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  • Writer's pictureFiona Robinson

Why I use my phone for photography

I love photographs, and I love my camera. It gives me loads of control over the settings, I can change between (an ever growing collection of) lenses for different effects. However, I looked at the personal pictures I've made over the last few months and well over half have used my phone. I thought I should share some of the reasons for this.

Its always in my pocket or handbag - so it's with me when I go to places where

I'd never think to take the camera

The key to taking better pictures is learning to see images, and this doesn't only happen when I am intending to take photographs. I spotted the shadows zig-zagging down the steps as I walked up to the supermarket. It took a couple of seconds to pull the phone from my pocket, and I'm pleased I did.

It takes great close-ups. There's probably some complex physics behind this, but basically the small gap between the lens and the sensor means that more of the image is sharp. If you want a nice soft background to your portrait this might be a problem (though software in cameras is helping this all the time) but if you are taking a picture of a flower and want everything sharp it's brilliant.

It doesn't distract the other people you are with. As I've said, I love photography, but I also love spending time with family and friends. I was sat chatting in a friends garden, and noticed the reflections on my sunglasses on the table. A "selfie" of my husband and I - and no-one realised I had taken it until I shared the image afterwards.

It's quick, so you can grab a moment. Some things move quickly, and the phone in your pocket can make an image before they change. This shield bug had landed on my window, and only settled for a few seconds. If I'd tried to fetch the camera, then it would have long flown away.

My phone is unlikely to take a photograph I could turn into a large poster on the wall, but it certainly means I make lots of images that I couldn't in any other way.

My top tips for photos with your phone

  • think about what is in the photo, and move closer (or change your viewpoint) to exclude anything you don’t want

  • turn your phone horizontally if this shape fits the picture you are making

  • try a really low or a high viewpoint - the interesting picture often isn’t at eye-level

  • look for beautiful light, interesting patterns or unusual shapes

  • if you want to focus on pictures without being distracted - put it on airplane mode (or at least turn off most notifications and put it on silent)

  • use the camera features to process your image (or download an app - I often use Snapseed)

and most importantly

  • Have fun.

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