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Why I Use A Smartphone Camera

by Bethany (follow)
Blog (395)      Articles (166)     

My smartphone is one of the top five things I must have on my person at all times. I store my schedule, my emails and messages on it, and I access all my files and folders online using it too; you can pretty much say my entire life is on my phone.

When I made the switch to smartphones some six or seven years ago, I stopped carrying around a digital camera (until recently when I realised the benefits of using both). I figured I didn't need a separate device to take photos, when my phone was lighter to carry, and made it easier for me to instantly share my photos online.

Phone cameras have come a long way from those tiny, grainy images, in which you couldn’t even make out the slightest detail. Nowadays, you can take professional quality photos, edit them on the spot, and upload them onto the Cloud within ten minutes of taking that picture.

There’s also a sense of currency when you share photos online. Everytime you upload a photo to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any other social media platform, you’re not just telling your friends and family where you are; you’re showing them.

A rare shot of my dog standing still.

There are reasons to use both an SLR and smartphone camera, but most of the photos I take are of my dog, and of food. The first rarely has the patience to wait for me to fiddle with camera settings before he’s off doing his canine thing; the latter is usually a sneaky shot in a busy place with no patience for people who aren’t eating. It’s just easier to whip out the phone, take a couple of quick shots, and then upload them to Facebook and Instagram while I’m eating.

It’s about convenience, mostly. And before I started learning how to use manual mode on my camera, I didn’t really think too hard about whether it was a good photo or not. As long as the photo wasn't blurry, it was good enough.

Taken at the Lindt Cafe Memorial, Martin Place. Uploaded with an Instagram filter.

However as I continue to learn how to use my digital camera, I'm realising there are ways to improve my smartphone photography, too.

In our smartphone photography classes our instructors teach our students how to use VSCOcam, an app that is a favourite with professional photographers (who can be snobby about smartphone photography, because they're so used to the high quality of images they take on their DSLRs). Here are some other great editing apps I've found, for budding smartphone togs:

Photoshop Touch for Tablet
iOS (iPhone, iPad), Android
Cost: $4.99

This is a compact version of Adobe Photoshop, and contains all the parts of the desktop program that you’ll need while on the go.

Adobe Photoshop Touch, Facebook

Photo Wonder
iOS (iPhone), Android
Cost: Free

One of the fastest apps currently on the market, with a collage feature and a number of excellent filters. It also has a user-friendly design that makes it easy to use.

Image from creativebloq.com

Average Camera Pro
iOS (iPhone, iPad)
Cost: $1.29

Average Camera automatically takes multiple pictures and calculates an average to normalise the resulting image, so it’s good for night photography. You should use a tripod, or lean your phone against something for stability though, because it uses long exposure.

Average Camera Pro for iPad. Image from iTunes store

I’ll be talking a lot more about what sort of apps I use on my smartphone in upcoming posts (and whether they are for shooting, editing or sharing), and how I organise and store my photos as I go.

In the meantime, why do you use your smartphone camera? Which apps do you like best?

From my trip to Hobbiton in New Zealand last year.

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