Learning a Smartphone Camera: Exposure, Color, Sharpness
Learning Smartphone camera exposure, sharpness and color is something you can actually do right now. Read on; it’s not as hard as you might think. Usually, all you need to do is point and shoot and the camera will take care of the exposure and color. If the camera is off in its assessment of a scene, you can easily and quickly override its assessment and make your image brighter or darker. Unlike all other cameras, your phone camera is a very stripped down tool for capturing light. All cameras, except a mobile phone camera, have adjustable settings for 3 variables
: f-stop, shutter speed and ISO. Since the beginning days of photography, cameras have had settings you need to understand to adjust for the correct “exposure”. Smartphones have simplified this by using computer technology that works behind the scenes to help you get a good, well-exposed shot. Smartphones are a seachange
in the world and in the world of photography.
Technically speaking: Exposure, Sharpness, Color
There are just three things to learn with your smartphone camera:
1 – Exposure: getting the right brightness
2 – Sharpness: details and clarity; freezing action
3 – Color: beautiful color is a tap away
FRAME-TAP-DRAG-SNAP: Getting the Right Exposure with Your Smartphone
Learning exposure on your smartphone is simple. In a nut shell, tap your screen on your subject. By tapping on the screen, you are telling the phone this is my subject, please assess my photo for this spot. The phone will do three important things when you tap. Firstly, it will adjust the brightness using that spot as the reference point. Secondly, it will focus on that spot. Thirdly, it will adjust the color for that spot. Screen tapping is the first step to get the right exposure on your smartphone.
If you have an iPhone, you will see a gold square appear at that spot. Drag up to lighten and drag down to darken. You now have a couple of seconds to snap a shot before the camera reverts back to the original brightness. Other phones might give an exposure slider that appears when you tap on the screen. So you’d tap and then drag that slider to brighten or darken. Older non-iPhones sometimes require you to go into a menu to find the exposure slider.
Exposure: The First Step to Taking a Great Shot
Learning smartphone camera exposure is crucial. You want your images bright, not too bright, not too dark. The phone has a light meter that will assess the brightness of what you have framed with your camera. You smartphone will attempt to guess at the right exposure. Usually it does a pretty good job. Stop, look, and decide if your subject is bright enough. It’s up to you; your phone is an artless, soulless machine. It’s amazing, but you are more amazing, so take a moment to think about your image. We are all able to see when a photo is too dark or too blown out, so take a moment before you snap. Make it a habit.