I thought for today's blog post I would write 5 tips to use when only using your cell phone's camera. This is primarily geared towards smartphone users and not older cell phone's cameras. I had written another little post with some pet photography tips that were general and didn't matter on the camera type. You can read that blog post here ( Pet Photography Tips and Tricks).
Cell phone cameras are constantly getting better and the images they produce higher in quality. The most popular camera is currently the iPhone. It beats professional cameras in usage. The majority of news outlets are using iPhones for the speed of posting photographic and video content to the internet. I have some of the best Nikon equipment on the market, when I need to post a quick behind the scenes photos, I grab my iPhone. I have often taken landscape photos and posted them online as I am still photographing them with my "real camera".
There is a quote that says "The best camera is the one that's with you". This means that every day my iPhone is in my pocket. I just checked and I have a little over 1,200 photographs stored on it currently. I frequently back those up and save them to an external hard drive. So it only makes sense to offer a few pet photography tips with the cell phone camera in mind.
1) Shut the flash and HDR options off.
This is the first thing that you should disarm or shut off is the flash on your cell phone camera. The flash is not powerful enough to light a subject properly. The flash on the cell phone works great in the bar, or at a party at night to illuminate you and your friends. If you need to add light to the image try to do it with natural light, the effect looks more appealing.
2) Take several photos, try different angles, the "film" is cheap
If you were to hand me your cell phone and ask me to take a photo, I would immediately take 2/3 photos of the same scene. If you are trying to get unique photos keep taking photos and review after the moment has passed. Animals are constantly moving and the different angle and multiple images give you several photos to review. Once you have taken several select the one that stands out the most.
3) Edit the Photos with an App.
This is the one part that makes cell phone images stick out from the others. All of my cell phone photos get a once over in a photo editing app. The app I personally use is called Snapseed. It has wonderful options for editing photos and I frequently adjust shadows, clarity, and saturation of the cell phone images that I post.
4) Look for great natural light
Is your cat sunning in the window? Is your dog on a long walk with you at sunset? These are wonderful times to photograph your pets with a cell phone. The cell phone cameras while being advanced, respond really well to the light at these times and it adds a dramatic look to the overall image. I am sure you have seen a great sunset, maybe once this week, maybe once this month. The next time you see a sunset that you haven't seen in a while, with beautiful colors, try photographing your dog on his nightly walk.
When taking photos of pets always try to think ahead. I know that if I throw the ball and Bear is getting tired, eventually he will lay down and I can get a few photos of him with my cell phone. I also know that while he is running the cell phone will just not capture the great images that I would want. If you found a lost dog and you are trying to get a few photos to post on social media, give the dog a few minutes to get used to you. Once the dog is calm, snap a few photos, I would recommend not making a noise with a dog you are not familiar with as they may move too fast for the cell phone camera. The best cell phone photos of pets are generally when they are at rest. The camera in the cell phone handles subjects that are not rapidly moving around, and can be extremely blurry if the animal is moving fast. I know how Bear will react to the majority of situations I use that to my photographic advantage.
All of the photos that I posted in this blog post were all taken with my cell phone camera. You can tell that they are unique images, with a bit of processing but they do not hold the color, clarity, or sharpness of my professional images. The majority of these photos are fun snaps to show what I have been photographing. Cell phone cameras are great for capturing a moment in time that would be missed otherwise. They are great for the little moments that can be cherished.
When you schedule a Bark Gallery session, I bring the best photographic equipment available on the market. This ensures that I can bring you proven professional results with every Bark Gallery session.
Bark Gallery- Rick Vierkandt