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Any tips for taking photos with a Smart phone?


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While my model making is improving it is being let down by my photos with my smart phone (Samsung Galaxy S9). Just wondering if anybody has some good tips?

 

Appreciate i should probably get a decent camera, but would rather spend the money on models/materials if i can get away with it. I guess another option is a cheap camera?

 

Any help would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks, George

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I'm using a Galaxy S8 for all my model photography at the moment. I've found it to be better for internet pictures than the Cannon SLR I used before.

 

I use it with overhead natural daylight in my shed or sometimes outside, weather permitting. It seems to me that the  camera is optimised for snaps and landscapes rather than very close work. You need to give it a bit of help with the composition and lighting here.

 

I use the cameras frame formats as needed for whatever I'm shooting, trying to let the camera do most of the work. I use the higher file size option as well. 

 

The camera struggles a bit with high contrasts. Best results seem to be when the subject and background are close in colour. A black car on a white background has the camera hunting for the best setting. Multiple pictures shot at slightly different angles give different results in that case and there's usually one or two that work..

 

Holding the camera as still as possible helps a lot. 

 

Here's the sort of indoor setting I use for forum pictures...

 

20211006-180443.jpg

 

20210702-111414.jpg

 

20211009-090627.jpg

 

20210807-121224.jpg

 

And here's the results. The pictures have been cropped to fit as needed. Occasionally I lighten the picture or maybe boost the colours a bit using Photoshop. A basic editing programme would do the same easily enough.

 

20210628-144937.jpg

 

20211016-161147.jpg

 

20210807-120908.jpg

 

 

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Use a tripod and a solid phone-holder. People never appreciate how much shake hand-holding their phone introduces into the picture, If you are using the phone in very bright light, then you can get away with it. Anything else than ideal light, it's a very hit-and-miss process. If you can introduce more light using a large bit of white card-board angled to reflect more light on the model, then this can be a great benefit.

 

Hope this helps. 

 

Chris.  

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23 hours ago, TonyW said:

I'm using a Galaxy S8 for all my model photography at the moment. I've found it to be better for internet pictures than the Cannon SLR I used before.

 

I use it with overhead natural daylight in my shed or sometimes outside, weather permitting. It seems to me that the  camera is optimised for snaps and landscapes rather than very close work. You need to give it a bit of help with the composition and lighting here.

 

I use the cameras frame formats as needed for whatever I'm shooting, trying to let the camera do most of the work. I use the higher file size option as well. 

 

The camera struggles a bit with high contrasts. Best results seem to be when the subject and background are close in colour. A black car on a white background has the camera hunting for the best setting. Multiple pictures shot at slightly different angles give different results in that case and there's usually one or two that work..

 

Holding the camera as still as possible helps a lot. 

 

Here's the sort of indoor setting I use for forum pictures...

 

20211006-180443.jpg

 

20210702-111414.jpg

 

20211009-090627.jpg

 

20210807-121224.jpg

 

And here's the results. The pictures have been cropped to fit as needed. Occasionally I lighten the picture or maybe boost the colours a bit using Photoshop. A basic editing programme would do the same easily enough.

 

20210628-144937.jpg

 

20211009-091122-copy.jpg

 

20210807-120908.jpg

 

 

Thanks for the tips Tony. Your photos look great, as do the subjects!

 

This is one of my better shots, but more luck than judgement:

 

resized_a00516eb-32f7-42a5-b802-5d3d0cbc

 

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21 hours ago, spruecutter96 said:

Use a tripod and a solid phone-holder. People never appreciate how much shake hand-holding their phone introduces into the picture, If you are using the phone in very bright light, then you can get away with it. Anything else than ideal light, it's a very hit-and-miss process. If you can introduce more light using a large bit of white card-board angled to reflect more light on the model, then this can be a great benefit.

 

Hope this helps. 

 

Chris.  

Thanks for the advise Chris,

 

I actually have a phone tripod which came with a bluetooth "shutter" button, but have never tried it. Guess i need to dig it out and use it in future.

 

George

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25 minutes ago, Geo1966 said:

Thanks for the tips Tony. Your photos look great, as do the subjects!

 

This is one of my better shots, but more luck than judgement:

 

resized_a00516eb-32f7-42a5-b802-5d3d0cbc

 

 

 

I don't think you need much in the way of photo tips judging by that picture! Very nice indeed.

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That's not a bad average. I usually take about fifty or so, per subject, using a ton of different ideas for backgrounds and so on. The yellow Mustang above was the best of over seventy shots. Shotgun tactics! Fire away, it's not like you are using up rolls of film.

 

Once I find a shot that works, I try changing the background for a different look. Doing that leads on to all kinds of shots that were not at first apparent. It's a part of my modelling I enjoy a lot. A piece of ordinary glass with the underside painted black is my latest best friend for pictures. Swapping the background is a moments work. The bottom two pictures are of the car unfinished. I was sorting trying out final picture ideas at the time.

 

20211016-160605.jpg

 

 

 

20211009-091122-copy.jpg

 

20211009-091024.jpg

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41 minutes ago, Geo1966 said:

Thanks Tony, but that was the only really decent picture out of about 30 i took 🙄

 

George

For single vehicle photos Tony's tip of using a large piece of card, coloured or plain, curved against a wall is a great idea. I haven't fully got to grips with it yet but my photos have improved since I have been doing it.

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  • 1 month later...

I'd also like to jump on this thread; I've got an S20 Ultra which is designed with photography in mind but the photos that come out are pretty crap. The camera includes some quite advanced features which I don't use, similar to what you'd get on a proper DSLR camera. Are there any settings I can use to get the most out of it?

 

Also, for some reason the camera seems to glitch a bit where it won't autofocus at all, meaning I have to keep reopening the app before it does. Anyone else come across this issue?

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8 hours ago, TeaWeasel said:

I'd also like to jump on this thread; I've got an S20 Ultra which is designed with photography in mind but the photos that come out are pretty crap. The camera includes some quite advanced features which I don't use, similar to what you'd get on a proper DSLR camera. Are there any settings I can use to get the most out of it?

 

Also, for some reason the camera seems to glitch a bit where it won't autofocus at all, meaning I have to keep reopening the app before it does. Anyone else come across this issue?

 

Post a couple of examples, we can go from there.

 

My phone camera sometimes loses focus. Usually when I've chopped and changed the shot I'm attempting. Touching the subject on the preview screen pulls the focus back again.

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Think about composition too, in your photo one of the tank crew looks like he has an aerial growing from his head.

Also be aware of what will be in the final photo to avoid clipping parts of the subject off.

Getting the shot level is also important, not good to have a lake running downhill or slanted lamp posts.

Edited by Tijuana Taxi
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A good few of my models came out well with my previous Samsung S9 before I had a dedicated space for photos.  I still use a Samsung phone for quick progress shots although the S21 has a much improved camera.  It also has a remaster option so for any pics that I crop to avoid the depth of field issues the phone is unable to master this option will also improve lighting and contrast.

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