NOTE: This article was written in 2008. After the launch of the iPhone, and before photography with smartphones became high quality, and ubiquitous. Do read the article keeping in mind this scenario, and you may then understand the reason for the tiny images included here. 😀 Have fun!
Waiting is difficult to put up with, in today’s fast-paced world. There’s a tonne of things to learn out there, and we’d never get to learn all we want to learn or do all that we want to do if we sat around waiting – doing nothing in that time.
But what of those times where you’ve found yourself forced to wait, with nothing to do but to twiddle your thumbs; like when you’re waiting for a bus, a train, or an aeroplane that’s delayed? Could you use this time to improve your photography, instead of letting your brain cells die a boring death?
Well let’s say, you’re waiting for a bus, or waiting for a table at your favourite lunch spot. You don’t have your handy-dandy pocketbook, and you’ve left your work at the workplace (a handy place to leave it). You do have your cell phone though, and your phone does have a camera. How handy! Here are a couple of things to do with your cell phone, to improve your eye for photographs, and make you a better photographer!
1. Try Impossible Angles:
Camera Phones fit in your hand… Your hand fits in places where your head would never go.. Use your hand.
Try putting your hand in a large jar; what does it see? Raise your hand out of your car window, hold it out of your bedroom window, hold it near your skates when you’re skating, hold it 3 feet out of a balcony and look down; you’re likely to find a whole new world, and it’s all in your hands…
2. Go Abstract:
Try to find the unusual in the usual. This is one of those times to “see” the unusual. Many of us try to pick out the unusual only when we’re with a camera – in “camera mode”. Wouldn’t it be more fun if you could do that all the time, now that your cameraphone is with you, in your pocket?
Look for that abstract representation… bubbles in a paperweight, Streaks of coloured light on a wall, Markings on a road taken out of context, they’re all out there for you to discover, and you don’t even need a camera… Just your mobile phone, your cameraphone!
3. Take a Photograph – practice composition:
No, not a snapshot, a photograph! See it, think it through… Picture it in your head… Then take the photograph. Look for interesting perspectives, and even more interesting juxtapositions; waiting in an airport has never been more rewarding than now.
4. Try a Panorama:
Some camera phones offer the option of making panoramas… They’re a good thing to try because they offer you a view that you very rarely ever see. I believe that they make you look at the place you’re standing at with a “wider” perspective.
5. Go Back to Basics:
Photography students are asked to take photographs of textures, patterns and such, in an effort to make them understand their importance and to teach them how to incorporate them into their regular photographs for heightened impact. You could do the same.
6. Try New Points of View:
Ever wondered what your dog or cat sees from its height? You spend hours watching your TV; what does it see? What does your fridge see when you peer into it? Try to simulate this stuff with your camera phone…
Your cameraphone is with you more often than your camera. Use it to keep records of places and things that you discover. Rename the files immediately so that you remember where / what it is.
8. Try Some Portraits:
Bus stops have this great quality about them… They’re a collecting point for people. The same goes for train stations, subways, and airports. If you ever find yourself stuck at one of them waiting for a bus, train or airplane, all you have to do is whip out your mobile phone. It is always a challenge to approach somebody you’ve never met before, especially in a public place where they’re not expecting to be approached, but if you think you can, then go for it. Alternatively, you could take some candid street photography.
9. Record Yourself:
Self portraits have always been an intriguing art, and a defining record of who you are, and what you were. Try them out to remind yourself of that…
10. Find Objects:
Cities are great places to find interesting things. They’re literally strewn around alleyways, waiting for you to find them and photograph them…
11. Make a Montage:
You’ve got the camera, you’ve got the flash memory storage in your phone… why don’t you make a montage of everything that’s happening around you?
There are so many more things that you can do in the “camera” mode of your camera phone… These are just a few of them. Do you have some other favourite functions for your phone? Let us know!
Published: May 4, 2008 | Last Updated: July 19, 2021