On my courses I’m always telling people how in many cases the camera isn’t important. I thought I’d show you a few images I’ve taken on my Blackberry over the last few weeks and share a few tips on getting the best out of them.
The first picture is one I took on my walk around the south coast cliffs, again one of the important parts to taking good pictures (and something I bang on about on my courses) is the right light and as you can see the sun had nearly set and the clouds balanced the light nicely. When I say balanced I mean the light on the land and the light on the sky was similar. Camera sensors aren’t great at recording what we can see but more of that later.
Here’s a picture from my recent trip to the lake district. Being so far up north late in the year the sun never get’s that high in the sky meaning the light is great for most of the day. For hand held I normally put my camera on sport mode (the figure running) as it takes the exposure quicker and keeps camera shake to a minimum!
All modern camera phones have automatic light meters, they take a reading of the light and adjust the exposure for the conditions. The trick is to use this to your advantage as shown in the following pictures.
If you look at this picture, the main part of it is sky, therefore the camera meter decided the image was very light and shortened the exposure. If you see the land is very dark, this is because camera sensors are not as good as our eyes and cannot record all the light we see.
With the horizon in the middle of the image the camera meter is still exposing the sky correctly but there is a bit more light on the land, not much yet.
In this picture I pointed the camera towards the ground, this told the camera there wasn’t much light and a longer exposure was needed (more light to the sensor). As you can see the sky is far to bright as the sensor cannot record the light and dark parts as my eye could see it!
Have a good play around with your camera phones when out and about, remember to look for the good light first. Move your camera around taking pictures in portrait and landscape and see what difference the auto metering makes to different scenes!