There can't be many people who aren't here in Cannes with a smart phone, or even just a phone with a camera. Long gone are the days when you needed to carry a separate compact camera for those quick point-and-shoot moments and with all the events happening over this week there are certainly lots of opportunities to snap away (whether the subject your snapping really wants you to or not).
But how do you get the most out of a camera-phone? Well, funny you should ask because Brad Ralph, senior director of artistic content at Getty, is holding master class seminars to let you know the camera-phone secrets.
The master classes are running today (Thursday) and Friday at 2pm in the Cannes Also’s ‘Play, Make, Master’, lounge area just outside the Palais, which Getty is sponsoring. Ralph is offering tips and tricks on how to capture the best image on what is regarded as a growing platform for producing reputable photography. As a sneak peak though, we've asked Ralph for his top five camera-phone tips so that you can capture all e Cannes craziness as professionally as possible.
Tip 1. Know your gear, and your apps…
Mobile cameras are great, but have limitations – know what they are and pick apps to get around them. Camera+ and Camera Awesome (iOS only) give you more control than the manufacturer installed software. Features like manual exposure and focus control, white balance control, a level (to help get your horizons level), timers, plus great filters and one-tap uploading for getting your images to look their best and sharing them.
Apps like Slow Shutter allow you to take long exposures for cool effects with moving subjects, night photography and landscapes.
Tip 2. Find some light and get the exposure right…
Even with all the great editing apps and filters available, your final image will always better if you start with a well exposed image.
Use the sun, it’s the best light source you could ask for. If it’s too harsh, find some shade or use a piece of paper, a white towel or t-shirt to bounce or soften light. Wait for the right light if you must. Use a flashlight or another mobile phone screen with a flashlight app as a light source. Be patient. Use your mobile camera flash as a last resort, it can make images look harsh and unflattering.
Tip 3. Use your feet and change your perspective…
Don't be afraid to get down on the ground, or climb a ledge to get a bird's eye view.
Get close and focus on the small details, or go really wide and give more context and sense of place to your subjects.
Tilt-shift/miniaturization effect apps, and distortion and selective focus/blur can also be used.
Tip 4. Remove colour to add impact…
Converting an image to black and white can eliminate competing colours in busy images and pull focus to the main subject. Use backlighting and silhouette to add drama or get around poor lighting. B&W can save a noisy or poorly exposed image.
Tip 5. Accessorize…
There are some great products being made for mobile cameras. Small mobile tripods and clips are for getting that steady shot and doing long exposures. Clip on and magnetic lenses to provide fisheye, macro, and telephoto ranges to the built in optics. I love the Olloclip™ for its size, optic quality and simplicity. Shoot through the lens or viewfinder of your SLR or pocket camera - even a pair of reading glasses for some cool effects.
Avoid the digital zoom if you can – it simply adds noise to your images.