smudge on the lens of your camera will affect every picture that you take. Just like a bad fax machine has a black line down the side of every fax it sends, your lens will have the same effect on every one of your photos and videos. To prevent damage to your camera’s lens, keep your phone in a dust free environment if possible. That’s not always possible, the next best solution is to keep a lint-free cloth with you to keep your lens clean. Before wiping your your lens do your best to blow away any dust or particulates.

2) Lose the Flash

Can you remember the last time that you used a flash and liked the resulting photo? We can’t. In fact, when my camera flash does go off, it’s only because I forgot to turn it off before taking my photo. The flash should really be the last resort for lighting. Before you take a picture, consider the lighting in the area. In dimly lit areas, put the light sources behind you so they are shining on your subject. If natural light is available, it is almost always the most effective lighting. On the other hand, in brightly sunlit areas, shadows can be an issue. Your subjects may also be affected by light in their eyes. The sun may also cause glare on the lens. Be sure to take note of the environment’s lighting and adjust your positioning accordingly.

3) No Digital Zooming

Your camera probably has digital zoom. This is often utilized by spreading two fingers on the screen. As you zoom, your subject will grow closer – but if you look clearly, you’ll notice that it also seems to make the picture fuzzier. That’s the drawback, so we recommend not using digital zoom. The pixel density these days is quite high, which yields very high quality pictures, so a better solution is to crop the picture on your computer.

4) Take Multiple Shots

If you’ve seen a professional photo shoot, you know that the photographer’s camera shoots almost non-stop. If a professional doesn’t rely on one shot to catch the perfect picture, why should you. If you see a great shot through your viewfinder, then make sure you catch it by taking multiple shots. You never know what you might catch in a photo in the moments following your first shot that you wouldn’t have seen if you only take one shot. You also run the risk of someone or something not being completely ready as you take your picture.

5) Be Still and Know…

Unless your camera has a very high-speed shutter, moving the camera as you shoot can be a problem. If you can use a tripod or stand, that’s the most stable. You probably don’t have time to set up a tripod for most of your pictures if you are an impromptu photographer, so just do your best to hold still when taking your picture. If you have trouble trying to touch the picture button without moving, sometimes you can push the volume buttons to take a picture. Just use whatever works best for you. Another thing to keep in mind is that the photo-taking process goes from a manual button push on the screen to a digital process as the software tells the lens to focus and the shutter to click, then back to the physical actions of the lens refocusing and then shutter opening/closing. All of this can take a short time, so keep the camera still for a second or two after taking the picture.

 

Good luck shooting!

July 28th, 2015

Posted In: General

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Of the countless functions a cell phone has, one ‘hack’ is so simple and functional that it was almost revolutionary – the camera flash used as a flashlight. Cameras have always had flashes, but that’s all they did – flash – and quickly at that. When someone realized that a cell phone camera’s flash could be kept on, the world became a better place. No more burning your fingers with a lighter at a concert ballad. No more stubbing your toe getting to the other side of the room to turn on the light, no more fumbling around in the dark trying to get the key in to the dang keyhole. You have a light in your pocket!

But someone, in fact many ‘someones’ has taken this innocent, super-functional feature and turned it into a sinister, devilish, Orwellian tool. One glaring example is Goldenshores Technologies’ Brightest Flashlight app for Android. This app collected location information and unique device ID’s from tens of millions of its users, and then shared (pronounced sold) it to advertisers, even for users that specified they did not want their information collected or shared.

When you install an app, you are usually prompted when the app requests certain permissions. Here is a list of the rights requested by the #1 flashlight app for Android, Super Bright LED Flashlight…

  • control cell phone flashlight
  • prevent device from hibernating/sleeping
  • list of apps currently running
  • modify system settings
  • modify or delete your USB storage
  • take pictures/videos
  • view available Wi-Fi connections
  • get phone status and unique iD
  • receive Internet data
  • full network access
  • change system display settings

Now ask yourself, why on earth would a flashlight need anything beyond the top one or two items on the list? The obvious answer is they wouldn’t need those permissions. I’m sure if you read the fine print of the agreement when you installed the app, or if you ask the software company’s CEO, those reasons would be rationalized with some phony lawyer/developer jargon.

The best policy for installing any app, whether flashlight app or not, would be to review the permissions requested during installation. If you find the permissions to be liberal, then opt not to install the app, or if possible, install it without allowing it the permissions you prefer not to grant. It’s too bad that as soon as someone creates a revolutionary idea, someone else will find a way to exploit it.

July 19th, 2015

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I can still remember my first camera phone. The pictures were terrible, but I was so enthralled about not having to lug around a separate camera bag that it didn’t matter. Back then, the camera software was remedial, and photo editing non-existent and why would anyone need an accessory for that lousy phone camera? Well, that’s all changed now. Camera and phone now go hand in hand. Some of the cameras on today’s cell phones can legitimately be called enthusiast’s cameras. So of course there are accessories to go along with your camera phone. We will go over some of the must have accessories for your mobile phone camera. (more…)

July 9th, 2015

Posted In: Products

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