How to Capture High Quality Product Photos With Your SmartPhone

iphone cam - How to Capture High Quality Product Photos With Your SmartPhone

You may be thinking that using your smartphone for product photography sounds a bit crazy, but with today’s advances in technology, it’s absolutely feasible to create great product images by utilizing your smartphone’s advanced camera features and a tripod. This option is both budget and user-friendly – not to mention convenient!

Here’s a step-by-step guide showing you exactly which tools and apps you’ll need.

Step One: Preparation

The equipment that we use in this tutorial is all pictured here.

After gathering all of your accessories and applications, it’s time to use your smartphone to capture your images. For this tutorial, we will be photographing a pair of earrings with an iPhone 5S smartphone, a Joby Grip Tight mount attached to a Vivitar mini flexible tripod, and Photojojo lenses. We will shoot the images using the Camera+ app, edit the images with Photoshop Express, and store and organize the images using Dropbox.

The foam board to the left bounces available light onto the “dark” side of the earrings.

1. Perfect your lighting.

First, consider your lighting situation and choose to set up your studio in an area with ample available light. We have utilized a large window to let soft natural light into our frame, as well as a small white foam board backdrop to bounce light onto the “dark” side of the earrings, as pictured above.

2. Set up your table and background.

After perfecting your lighting, it’s time to set up your table and white backdrop so that you have something to place your product and tripod on. We are using white seamless rolled paper for our backdrop, since earrings can very easily be displayed in a flattering manner by hanging them from the paper, as depicted below.

3. Stabilize and position your smartphone.

Next, mount your smartphone and position it at the proper distance from your product in order to center your product in the frame, as shown above. Because our earrings are small, we have placed our tripod and smartphone roughly one foot away from our product, as pictured in the image above. By using a Photojojo telephoto lens, we will be able to zoom close enough to capture the earrings at an optimal crop from this distance.

Note: Fill the frame with your product but leave enough space on all sides in case you need to crop the image.

For more details on setting up a small photo studio in your home or workplace, read our first DIY post here (How to build your own photo studio on a boot strapped budget).

4. Take care of the extra details.

Before you begin shooting, make sure that your product is pristinely clean and that all price tags and strings have been removed. Dust and minor damage can be fixed in post production, but removing as many imperfections as possible before you photograph your product will save you a good deal of time later.

Step Two: Capturing

1. Adjust the app settings.

Now that your setup and product have been meticulously prepared, you need to properly adjust your camera’s settings to ensure that you receive the best results.

The settings circled with red are the ones we recommend adjusting.

Zoom: Make sure that you have the zoom feature turned “ON” so that the zoom feature is easily accessible to you if you need it.

Grid: We recommend leaving the Grid function “ON” because it will help you to easily align your product in the middle of the frame.

Live Exposure: Live exposure mode will allow you to read your camera’s auto exposure settings as the camera adjusts it. It is good to take note of your exposure settings just in case you need to change them later.

AutoSave: This feature will allow you to specify where images are saved onto your smartphone as you capture them. The default is that images will be saved to the “Lightbox” contained within the Camera+ app, but you can change the destination if you would rather the images be sent somewhere else.

iCloud Lightbox sync: You can also sync your iCloud to your Camera+ Lightbox so that every image that you shoot will automatically be backed up into your iCloud.

Quality: It is very important that you set your image quality to High so that your smartphone can help you create the best images possible.

Sharing: If you utilize Facebook, Twitter, or Flickr, try setting up this service to facilitate easy sharing after you’ve edited your images.

2. Adjust the camera settings.

Now that you’ve properly adjusted your application settings, it’s time to work on changing the camera’s manual exposure settings to capture the best light within your frame.

The settings circled with red are the ones we recommend adjusting.

Zoom: Pull the zoom slider at the top of the screen to adjust the frame around your product. Make sure that all of the product fits inside the frame and make sure to leave enough room on all sides so that you can crop the image if necessary in post processing.

White Balance: To properly set the white balance according to the light temperature in your setup, touch the WB button and then touch the white background.

Exposure: Touch the circular Exposure button and then touch your product so that the camera knows to properly expose the product.

Focus: Touch the circular Focus button and then touch your product so that the camera knows to properly focus on the product.

LOCK: When you are finished adjusting each of these settings, make sure to tap each one again to lock the settings in place. This will keep the camera from auto-adjusting the settings while you are taking images.

By: Mark Macdonald

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Five tips for taking professional looking photos with your smartphone

img3745 1 - Five tips for taking professional looking photos with your smartphone

The smartphone has become the camera that everyone has on hand. And it is a very capable camera. But the following tips will help you take your photography to the next level.

Ditch the stock app

The stock photography app that comes with the iPhone and Android handsets it good, but choosing a better app will – usually – result in better photos.

For Android, an app worth taking a look at is Open Camera. Not only does this offer a wide range of pro features, it’s also free, open source, and feels no ads.

HDR can really help

Most photography apps have a feature called HDR – which stands for High Dynamic Range. It can help pull out detail in certain situations. For example:

  • Landscape photos
  • Low-light situations
  • Backlit scenes
  • Portraits taken in sunlight

Try it. Most apps offer the ability to take an HDR and a regular photo, so you can choose the best and learn when HDR helps and when it doesn’t.

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How To Remove Background From Any Image In Android Smartphone

remove background - How To Remove Background From Any Image In Android Smartphone

There may be times when picture you have clicked from your Android smartphone is amazing, but background is not. Or, imagine a beautiful selfie of yours, which is photo-bombed by your friend in the background. You want to retain these pictures but not with their background. So, what do you do?

Don’t you worry Android smartphone users, as now you can remove the background from your device. All you need to do is download an Android app and follow the simple steps to remove background from any of your desired image.

Just follow the simple steps as discussed below.

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Tips for your Android Phone Photography

Top tips for phone photography

  • Find good, natural light and avoid using your flash.
  • Don’t use the zoom – get in close instead.
  • Use two hands and rest your elbows on something (or on your chest) to keep the phone steady.
  • When possible, put some thought into your shot, and try different angles or different light.
  • Take more than one shot, then cull dud photos as you go.
  • Use the native camera app (or a dedicated camera app) to take photos, not a sharing app such as Instagram.
  • Experiment with apps – try Camera+ (iOS) or Camera ZOOM FX (Android) for taking photos, Snapseed (Android or iOS) for post-production.

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Best Photo Apps For your Android Tablets

ipad - Best Photo Apps For your Android TabletsThe road to creating a captivating image doesn’t end once you press the shutter button. Exposure, contrast and color balance adjustments can go a long way towards communicating your photographic vision. And while smartphones are perfectly sized for taking photos on the go, the much larger screen area of tablets makes them a great choice for perfecting your images after the fact, whether they’ve been shot with a phone or a dedicated camera. All you need is the right app.Here’s a look at the best tablet photo editing apps for iOS and Android, offering features and controls that rival, and in some cases even exceed the capabilities of entry-level desktop software.

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Camera360 4.0 for Android adds many new features

Today the developers have rolled out version 4.0 of the app and brought along a number of great new features and settings. Camera360 boasts to be “one of best camera apps favored by over 90 million users all over the world with fantastic Filters to make gorgeous photos”.

Version 4.0 adds six shooting modes to make your photography easier. These include Effects, Self-shoot, Fast-shoot, Funny, Tilt-shift, Color-shift, color-shift and multi-effects is now available to make your photos more creative. Additional features include new scenes to decorate photos, Camera360 Cloud and a new UI and landscape mode.

The new user interface is especially nice. There is a simple slider now at the base of the main screen — slide it left to choose from a long list of effects and to the right to choose between scenes — another lengthy list. Simply tap the button to return to the photo mode. You can also hold down the arrow button at the bottom right to access the shooting modes and delve into the gallery from the bottom left icon.

Camera360 4.0 for Android adds many new features [via]

How to shoot a 360-degree time-lapse video with your phone

Time-lapse videos aren’t just for pros. With the right accessories and apps, you can shoot, edit, and publish a 360-degree time lapse with just your phone. Let Photojojo guide you through the setup.

What you need:

  • Tripod
  • Your phone
  • Rotating tripod attachment (like the Camalapse)
  • Smartphone tripod mount (like the Glif, or your own DIY solution)

1. Pick your subject

Maybe you’ve thought about what you’d shoot if you made a still time-lapse video, but a 360-degree time-lapse video is a whole different beast.

What looks awesome in a nonmoving time-lapse won’t necessarily look awesome in a rotating one, so think about what would make for a captivating 360.

It could be a carnival, a road trip with a car full of buddies, a construction site, a day at the office, an epic day of cooking or baking in the kitchen, a sunrise or sunset, a packed park, an animal sanctuary, or a simply beautiful landscape over the span of a day. Anything that changes over time and looks cool from a 360 view.

2. Choosing the right app
Since you’ll be shooting on your phone, you have two options: the app route and the native camera route.

Yep! You can shoot a time-lapse using your native camera app. It’s a shortcut but creates a similar effect. To use your native camera app:

  1. Put your camera in video mode.
  2. Set up your phone in your rotating time lapse attachment. If you’re using the Camalapse, twist the Camalapse, and hit record. (Or, if you’re the hacker type here’s a DIY solution.)
  3. Export your footage to an editing program like iMovie or QuickTime.
  4. Speed up the video, so it plays in a fraction of the time it took to make.

If you decide to go the app route, we recommend Motion Pictures (iOS) or Lapse It (Android and iOS).

Motion Pics lets you choose more options like number of frames, video playback frame rate, and how long your final movie will be.

If you’re into a quicker setup, Lapse It narrows down the options. Just pick your interval, resolution, and adjust your exposure and white balance.

Lapse It for Android and iOS lets you shoot, edit, and share time-lapse videos.

3. Pick an interval

An interval is how long your camera waits between shooting photos. You’ll base your decision on how long the event you’re shooting is. Is it a sunset? You’ll probably want to go for 1-second intervals. If it’s something that takes a bit longer, you’ll want even longer intervals. For example, if you’re shooting something that takes hours or all day, you’ll want to aim for something like 5-minute intervals.

To get more precise, you can throw in some math. Most movies play at 20 to 30 frames per second. The more frames per second, the smoother the video plays, so keep that in mind.

We’re going to pick a frame rate of 24fps for a smooth video. Next, we’ll pick how long we want the movie to be. We’ll say 30 seconds. How many frames will we need to shoot? Just multiply the frame rate by the length of the movie: 24fps x 30 seconds = 720 frames.

To calculate the interval for this same video, we’ll need to divide the length of the event (in seconds) by how many frames we need to make a 30-second video. We’ll say our event is 4 hours. So 14,400 seconds (length of the event) / 720 frames = 20-second intervals.

That’s it!

4. Shoot your time lapse
Since you’re shooting with your phone, you’ll want to make sure you place it somewhere where it will be safe from the weather and anyone who might want to snatch it. If your shoot’s short enough to stand by, then you can keep watch over it.

A rotating tripod attachment (like the Camalapse or this DIY rotating attachment) is the key ingredient to making your time-lapse shoot 360 degrees. To mount your phone to the Camalapse, you’ll need a phone tripod mount, like a Glif . Once you’ve got that on, just twist the device to where you want it to end up, hit record, and let go.

7. Share your time lapse
Once your video’s done, pick where you want to share it. If it turned out really well, you’ll want all your friends to see it. Vimeo, YouTube, and Facebook are all decent options!

How to shoot a 360-degree time-lapse video with your phone [via]