Phone Camera vs Expensive Camera: Taking the best photos with what you've got

As a hobbyist, if there's one thing I can completely, 100% understand is the want for a more expensive, "better" camera. But here's the thing, expensive does not always mean "better". Okay, maybe better in the sense that the technology in those cameras are in fact, 'better' than your standard point-n-shoot, but it doesn't mean that camera is going to be better for what you need. Are you trying to be a professional photographer or just an enthusiast like myself? If the latter, there is a plethora of options for you to choose from. If yes to the former, then there are still many options to choose from. Just because every Photographer seemingly has a 5D Mark, doesn't mean that you need that camera in order to produce similar quality images. Always remember that the camera doesn't take the photo, the person behind the camera does. And if you catch your camera taking pictures on its own in the middle of night, I would highly suggest burning the camera and cleansing your house with holy water. That or stop taking drugs. 

As someone who still lives like a college student, it's not easy having a hobby that's so damn expensive. I mean seriously, couldn't I have gotten into a cheaper hobby? Like......I don't know, fishing? F*ck. Lenses cost more than the camera and that really makes me feel some type of way in life. But capturing a moment is more than just fun. It's therapeutic. It's beautiful. It gives me perspective on the most mundane of objects. There are so many ways to capture a photograph and I want to challenge myself and others to utilize the cameras in front of them. No, my iPhone cannot rival the quality of the images that are produced through my more advanced camera, but with all the camera apps out there, I can be pretty satisfied with the images I capture. The key here is LOVE. Yes, LOVE. Give your images love. Just because your phone isn't a $3000 camera, doesn't mean you can't treat it like its one. I'm here to show you that you CAN take just as cool photos with your phone.

My glorious Sailor Moon trinket locket thingy. I shot this with my iPhone. Now, this is what I call the not-trying-at-all-whatsoever type of photo. There are some things to note here. First of all, the backdrop is this beautiful Sailor Moon drawing on top of a pink piece of paper. So visually, the image in its entirety is already kinda pretty. That's a good start. Think about your composition. If your object is pretty, include pretty elements in the photo to enhance it.

Perspective wise, the image is boring. It takes an additional 10 seconds to think of a different composition. DO IT!

Okay, this is better. Now, you maybe asking what makes this perspective better than the one above? Well, there's more blank space for one, so your eyes are drawn to the object more. If you compare it with the previous image, even though the overall image is pretty and pink, your eyes aren't really drawn to the object. You want blank space in your composition so that you really focus as much attention to your subject matter as possible. 

Seriously, Phone photography is extremely fun to me because there are so many apps you can use. I'll share with you guys my favorite photo editing and camera apps in a separate post, but for now, I'm using this app called Tadaa SLR. Seriously, this app is amazeballs. It basically creates a faux depth of field so that your images look DSLR-like. It's the bees knees for real. 

TADA! (get it? like...the app... :D) It's obviously not perfect in perspective. I mean, I can tell right away that this is not a real depth-of-field blur, BUUUUUT it makes your subject focus stand out 1000x's more and that's the whole point. The app also has useful features for you to edit your photograph to your liking. I know it's completely preference but I'm a filter type of photographer. I LOOOOVE filters. So you'll have fun experimenting with this app. This was edited straight from my phone btw. No photoshop. 

The same rules apply to your higher end expensive cameras as well. Although the clarity and image quality is already much much better than the iPhone photo, the composition alone still makes it a 'blah' photograph. 

Blank space is your best friend! And also composition. Sweet, sweet composition. *throws sparkles*

Also, keep in mind that these really shallow depth of field type photos (where the background is hella blurry and sexy) are not due to the camera itself. The cameras always take credit for these things but it's really the lens. That's why the lenses are more expensive than the camera. My camera is a couple of years old but can still take nice 'bokeh' photos because of my lens. 

With that said, if you really think about it, that's the main advantage of a DSLR vs a phone camera. Apps like Tadaa can only do so much to fake it, but it's not the real deal in the end. But I do think camera phones are perfect for aerial type photos where you shoot things straight on from high up. Take for example these two photographs:

Can you tell which photograph was shot with my nicer camera vs my iPhone? Okay, you probably can if you look at it closely enough, but at first glance, there's not much competition. They are both very visually similar images. The first photo was shot with my iPhone, the second with my camera. Because there isn't much perspective (depth of field) in this type of shot, it's not really necessary to have a nicer camera. Phone cameras can do these photographs quite well. 

Lastly, I want to share a couple of my Instagram photos that were taken with my phone. Like I said, I think phone photography is really fun because there are so many apps you can play around with. And lets be real here, I have my phone on me 24/7 like it's part of my body. My camera does get to see the light of day but not as often as my phone so I like to take as many photographs with my phone as possible. And to be honest, I love them just as much as I love my crazy baller camera photos.

A photo posted by L O R A (@loraemon) on

A photo posted by L O R A (@loraemon) on

A photo posted by L O R A (@loraemon) on

A photo posted by L O R A (@loraemon) on

A photo posted by L O R A (@loraemon) on

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