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Help - Tips on making phone pics better

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I know this is kinda lame, but I am finding myself taking more pics with my phone lately because I have it with me all the time.

On my early morning bike rides(6 AM) I take my phone for safety reason, which is why I find myself in those gorgeous moments as the sun is making its way into the day, but the settings on my camera are not available on my phone, so the pics don't come out as well.

Here is a picture I took this morning, of some deer in the fog line in a low area of a field, with the sun just starting to peek above the tree line.
The sun make the pic come out dark.......so I played with it but I think I could do better with some coaching

Original pic



Here is the same pic after I played with it a bit, closer to what my eye's actually saw but still not as vivid where the deer are as what I noticed on my ride.



What can I do to bring out the things I actually see?
post #2 of 17

You've found one of the big limitations of an iPhone - the camera isn't great.

Next time, try to get less sky in the shot, that will make the foreground lighter, but that will probably make it appear grainier too, as the camera tries to capture the image in low light.
 

post #3 of 17
Actually, I've found digital cameras in general difficult to use at sundown.  They are so "automatic" that I continually have to fiddle with them.  They want to find "white" when everything is aglow in yellow or orange light.  You have to find whatever settings make it as manual and "dumb" as possible.  I find that telling it to emulate a type of film works best, but of course while I am doing this the sun is setting.   
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
 I think my point has been missed....
how do you edit a picture to make it pop when you are using phone quality pics?
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

 I think my point has been missed....
how do you edit a picture to make it pop when you are using phone quality pics?

I don't think either missed your point.  Sibhusky makes a good point about automatic features.  perhaps, if you can, turn off all the auto stuff and try manual exposures you might increase the odds of have better raw data to work with.

Editing takes data to edit,my guess is that the iPhone camera is low pixel and per WTFH -- low quality to begin with. no good data, no way to effectively enhance.
post #6 of 17
Using Paint Shop Pro:

1. Enhance Photo, Smart Photo Fix
2. Effect, Film Effects, Film Looks: Vivid; Creative Filters:  Sunset
3. Digital camera noise removal

It's a bit "over processed" I think, but maybe more like what you remember?

Trekchick's sunset pic.jpg
post #7 of 17
If you're not massively attached to your iphone (unlikely I know), Sony Ericsson's range of camera phones are about as good as you can get currently in my opinion.

Few from my SE C902 here.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rmerry/ (none of these have been post processed because I am lazy, pink helmet is my daughter)

I don't have any low light ones available sorry, but it will generally do very well.

It's still nowhere near as good as a compact camera, but I can't be bothered carrying one around with me and it's so handy to have a camera always on you.
post #8 of 17
Hmm....I don't know what you actually saw there, TC. It's a beautiful scene, but if that's a picture of deer, I think you needed another cup of coffee or something.



I can't see deer in there, no matter what I do.

I think you did a good job improving the color and contrast. As others have said, you can't bring out detail that isn't there. You can, however play around with low-quality images and come up with some interesting--if not always realistic--results. I'll bet you didn't see this:



I don't know what controls, if any, you have on your iPhone. I agree with WTFH that the blank white sky threw off your exposure. If you can "lock" the exposure somehow, next time try aiming only at the green grass, locking in that exposure, then re-framing the picture as you like it. (On many point-and-shoot cameras, you can lock the exposure by pressing the shutter release button down half way, and holding it there as you re-frame. Don't know if that's possible on the iPhone.) If you cannot lock in exposure, then try framing with less sky, as WTFH suggests.

Does the iPhone have a  "backlight" compensation setting? Or a "snow/sand" setting? Or anything like that that is meant to improve the exposure of a scene where a bright background throws it off? You can try these. One great thing about any digital camera is that it doesn't cost anything to experiment.

Good luck!

Best regards,
Bob
post #9 of 17
 Actually, when I was playing with the picture, I could just see the deer in the fog, but they are lost because they are so small relative to the picture overall.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
 Thanks... I'm inspired to play with my tools more.

 Bob, as Sibhusky said, there are deer there, in fact I can see two in your version of the picture.  All in all there were about 12 deer but only 4 were in clear view when I took the pic.  The others were deep into the fog or on the other side of the little knoll.

I am truly amazed at the advancement in quality of phone pics from when they first became available.  
post #11 of 17
Your solution:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

 I think my point has been missed....
how do you edit a picture to make it pop when you are using phone quality pics?


http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEWS/1247600265.html
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
 Thanks for all the replies.  They have been very helpful.

Dear Bob, have you found the Deer yet?

Here is another picture that I took with my Iphone at the Frankfort Pier
All in all, I'm impressed with how much better phone pics are now than they used to be.
post #13 of 17
Dear TC--I guess your deer up there in the UP must look a lot like...fog.

post #14 of 17
Phone cameras are much better,

Does the iphone have a zoom?

As far as overexposed backlight, pull focus on the light, then move the frame to your subject and shoot.  It will be dark at first, but many "enhance"-ish buttons will fix it, or at least fill light. 
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

Dear TC--I guess your deer up there in the UP must look a lot like...fog.

Dear Bob, if you're going to pick on me, get it right.  Its - oop der in da U P.
Besides that, I'm not a yooper, I'm a troll, cuz I live below da bridge.




Quote:
Originally Posted by splitter View Post

Phone cameras are much better,

Does the iphone have a zoom?

As far as overexposed backlight, pull focus on the light, then move the frame to your subject and shoot.  It will be dark at first, but many "enhance"-ish buttons will fix it, or at least fill light. 

 
Splitter, as always your photography is something I can't imagine let alone capture.
The Iphone does not have a zoom.  Its features are basic aim and shoot, but I get what's being said about changing where I focus to avoid the light issues.

Can you see the deer?
Maybe bob needs a new prescription. 
post #16 of 17
 Tip for TC's deer, you have to click on the picture, then select the Original Image link to see them.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
 Tip for TC's deer


Practice first:
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