I’ve been asked to do a talk, to a local photographic club, about creative photography using digital compact cameras. Whilst I was preparing the talk, I realised something. It was that lots of people have a digital compact camera, but call it something else; a mobile phone. To be sure of covering all possible questions in my talk, I thought I’d try some creative photography with my own mobile phone camera.
It was then that I discovered something wonderful …
… it’s that the camera takes a quite a while to read the image from the whole sensor.
So why is that so wonderful? Well, it means that if you move the phone camera during the exposure you get an interesting “shape” to the image. It’s because by the time the last bit of the sensor is read, the camera is looking at something different to what it was looking at when it started reading the sensor.
In this image of oilseed rape flowers, I moved the camera in a quarter circle as I pressed the shutter. The very curved horizon makes it look as if I’ve used a fisheye lens! It’s pretty hard to predict exactly what you’ll end up, but it’s easy to experiment, and take another image if the first one needs improvement.
Here, I’ve used an S-shaped movement, which has given a lovely wave to the fence. It took a few tries before the writing was sharp enough. I think it’s a really cool effect.
In this image, of an English country cottage window, the wide-angle lens on the mobile phone camera has given an exaggerated perspective which the creative use of camera movement has emphasised.
In this final image I’ve not used camera movement. I’ve used a small plastic optical toy (an insect eye kaleidoscope) to make an abstract image. The phone camera’s lens is very small and fitted nicely inside. You can’t do this with a digital SLR as the lenses are too big. Part of the image is of the inside of the toy, and part is through the insect eye lens. It’s a blank DVD in its case, but it looks completely unrecognisable.
So, be creative with your phone camera and have some photographic fun!
If this has inspired you to want to know more about creative photography, then why not come to one of my courses?
There’s lots of info on my website at www.galephotography.co.uk