Thursday 12 September 2013

Phone photos in Brighton

One of my goals for September was to learn how to embrace the camera in my phone.  At heart, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool dSLR fan and I love my camera.  But there are times when I don't have it and my phone is all of got.  Up until now, this has irritated me as I schlep through photos that are, in my opinion, of a much lower standard.

But September is a time of learning and I have made an effort to leave behind my beloved camera, and focus on my phone camera.  Pun intended.  And actually, I don't hate it.  I am learning to work with it and exploit its best features instead of being frustrated by its limitations.  So here are a few photos that I took on a day trip to Brighton.  I couldn't bring myself to leave my real camera behind, but I hardly used it and made myself work the phone.

I've also put together a list of things that I've learned.

Practice makes perfect (or at least better)
While my photos are not perfect, I do think they've improved.  Because I was using the phone camera so little before, I never really got the hang of it.  By making myself use it more, the pictures I end up with are gradually improving.

Pick your subject carefully
For me personally, I am finding that the camera works best for pictures of details.  It simply doesn't have the capacity to take very detailed scenery or wide angle shots.  Or at least, when I wield it, it doesn't!  However, for getting in close and snapping details and snippets, this baby really comes into its own.

Find the best light
I have also found that the camera really does not perform in low light.  It has a flash of sorts, but I wouldn't rely on it, and low light shots tend to emerge unfocussed, grainy and with camera shake.  Even in bright light, you have to hold it very still.  However, if you can find good light and keep yourself from waving the thing around in excitement, the camera does a decent job at automatically exposing things and hits a decent colour balance.

Make the most of technology
One thing I am really enjoying is using apps to edit the photos.  I almost never edit photos from proper camera simply because I lack the software and I don't really enjoy it.  But apps are quick, and no-nonsense and because a lot of the pictures aren't serious, it's fun to exaggerate them, or add doodles and captions.  I'm enjoying Instagram, obviously (you can find me by clicking on the little camera icon below if you want!) and my favourite app so far is the A Beautiful Mess App, which lets you add little pictures and hand-writing style fonts.


Anyway, this is what I've learned so far, and we're less than a fortnight into September.  I'll keep at it, but if you do have any hints or tips, please share!

Kisses xxx

P.S. I hope this also explains why there have been so many little square pictures here lately!


  1. I really like your phone photos! I've had pretty much the same hate-hate relationship with my phone camera...I really don't like the quality but I have been getting more use from it recently, especially for those times when I just want to grab a quick picture. The quality issue for me is also due to my old and failing Android phone - dreaming of an iPhone here :D Also, I love how you use the A Beautiful Mess app, the doodles and captions really add to the photos. Have you tried printing/scrapbooking any phone pictures yet? xx

    1. Thanks - I know how you fee :D I have tried printing - I ordered a few just to see what the quality was like and as they weren't enlarged to much, they were actually quite cool! But I'm going to blog about that so shhhh! Don't spoil the surprise!

  2. I love my phone camera but agree with you that it is definitely better for the details. I am assuming you have an iPhone? I use the app camera+. Everyone raved about it and with some degree of scepticism I tried it. Totally changed my phone photos. You can set the focus and exposure separately and you can get a much greater depth of field. I'm going to try and do a round up of my favourite phone apps cos I definitely think it is a learning curve! I am loving seeing your photos pop up on IG!

  3. pictapgo is the app i've just started to use. It really helps with the low light photos. Described as photoshop for iphones!! I used to frequent Brighton a lot in my younger days. Love it and reconise many of your gorgeous photos x

  4. I love these details - often things not recorded anywhere else ... Have you tried the Snapseed App? Definitely my favourite ...

  5. Great set of photos. I prefer my DSLR but it is too heavy to take everywhere so I use my phone quite a bit. I'm guessing here but I reckon you use the view finder on the DSLR and the screen on your phone, holding it away from your body - hence the camera shake. Have you tried tucking in your elbows, or resting on something?