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Quick Tip: The Best Camera is the One You Have With You

I like to take pictures using my phone. Each photo I take represents a precise moment in my life —…

I like to take pictures using my phone. Each photo I take represents a precise moment in my life — a memory, a place, an object — something that captures my imagination or inspires me in some way. While some people fuss about buying the latest cameras and the latest lenses to make the best possible photographs, I’m not one to lug a large camera around. My iPhone is always in my pocket, ready to capture these random moments during my day and my travels, for I’ve found it’s true that the best camera in the world is the one that I have with me.

Here are some of my recent favorites in the gallery below. From left to right, a new friend I made on a trip to Spain, deep, fresh-fallen snow on coniferous trees, and a summer storm chasing us along the highway. All of these shots are moments I was able capture because my phone is always in my pocket.

Mobile apps in many popular flavors

With your phone in your pocket, you’re ready to capture any thing or event in the moment. WordPress.com’s mobile apps come in iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Nokia, WebOS, and Blackberry flavors, making it a snap (whoa, punny!) to moblog on the go. Simply grab your phone, get the shot, and upload it to your WordPress.com blog. Tomorrow, Cheri Lucas will cover how to use some of the mobile apps. Today, I want to encourage you to get out and take photos with your mobile phone so that you’ll have some fun shots to upload.

Pick a photo challenge and snap to it

Looking for some inspiration? Here at Daily Post, we publish weekly photo challenges using photos we’ve taken ourselves. We enjoy coming up with new imagery each week to encourage you to capture pictures that reflect the theme as you see it through your lens. Here are a few suggestions on getting started with phoneography:

  • Go out for a walk around your neighborhood and do a study on the color “red.” Take a few photos that say “red” to you. Maybe it’s a candy wrapper, a bird, even a street sign, perhaps a wreath — what did you find that was red? Snap away.
  • Experiment with composition. Notice the photo of my Spanish friend above: he’s off to the side, literally marginalized, which lends resonance to his status as a stray dog — a dog without a home. Select any subject — a tree, your favorite tea cup, the egg you ate for breakfast — and experiment with where you place the subject within the frame. How does the photo change when you frame the subject on the right, left, center, or at an angle?
  • Using only five photos, document a day in your life. Be choosy! Which activities or objects best represent what happens during your day? You might choose to capture the tie you wore, the view from the table at which you ate lunch, the bus stop after work, the book you’re reading, and your baby girl’s hairbrush — the one you used to brush her hair after her evening bath. Which five photos best represent a day in your life? Is five too many? Snap three photos, or snap one photo that best represents your day.

The beautiful thing about phoneography is that it lowers the barrier to participating in challenges: grab your phone, grab your coat, and take a photo walk in your neighborhood — you never know what you’ll encounter, but with your phone at the ready, you know won’t miss capturing that unique moment in time.

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  1. Thank you Krista! This is a terrific topic and opens the door for more bloggers to use what they have to take a photo or two. I like your gallery shots too. My phone (not an iPhone) takes inconsistent photos but, now and again, it surprises me with a decent one.:-)
    Eliz

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  2. Reblogged this on M. Burgess Taylor Photography and commented:
    A lot of people keep telling me that I need to get such and such camera. Well the truth is, the picture is only as good as the photographer, not the actual camera. Here’s another person who agrees. Sure, having a better camera makes it possible to get a variety of pictures that you might not have been able to get with your phone or with your point and shoot, but if you learn how to take good pictures then the camera just becomes a better tool and it’s not the camera that is taking the pictures but the photographer.

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    1. One thing I was told a long time ago is that the camera does not matter. As long as your composition fits within the restraints of the camera, you can get great pictures.

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    2. As long as you’re only using the pictures for blogging, then phone cameras will do the trick. For other uses, though, is when a DSLR is needed. Personally I WordPress blog my photos from Flickr, the hub for my photos on the web.

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  3. Reblogged this on The Daily Dilly Dally and commented:
    No arguments from me on the basic premise and I try to have a camera with me as often as possible. The whole Phoneography Month thing is getting me down though… can I be the only person left on the planet who despises the whole mobile phone culture and refuses to carry one? I want to be left in peace when I am out with my camera. Why on earth would I want to be at everybody’s beck and call when I am away from my desk, or to disturb the peace of the scene I am snapping with a stupid ring tone blaring out at the most inappropriate moments.

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    1. PB, I agree with you in general, but only you have the option of controlling tghe technology. You can have your cake (cell phone) and eat it too (Cell phone powered off) and take those photos with a camera not on the cell phone.

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    2. No, you are very far from alone. I use my phone to make phone calls and check my calendar. I use a camera … one of several … to take pictures.

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  4. Totally with you! Thanks to Instagram and my iPhone, I am a phoneography addict. In 14 months, I’ve posted almost 1000 pics. It’s just so much fun!

    Cheers!
    G-LO

    Instagram: @boozedancing

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  5. I use my phone for photos, too, and many of them are what I call my inspiration photos – those that may inspire or go along with something I want to write in the future. I love your idea of documenting my day with five photos. Keep the great ideas coming. These photo safaris sometimes bring focus to an otherwise scattered day.

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  6. I agree phone/camera technology has improved, but there are also great pocket-size cameras with long zoom. If I go on a trip, I take both. And,I like the idea of a phone camera challenge encouraging people to experiment. Will you be doing one on lomography?

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  7. I’m going to get a new phone, Galaxy S-3, I’ve been without a smartphone quite sometime.. miss taking photos with it, I can’t wait.

    Perro is just adorable, amazing photos!

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  8. I hate taking pictures on phones. The few times I have done so were because I failed to have a camera in my bag. That no longer happens. These days, I have a camera with me everywhere I go. To that end, I’ve acquired two high quality, very compact P&S cameras that shoot RAW and JPG and have high quality optics. So I’ll skip this exercise. I don’t like telephone photography. To me, telephones are for communicating; cameras are for taking pictures.

    Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I have a fundmental belief that anything that does everything does nothing well … and that includes people, applications, kitchen appliances and cell phones.

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  9. Always have my iPhone with me – not so much as a phone but for the camera! Nice photos – and I appreciate, though don’t always participate, in the Weekly Photo Challenge.
    I have a Beagle sanctuary. That poor dog is matted, needs cleaning, brushing, and food; he may get some of that from sympathetic locals or he may not let anyone near him. Excellent photo of a dog in need – there are so many in Spain and around the world.

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  10. I am very pleased with the quality of photos taken with the Samsung SG2. I love taking spontaneous pictures of interesting things that I see here and there. But I also enjoy taking pictures with my camera. – it’s used more when I go on a planned photo expedition. :D

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  11. i have been trying to keep my camera with me more often for this exact reason! but i’m contemplating getting an iphone so i can have a better quality one with me that is easier to haul than a dslr….i love the exercises you detailed, i’m writing them down now!

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  12. Reblogged this on Brave New Web and commented:
    Want to get comfortable with blogging? Here’s a great way to start. No, you don’t always have to write a long post. Sometimes a picture truly is worth a thousand words.

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