Tuesday, December 30, 2014
I believe that one of the best ways to learn photography is to simply take photos. But rather than investing in expensive equipment, I think that one of the best tools to learn how to take good photos is a smartphone.
The video above, “7 Smartphone Photography Tips & Tricks”, teaches some things one can do with a smartphone. Some are more advanced than others, but none of them require any special tools or equipment, which is the point.
Years ago, after my mother died, I bought a fancy 35mm SLR film camera and experimented with taking photos. I enjoyed it, and took a few good ones (amid a lot of rubbish ones). That camera was stolen a few years later, and I just never got back into it—until recently, and it was mainly with my phone.
For the past year or so, most of the photos I’ve posted on this blog have been taken with my iPhone. That won’t necessarily be as true next year, since I’m determined to learn how to use our fancy digital camera that, so far, I’ve used mainly for copying old family photographs that don’t have any negatives.
But the camera itself isn’t the issue as much as learning what makes a good photo. In general, I’ve been pretty happy with the photos I’ve published here. I guess that’s obvious: Who would share a photo they hated? But the truth is, I like some of the photos I’ve taken, and that makes me want to take more.
Using a smartphone has some distinct advantages. Most people have a phone with them all the time, they’re discreet and they’re easy to use. The camera lenses included with phones are getting better all the time, but they’re all fine for learning.
The flash on a smartphone isn’t very strong or precise, and the light responsiveness isn’t great. But these restrictions aren’t important when the goal is learning how to take good photos, and they can actually force one to be more creative. Sometimes it works, and sometimes, well, chalk it up as a “learning experience”.
These days, with decent cameras on smart phones, some time, some patience, and all the free tips and tricks available, anyone can learn to take decent photographs. That’s all I want.
My phone just makes learning to take better photos much easier.