While some think that smartphone will take over cameras almost completely, I disagree. I think ‘real’ cameras are here to stay. What I do think is that smartphones are making photography much more accessible to the masses. The saying ‘if you have a smartphone you are now a photographer’ is probably truer than ever. And while owning a camera-equipped phone (or a camera for that matter) does not make you a good or a bad photographer, there are a few tricks that you can use to up your results using a smartphone.
I was kinda surprised when Alex Koloskov released a new product photography course (because usually he is all about high end mega $$$ strobes), but with a healthy DIY approach Alex manages to make it work. And work quite nice at that….
This is not the first time that we are seeing fancy smartphone photography, in fact those have been around since 2010, but Alex is not using any fancy light. Just some foam boards, foil, cheap lamps and translucent papers.
We Asked Alex for his best smartphone photography tips and he gave us the following list. Even if you don’t get the course, this should set you on the right track.
- Wide lens will create distortion, place your subject in the middle of the frame to minimize it.
- for low light (for indoors), always use a steady fixture for your phone and a remote (or timer on a shutter release) . In the course I show how to make $3 DIY fixture for smartphone
- If possible, always use a highest quality settings on your phone camera app. for this course we used 645Pro MKII app for iPhone, it let us to shoot in RAW (TiFF files).
- Do not forget to use exposure compensation when necessary to get a correct exposure for your image. Do not rely on in-camera built-in algorithm of calculating exposure, it is not made for still life subjects.
- Remember about third-party lenses that available for smartphones: while providing extra zoom or wider field of view, they will reduce image quality. Shoot only with built-in lens when image quality is in high importance.
Keeping these rules, along with some clever use of window light and the right positioning of reflectors can create some almost-to-good-to-be-true photos.
The course is $29 and, while I would not trade my camera for a cell phone, it can help you if you want a quick and dirty shoot.