3.19. Cameraphone Photography
There's an old photographer's saying: the best camera is the one you have with you. The day you're faced with a photo op and your multi-megapixel
machine is stashed in your sock
at home, you'll be thankful if there's a
in your pocketa cellphone with a tiny, built-in lens that takes tiny, built-in pictures.
Of course, cameraphones don't have all of the whiz-bang settings that you've come to adore on your digicam, but you can still take
good shots (see Figure 3-19). Here's a look at the most common cameraphone settings and how they can help you take better pictures.
. This option gives you the choice between two resolution settings: large and small. (They would be more accurately labeled
, but that wouldn't fly with the marketing department.) Choose large, which is usually about 640 x 480 pixels or 1.3 megapixels. You can't make a very big print with these images, but they're handy for emailing.
. You may get a menu of
like sepia, black and white, or even negative, which is perfect for that X-ray look you've been yearning for. Don't bother with the options in this menu; shoot your pictures in living
. You can always add an effect later in iPhotowith much greater control.
Figure 3-19. Cameraphones are designed for moderately close portraits. Head-and-shoulders compositions usually
out well. But avoid super-closeups,
and family. Those
lenses built into phones (shown at right on a Treo 600) can distort your subject,
resulting in estrangement from loved ones. Compose your portraits as shown at left; you'll get the shot and keep your friends.
When all looks well, hold steady and squeeze the shutter button (often the phone's Enter button, shown here on a Sony Ericsson cameraphone).
the best way to include the photographer in family
shots, the self-timer is also a great tool for getting sharp pictures in
-perfect lighting. Rest the camera on any steady surface, compose the image, activate the self-timer, and press the shutter button. The camera counts for about 10 seconds and then shoots the shot. (As usual, the steadier the camera, the sharper the shot will be.)
Often, you'll want to use these settings in combination, like using night mode and a self-timer to take crisp indoor photos.
One problem with cameraphones is that there's no tripod socket. How the heck do you compose your self-timer shots without a tripod? Figure 3-20 shows one option.
Figure 3-20. How do you steady a camera that doesn't have a tripod socket? This beanbag chair for mobile phones is the perfect solution. For a mere $6, Porter's Camera Store (www.porterscamerastore.com) will ship you a nifty solution called the Pillow Pod. It's like a beanbag
for your cameraphone. As simple as it sounds, the Pillow Pod lets you align your phone for just the right composition when using the self-timer.
You're probably not going to win any photo contests taking pictures this way. But in a
, at least now you know how to squeeze every drop of quality from the one camera you'll always have with you.
All that's left is figuring out how to get the pictures to your Mac, so you can drag them into iPhoto. Most people manage either by emailing the photos to
(right off the phone), transferring them via a wireless Bluetooth connection (to a Mac laptop, for example), oron cellphones that have tiny memory cardstransferring the card to a card reader hooked up to the computer.