It's Week #47: Shot with a Phone!

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Week 47: Shot with a phone

Photo by: Tammy Salomon – Week 18: Behind the scenes (2015)

It’s not about the gear! How often do I repeat this saying? It irks me when I’m taking photos, and people look over my shoulder and say “What a nice camera you have!”

Would you eat from a Michelin-star chef and proclaim “Wow, what great pots you have!”

A photograph is about the light. It’s about the composition. It’s about timing, pose, balance, angles, feeling, and finesse. Once you have those down, you can start to upgrade your gear.

Well, this week we’re downgrading [for those of you that normally shoot with a DSLR, of course]! Time to focus more on composition, on lighting, and all those important things required BEFORE you hit the shutter button. This week we’re all going to use the camera that’s in our pocket!

It’s time to prove that it’s not about the gear, it’s about the photographer!

*If you do not have a mobile phone with a camera, you can borrow a friend’s phone, you can use an old point-and-shoot (so long as you are downgrading), or you can even take another angle of the challenge and capture someone shooting/doing something with a mobile phone (though obviously this is not the heart of the challenge).

**If you ordinarily shoot with a phone each week, then try giving yourself a “downgrading challenge” in your own way. Do something you haven’t tried before. Set up a portrait. Take a shot with challenging lighting. Bring your phone into the ocean.

***Tablets would also be considered a phone for this challenge. Anything that’s a “downgrade” from what you are currently shooting with, that forces you to focus more on light and composition, and less reliant on the gear making things easier for you 🙂

Tips and Tuts for this week:

  1. Clean the lens of your cell phone’s camera before you even think of taking a photo.

  2. Be aware of your cell phone’s camera’s limitations. Your subject should be well-lit and neither too far nor too near. Daylight is your friend!! Nighttime is your enemy! 🙂

  3. Cell phone photos often come out blurry but there are quite few things you can do to prevent it.
  4. There are a TON of advice online for taking better cell phone photos. Have a look here (definitely read this article), hereherehere and watch this (also packed with cool info).
  5. Some photographers say that you should take photos with your cell phone and then edit them on your computer but there are many great photo editors for cell phones, for example, Snapseed, Pixlr, VSCO, Lightroom mobile, Aviary and SuperImpose. Hunker down and have fun editing!
  6. 20 of the world’s best cell phone photos, 385 great cell phone photos, and the mobile photography awards of 2012 to 2016. There is still time to submit photos for 2017 but note that an entrance fee is required.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out the “Shot from a phone” album of 2013. And of course the Googles. Oh, you sweet Googles.

Extra Credit: New technique

For some extra credit joo-joo, try out a new technique with your cell phone photography. You can either try out a new photo editor, a new editing technique, night photographydouble-exposurehack macro photography or any other technique or type of photography that you have not yet tried before.

Photo credit: Meme Thorne – Week 19: Blue (2016)

Remember, it is not necessary to keep this
Extra Credit challenge in mind while shooting.
It’s extra credit!

*Please note!! You can only submit ONE photo per
week, for the week’s challenge. This photo can
include the “Extra Credit” part of the challenge,
or the “regular” challenge, but you can never submit
more than one photo!


Past Challenges 2016

Past Challenges - 2015