Articles & Tips

Getting the most out of your cell phone camera


How does one get started in order to capture that memorable image? Identify that element that stands out in a scene, that’s how we begin take pictures during our travels. It may be a fountain in a park, a rose at the foot of a statue or the earthenware flooring seen through the bars of a gateway.

Taking 3 to 4 photos to create a story. For example, in the Jesuit Church in Toledo, we took a picture of the central nave moving in to the altar we’d take another. In taking a picture of the wooden reredos or altarpiece, a focused view of the Virgin Mother in detail.

Jesuit Church in Toledo

Using the zoom feature of our cell phone’s camera one can capture those spectacular details of an image. In the cathedrals and churches we focused on the paintings, sculptures, lamps, other prominent features and much more. There are so many things! One can be overwhelmed with the amount on interesting and beautiful details. Sometimes, we just had to sit in order to assimilate such beauty.20171103_172140-1In taking pictures we would also do a play with shadows and light as well as reflections in the water. Particularly in Granada, both in the “Nazari” Palaces as in the “Generalife” of the Alhambra, with its’ visually rich scenes of fountains, water channels and tanks / pools.20171108_143810The arches, gateways, large windows and doorways became interesting frames through which we could capture other important background elements. In the following composite we find examples of this in the Alhambra of Granada, the San Juan of the Kings Monastery of Toledo, the “Generalife” of Granada and even through a window of the “Palacio de los Granados” in Ecija.VentanasThings that constantly were repeated but with different textures were often photographed. We then would create a mosaic of specific themes.Capulillas Ermita Cristo de la Luz 9For example, the mini domes of the old Christ of Light Mosque in Toledo or the different sewer covers in Ecija. Even the many “tapas”, cups of coffee and cold beers we enjoyed in each city visited.Cafe y algo mas 3Iron bars can be an important element within an image. Such was the case in Ronda, the bars being the central element, but allowing us to view the spectacular scenery.20180123_120432There were some exceptions. In order to photograph the altarpiece of the Cathedral in Toledo (separated and protected by a huge but spectacular iron gate) we carefully worked the cell phone camera through the bars. The image resulted from a steady hand with clockwork precision. 20180127_190130

Was it risky? Of course! But how else to capture an image of a magnificent work of art?



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