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Your cell phone is a powerful photo tool By Larry Myhre

Reprinted from the Sioux City Journal

Preserving your outdoor memories has never been easier. Or less expensive.

Film? Processing expense? What’s that?

We are in the digital age. Your photos can be downloaded to a computer, cropped, edited and enhanced with any of a number of post processing programs. Your computer may have come with a program already installed. If not there are several free programs that can be downloaded from the internet.

And, if you have a cell phone, and most people do nowadays, you have got the ability to make crazy good photos of just about anything. Since you always have your cell phone with you, your camera is just a screen touch away. So, too, are all of your photos. It’s very simple to show your buddies that picture of the big buck you put down last week, or the big walleyes you caught last summer.

I hate to say this because for most of my life a camera has played a big role in just about everything I do, but for most people there is little need to buy a digital camera. Your phone camera is really all you need. And as technology advances, these built-in cameras will only keep getting better.

As is true of any type of photography, you must have a knowledge of how to operate your equipment. A camera phone is no different. You need to know how to control focus, how to control exposure and how to use the flash, to name just a few.

I have an iPhone 6. Like most phone cameras it has center focus, but sometimes you do not want the camera to focus there. To control the focus in the camera, you simply tap the screen and a small yellow box illuminates where you have tapped. That indicates the area the camera will focus on. That’s the technique for most cameras in a phone. The exposure on my iPhone is controlled by sliding a small “sunburst” icon up or down. For most of our outdoors photography the flash will be used as a “fill flash” that opens up the shadows on a subject’s face, such as the shadow from a hat brim. Remember that these small flashes don’t have much distance. Six feet is about their maximum range to eliminate the hat brim shadow. [Read more…]