Tricks and tips for good picture taking with a cell phone

Taking pictures has never been easier or more fun. Now, most cell phones have built in cameras with resolutions that, only a few years ago, cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to have in a camera.

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  • Taking pictures has never been easier or more fun. Now, most cell phones have built in cameras with resolutions that, only a few years ago, cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to have in a camera. Since there's no worry about wasting film with digital cameras, it's so easy to take lots of pictures until you get just the right one. With cellphone cameras, it's right there in your pocket or purse, so when that perfect moment comes, you're ready.

  • Cell phone cameras do have their limitations, though. Some have a flash setting, but many don't. Some have zoom while others don't. Settings are limited, although the options are changing almost daily. Here are some ideas for getting fantastic pictures with your cellphone camera.

  • Lighting

  • Flash capability notwithstanding, natural light is almost always the best choice. If you are inside, turn on some lights and experiment. That flash setting may help even with outside shots, acting as a fill flash. Take a few test shots to see. Try to avoid shooting into bright lights as your subject may look like a dark silhouette.

  • Shooting angle

  • The beauty of digital photography is that you can take practice shots for free. Experiment with different angles — from low shooting up, looking down from above, and so on.

  • Get close

  • It makes sense to frame your picture as close as you can, instead of telling yourself you'll crop it in later. When you crop pictures, the result is a lower resolution than when you started, and may give you pixelated pictures or low quality. Crop when you need to make the picture frame nicely instead of as a zoom.

  • Reduce blur

  • Most blurry pictures taken by cellphone cameras are caused by two things: low light and motion. The lower the light present, the longer the automatic lens will stay open, capturing any movement in the picture. It's difficult to hold still enough to eliminate the blur. Either improve the light or brace the cell phone by putting it on a steady surface while taking the picture instead of trying to hold it.

  • Use the power

  • Check your camera settings to make sure you are shooting in the highest resolution your cel lphone is capable. The default setting may not be the highest. (You may choose not to do this if you don't have much memory available.)

  • Get the apps

  • Depending on your cell phone, there may be free or low cost apps available that will turn your cell phone into a mini photo studio. The things these programs can do is astounding and improving constantly.

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  • Go sideways

  • Don't forget that you can turn your phone on its side for a landscape-oriented picture. Often this will offer better picture composition.

  • Most of all have fun! These days, even professional photographers find themselves digging for their cell phones to capture that perfect, elusive photo.

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Margot Hovley is the author of the novels "Sudden Darkness" and "Glimmering Light." Her self-reliance blog is at mynewoldschool.com, and she blogs about her writing adventures at margothovley.com.

Website: http://www.margothovley.com

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