Smartphone based photography and video have opened up quite a few new creative outlets and formats. In the early 2000’s, many people had dire predictions of what would happen to society as cell phone cameras became more prevalent. In some cases, smartphone cameras have resulted in an invasion of privacy, but in many ways they have also improved our lives. These cameras have had an affect on how we perceive the world around us, along with how we express ourselves creatively. The following are nine fun tricks you can use to enhance your smartphone photography.
You don’t need clip-on lenses to get a great zoom
If you put your smartphone camera up to a telescope, you can take a picture of a magnified image. This will also work if you use one side of a pair of binoculars or magnifying glass. This camera trick is great for capturing wildlife or smaller, hard-to-see objects.
The sensor in your smartphone is better than you think it is
A fast moving object doesn’t typically look correct when you take a picture of it with your smartphone camera. This is because of the built in CMOS sensors. Images are captured in a “line by line” sequence with this type of camera sensor. The result is an image that looks warped. In some cases, the distorted appearance adds to the “cool factor” of the image.
Take selfies using your volume button
Taking pictures has become the biggest reason why people want a camera on their smartphone. Sometimes, getting good images can be difficult, but there is an easy way to create them anywhere. You can press either of the volume buttons to take your picture. This trick works on most Android smartphones and iPhones.
On some devices, you can also use the volume control on your wired headphones as a remote control for your smartphone camera. However, Apple devices are really the only brand this feature reliably works with, and sadly, it won’t work with wireless headphones.
Your old negatives can be scanned and digitized
While this trick may not be the best way to read negatives, it is convenient and cheap to digitize them with your smartphone. If you want a fast way to view or digitize your old family negatives, try using the camera on your smartphone. Use the camera’s negative effect, or take advantage of one of the many film scanner apps available to check out old photographs.
You can use your panorama shot, even when traveling
People have begun using their smartphone’s panorama function in an interesting new way, now being dubbed the “PanoDriveBy”. The panorama function on a phone stitches together images automatically as you tilt or move your phone, typically while you’re stationary. However, people have started to point their phone’s camera out the window of cars and trains while using this function. While the stitching of the images might not be seamless, some people like this artsy effect provided by the motion in the images.
Make clones of yourself without a photo editor
In order to make clone images of yourself, throw your smartphone’s camera in panorama mode then hand it to your friend. While they are doing a slow pan across a field of vision, run behind them. After they film you, run back into the frame and do it again, depending on the number of clones you want.
Use your smartphone camera to read barcodes
All major app stores have free barcode readers that can also read QR codes. This is helpful because you can get more information about any product by scanning its barcode. You can even scan the barcode on a package handled by most shipping companies, which quickly provides delivery information on your smartphone.
Your smartphone’s camera knows more than you think
With apps like Amazon’s Flow, you can take pictures of objects and places and your smartphone will access information about them from just visual data. Apps like Google Translate and Evernote also open up options for text, such as translating virtually every language to digitizing handwritten notes. As this technology advances, smartphone cameras are sure to offer even more benefits.
Mimic pinhole photography
If you poke a hole in a piece of cardboard, it creates a very interesting frame affect on your images. Have fun playing around with the size, shape, and placement of the hole for all kinds of interesting images.
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