Cell phone photos: how to take them

Cell phone photos: how to take them

A photo with the smartphone is quickly taken and sent to family and friends. With simple means, the photos can be significantly improved.

Kerstin junker, a photographer from oberleichtersbach, took photos with her smartphone for the saale newspaper. Setting the aperture, choosing ISO and exposure time: that’s not possible with a cell phone. "The cell phone adjusts everything by itself", she says.

The practical test in the editorial office shows: the f-value for the aperture can be set on a cell phone. But the result was a barely perceptible difference.

The tips given by the photographer are self-evident for professionals. Beginners, however, can learn a thing or two.

"The most important thing is the light." When taking a landscape or architectural photograph, you should have the sun in your back to create strong color contrasts.

Sun in the back

For a portrait, on the other hand, it is advisable for the person being photographed to have the sun in his or her back, because otherwise he or she will have to look at the sun and squint his or her eyes. Also to avoid eye or nose shadows on the face, junker recommends going into the shade.

The midday light is less suitable. Better is the time in the early morning or towards afternoon. "Until ten o’clock in the morning or again from three o’clock", recommends dieter britz from the rhonklub photo club munnerstadt. "The basic rule is: get out of the backlight", he says.

Only if you want to photograph the sparkling water at the multimedia fountain in bad kissingen, you should take pictures against the light.

Britz particularly likes to use the panorama function. The smartphone puts together a rough panorama picture from many individual images.

Locations to photograph

Kerstin junker likes to take pictures in castles and palaces. She mentions the trimburg in elfershausen, the castle ruins botenlauben or the castle schwarzenfels in hesse, which is about 12 kilometers away from bad bruckenau. In hammelburg, she sometimes takes photos at the monastery garden or at the kellereischloss, also called the red castle. There are also many photo motifs in nature, for example on the height of the linden stump near schondra or at the basalt lake "ink barrel. Animal photos can be taken in the wild park klaushof.

The gradierbau in bad kissingen is a good place for portraits, says junker. "The wood and the stairs are already. There are clear lines", she says. Woods are less suitable for portraits, because the background looks rather restless.

"A common mistake is to have something out of place on the outside." That’s why she checks her pictures for elements that distract from the actual motive.

Typical mistakes

This could be a traffic sign that should not be in the picture, a shadow of a person, too colorful backgrounds, cars, fences or a tree trunk that appears to be growing out of the back of a person’s head (cf. Our example picture in the forest).

Golden cut

The golden section is a design rule known since antiquity. To use them, grid lines can be displayed on the cell phone. The main subject should not be in the center of the frame. "We central europeans are used to looking down to the right", says junker. For the golden section, the main subject should be placed at the intersection points or along the imaginary lines.

As a general rule, you don’t have to slavishly adhere to all the above principles: "if you know the rules, you can break them"."

Interesting photos are created when the photographer holds the smartphone at eye level of the subject (cf. Pictures with dogs). "Photographing from the bottom up is a possibility", says junker. Or: "you can also lie down to take a photo."

An often chosen motive is when people are positioned in front of a wall. "People should not be put in front of anything. It is best to get as close to the person as possible for background blur", advice junker. Although some cell phones offer the possibility of artificially creating blurred backgrounds, this is not the case. But that’s not the same as keeping your distance, she says.

The people should also be fully depicted on the picture. "With everything that goes with it, also with the dogs." But the decision was made for a portrait shot.

Photos of children

Smartphones can also be used for children’s photos.

"You should make sure that there is some movement, that the children are playing something or holding a ball in their hands", says britz. One of the main mistakes is to be too far away from the subject with the smartphone. "It’s best to get as close as possible to the action."

Better not to use a zoom

Britz does not recommend the zoom function of cell phones. "This does not bring good results." For about 20 to 30 euro you can get an intent-tele-lens. "That produces usable results, finds britz. But don’t compare it with a real camera.

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