Can you get a great picture from a smart phone that is worthy to hang on a wall?
Many times I hear complaints, “I wish I had my DSLR when I got this snap.” Granted, I would lean for my DSLR (or mirrorless with exchangeable lens), too, if I had a choice. However, the answer to the above question is, YES!
The technology and software for cameras on smart phones is getting better and better. Amazingly better, in my opinion! The images that a smart phone can produce are stunningly good for such a small sensor! Some of today’s smart phone cameras are capturing amazing low-light and night images that was a huge challenge only a few years ago.
Will a smart phone camera ever be as good as a DSLR or mirrorless? Currently, no. The details that a DSLR or mirroless camera can capture with the larger sensors greatly surpass what the wizards of smart phones can design. There is much much more a DSLR and.or mirroless can do that smart phones can’t touch yet. However, it is hard to say for the future because the gap between these two technologies has been decreasing.
“Then, how good of a picture that is worthy to hang on a wall can a smart phone get.” You may ask. A great one, in my opinion!
Let’s take the below image as an example…
I captured this image with my Google Pixel 3A. The camera on this phone is rated high among many users, so I knew what I captured will put me in a good starting place for my final image.
This picture is not a single image, but is several vertical images that were stitched together to make a panoramic image. My Google Pixel 3A has the ability to capture images in RAW format. I always shoot in RAW because this will give me the most information from the sensor that will help me work the image in post processing software, such as Adobe Lightroom and/or Photoshop. I captured all the vertical images in this image in RAW as DNG files. I got low to the ground at and centered myself in front of the trestle. To avoid any possible parallax – an error that happens in stitching and cause elements in an image to shift – I rotated the phone from a center point in my hand while holding it vertically. Parallax happens when the camera is front of the rotation axis point. More on this in a future post.
I downloaded the images on my phone to Lightroom and used its panoramic stitching algorithms. Once I had my base image, I began the process to create my final image.
I decided that I wanted to make this image into a black and white. Many fine images that are produced in black and white have a high contrast between these tones. Look at any image from Ansel Adams and you will see what I mean. To achieve the desired contrast in my image, I adjusted the saturation and luminosity of the colors present in the image, and then used the software in Lightroom to convert it to a gray scale to make it a black and white image. I then provided some additional adjustments to the image to get the view I desired.
When I completed the process for this image, I checked for the print-ability of it. If I were to print this image at 100%, then it would be a size of 20″ x 24″! In fact, I had printed this image on 17″ x 22″ paper, which I had gave to my client (owner of the land), and it looked fantastic! Thw receiver of the images was very pleased!
Can you make a great image with your smart phone? You sure can!
Want to learn more tips and tricks? Then check out this…