I was reminded last weekend that people are relying on their cell phones more than traditional cameras (notice I don’t say real camera) when I was trying to photograph an event and the SLR users were outnumbered 50-1. The white circles indicate the cell phones I can see and there are many more!
Back in the day, a “real” camera was a heavy metal camera with rolls of celluloid film. Then the digital age hit and we went from celluloid and chemicals to silicone and binary. It’s been a short 15 years between my first digital camera (a 1.3 megapixel monster) and my Samsung S6 cell phone. (All foliage pics in article are with my S3)
In the end, the best camera is the one that you have with you and that describes a cell phone perfectly. Memories are precious and our fall foliage trips are just that, memories.
How to gauge whether you can live with just your cell phone as your primary camera?
- What am I going to do with the pictures when done? (Sales or low res images for my blog)
- Is the quality good enough to print an 8 x 10 or larger (newer phones yes!)
- (This applies to me but maybe not you), can I sell a large print (11×14 or larger) that is framed and matted as an art print to a customer?
- What are the capabilities of the phone in different situations?
- Can I use the phone in low light situations and get good pictures or does it require a flash
- if I zoom-in does the picture get really noisy (the digital zoom in almost all current phones are noisy)
- Does your phone have a professional mode? (The S-6 does)
Practice makes perfect, learn by doing
I was expecting a lot out of my S6 after all the hype and to be honest my first pictures did not live up to my expectations. Each day I took my phone/camera outside and I would practice by photographing flowers in the garden, or insects such as dragonflies which are numerous in late summer. My macro cellphone shots are as good as my Canon macro lens but I learned to get very good ones.
I actually learned more by getting bad shots than I did by getting good shots. It’s when the image comes out horrible that you strive to make it better. Look for settings like anti-shake if your image is blurry. If your background is sharp but what you wanted sharp isn’t, then see if tapping the screen tells the camera to focus on this point. If your camera/phone works this way and many do, it will show the camera what you want it to focus on.
Also, remember the basics of photography, apply to cell phones
Like, not shooting directly into the sun (sun from the side or behind you is the best)
- Holding your camera steady or bracing it against a non-moving object
- Learn what leading lines are
- And the rule of thirds
To find this barn, turn to page 34 in the Vermont gazetteer. Then go to B1 on the grid map and you will find the little red barn on Route 100 just south of Moss Glen falls.
You can find all these photographic techniques and much more online by looking for books or YouTube tutorials. If you have specific questions ask in the comments but for a full online lesson I may charge during the fall… A bit busy for the next 2 months… 🙂Jeff "Foliage" Folger You can purchase images by visiting my Fine Art Gallery websites
- My Gallery on Fine Art America
- Try out the new Fall foliage forum
- Join my New England Fall Foliage page on Facebook
- Follow @Foliage_Reports on Twitter
- Follow me on Instagram @Jeff_Foliage
but people call me Jeff Foliage.
I have several pages that I write blogs for such as: http://www.4cornersnewengland.com/
My most popular blog is for Leaf peepers: Jeff Foliage.com.
I live in Salem, Massachusetts and work as a blogger and Travel Photographer. I'm also the founder of the New England Photography Guild.
Feel free to visit me on my blogs and see what life in New England is like.
I started with Yankee Magazine as their first blogger on everything fall foliage. Now I blog on my own blog on my favorite subject, telling leaf peepers where the fall foliage is showing up in New England and helping them (to some extent) plan their fall foliage vacations.