Exploring the natural and built environments through photography
There’s a common expression that the best camera is the one that you have with you. There’s even a book with the same name by Chase Jarvis with a collection of iPhone photographs. Thanks to the proliferation of smart phones, most people always have a camera handy. While I’m a huge advocate of DSLR’s for anyone serious about photography, sometimes it’s just not practical to carry a separate camera with you at all times. For capturing the moment, a smart phone camera is sometimes a necessary tool.
Just because you need to use a smartphone camera to grab a picture shouldn’t limit you to the 1:1 aspect ratio and heavy filters courtesy of Instagram. If you work within the limitations of these simple cameras and are able to give them a little care in post-processing, you can still capture some nice pictures.
On a recent outing to the local public library with my six year old daughter and three year old son, I elected to leave the DSLR home, as these two are a handful enough. Once in the library however, there were some of those precious moments that I just had to try to capture and I had to resort to shooting with my iPhone. Fortunately, the Boulder Public Library has good lighting with a lot of windows providing daylighting to the interior of the children’s area.
I recently started using Lightroom Mobile for IOS. I haven’t been using it much for processing directly on my mobile device(s), but I do really enjoy having my mobile photographs sync automatically through the cloud to my desktop for processing. I’m relatively pleased with what I was able to pull out of the snapshots from my smartphone. This one of the two peeking through the stacks didn’t actually need much in the way of post processing:
Another one of my favorites required quite a bit more work in Lightroom. I really enjoyed this picture of the two of them sitting at a table flipping through some picture books, however the windows in the background left my subjects in severe shadow.
After quite a bit of tweaking, I finally settled on this processed version of the photo, which I at least find acceptable for sharing with friends and family.
If you find yourself without a “real” camera, don’t despair, just take the shot with whatever you’ve got, and use some post-processing to salvage the photo!