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Rigmarol
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Posted: October 05 2012 at 10:35am | IP Logged Quote Rigmarol

I enjoy pictures and photos posted here by members.
With today's technology it's so different from the film cameras of my not so recent youth.

I remember my first browning camera.


I've had a number of film cameras including a very nice Olympus I carried with me everywhere.

Now days, it's all about Digital. No more film just memory.
You can take THOUSANDS of pictures now days if you have a large enough memory card. A far cry from what came on a roll of film.

Even handier, we now have phones that can take some pretty incredible photos if done right. I currently have an HTC Android phone that can take a high resolution picture (5.0 megapixels) that is getting close to what my Nikon can take.

I'd like to offer some friendly advice to those who would like to take photos with their phone and post them but keep coming away with blurry or bad pictures. Just some tricks I've learned along the way.

1. Take a few minutes to get to know your phone camera.
2. If you have a flash, find out how to change the setting for it.
3. If you have a Zoom feature, find out how to use it.
4. Find out how to Focus, don't rely on Auto Focus for everything.
5. Find out how to change the resolution.
6. Find out how to put your photos on your Computer.
7. Find out how to post your photos either here or on other forums.

Notice I didn't say "Learn how to..."? That's to get rid of the old excuse "I'm to old to learn anything new".

I figure every old dog I ever had could still "FIND" stuff he really wanted.

A little more detail:
1. Take a few minutes to get to know your phone camera.
Does your phone actually have a camera? My mother didn't know she had one until I was able to see it. Now she doesn't have to drag around both her phone and her Cannon. She buys more memory cards because she can't quite get the whole moving them to her computer bit so she just stores away the memory cards and gets more. She still calls it "film" though.

If you do have a camera, take lots of test or experimental pictures to get to know what it can do under different situations. Move out of your recliner and take pictures of your pets, your family, both moving and still to see what it can do. Take shots of your workshop, under the kitchen sink, out a window and so on again, to see what you get. Get to know it.

2. If you have a flash, find out how to change the setting for it.
Some newer phones have a built in flash now. This helps a great deal. It's not going to be a good as the flash on a normal camera but it can help if lighting is marginal.

Typically, the flash feature will have 3 settings. On, Off, and Auto. Usually, leaving it set to Auto will cover 90% of all your needs. However, if trying to take close ups, a flash may over power your subject and be either blurry or washed out. Try turning the flash off and turn on a light or get out of the shadows.

3. If you have a Zoom feature, find out how to use it.

Most newer phones will have a Zoom feature. This can really help you with close ups believe it or not.

Depending on how well the camera can auto focus, you may find that an otherwise blurry close up can be fixed quite nicely by just backing off a couple of feet and use the zoom feature. Works like a charm for everyone I've shown it to. You may have to adjust your flash on or off but try it on Auto first.

4. Find out how to Focus, don't rely on Auto Focus for everything.
Auto focus is wonderful and will be fine for almost all your photos but close ups can be a problem. Most phones will allow you to manually focus by tapping on the screen on the portion of your subject you want to focus on. Depending on the phone, you may have to turn off the Auto Focus feature to do this. For example, image you want to take a picture of a cat sleeping in box. You have the open box close to the camera and the cat at the far end. Tap on the cat to focus on him rather than what the camera thinks you want (like the flaps on the open box).

On a close up, you may want to have the focus on a specific part of machined part. Do the same thing but use the zoom feature first (if you have that feature) THEN while zoomed up, tap where you want to focus on.

Do some experiments like put a salt and pepper shaker on table one closer than the other and try focusing on one then the other and see what you get.

5. Find out how to change the resolution.
This is important. Your phone should be able to take pictures at different resolutions. This basically mean how large or small the picture ends up being as a file. A large or hi-resolution picture can be printed out or displayed with greater detail than a lo-resolution or smaller picture can.

For typical internet sharing, the smaller the picture the better. It doesn't take up space and nobody is likely to want to print it out as a 10x24 glossy anyway.

However, family portraits, insurance documentation and kids growing up, require the highest definition as they may be zoomed in on and printed and still look very good.

So, if you are taking a picture that is going on the forum, set the resolution to it's lowest setting.

(Note: you may still need to reduce the size for certain forums or other internet sites but I'm not going into that here)

6. Find out how to put your photos on your Computer.
My mother still hasn't got this well understood. There are a number of ways to get your picture files from your phone to your computer. Here are a few I've used:

If you can do email on your phone, simply sent your photo to yourself in an email then open your email on your computer.

Plug your phone into the USB port of your computer and open MY COMPUTER and your phone should show up like an external hard drive or a USB memory stick. Copy or Move the files where you want them.

Create an account on any of a number of free internet photo storage sites such as Photobucket and download their app for your phone (android, iPhone, etc) and set it to auto upload your photos after you take the picture. I use this method myself and the added bonus is if I lose my phone, all my photos are backed up online.

7. Find out how to post your photos either here or on other forums.

I have written a nice instruction sheet showing how to use photobucket to post photos on this forum but the Admin staff seem to have lost it. If interested, I can send it to anyone who asks.

I like the online photo hosting sites because I can post the same photos on other sites without having to go through any trouble of uploading again. Also some sites, including this one, you have a limit to how much you can store on the site. By hosting and sharing photos from one place, you don't run out of storage and your photos will stay there for as long as you want without having to choose what to delete to make room for new photos!

Newer sites with more modern (and more expensive) software allow you to post photos in different ways, but using a photo hosting site is the same regardless of where you post so you only have to LEARN one thing. (oops I used that awful word after all didn't I?

)

I knew this would go a bit long but I'm hopeful it helps someone out there and encourage you to post more pictures.

Edited by Rigmarol on October 05 2012 at 10:36am


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Slick
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Posted: October 05 2012 at 12:02pm | IP Logged Quote Slick

Lots of great tips and info there Rig! If I may, Id like to add a couple of my own, since taking the photo is kind of just the start

1) Take multiple photos - I prefer to take 4 to 6 (at slightly differing angles) of the item you want to capture. Its pretty much impossible to tell right away if any single photo by itself is going to look good due to light / flash reflections. Once the photos are moved to your computer, you can compare them side-by-side and delete the photos that dont quite measure up leaving the best photo for final editing.

2) Find out how to use basic photo-editing software. These software programs can be kind of daunting to use at first but the basic functions can typically be picked up by giving the help-files a quick gander.

3) The basic operations are usually cropping to get rid of unnecessary side border, and re-sizing to make a photo an appropriate size for posting on to a website.

Practice with a photo that you dont care about screwing up! These simple steps will help to ensure the photo you post provides the most detail in relation to its size.


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Ominivision1
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Posted: October 05 2012 at 12:48pm | IP Logged Quote Ominivision1

For the people that use windows, this is a program that enables mouse right click on the picture and choose res for immediate re-sizing from context menu.

Windows Image Resizer

Edit: made link hot.

Edited by Ominivision1 on October 06 2012 at 10:26am


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whitesquirrel44
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Posted: October 05 2012 at 5:00pm | IP Logged Quote whitesquirrel44

Interesting post Rig with good info. Slick, I like to take multiply pics too, good addition.

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Paul5388
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Posted: October 05 2012 at 5:33pm | IP Logged Quote Paul5388

Despite the fact of it being a "Brownie" instead of a "Browning" and a few other typos, I went ahead and made a sticky out of it.

We really didn't have much choice in the '40s and '50s, so the Brownie was the staple for most people. Here's an example from 1957 with my dad and a Remington 760 in .30-06.



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TexIndian
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Posted: October 06 2012 at 5:19am | IP Logged Quote TexIndian

I've taken maybe 3 pictures on my phone - ever.

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drinks
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Posted: October 06 2012 at 9:07am | IP Logged Quote drinks

You use a phone to take pictures, I just talk on mine, if I can figure how to make the silly thing actually call after I dial it.
My tracfone is 2 years old, has over 200 days left on the last 1 year card and has more than 1300 minutes of time left.
It came with an automatic double the time sale.
$100 a year for my cell phone service,I know those who pay that much a month for it, but there sure is no camera, although for $10 more, I could have gotten a tracfone with a camera.
Thoroughly stuck in the 20th century, though I do use a DSLR camera.




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Rigmarol
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Posted: October 06 2012 at 3:43pm | IP Logged Quote Rigmarol

Paul5388 wrote:
Despite the fact of it being a "Brownie" instead of
a "Browning" and a few other typos, I went ahead and made a sticky
out of it. ...


Thanks Paul, if it weren't for the typos you might think someone else
wrote It! Lol.

I in fact meant to correct that from Browning to Brownie but it got
missed.

Thanks to the others who are making useful suggestion for those who
would like the info.

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Paul5388
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Posted: October 06 2012 at 5:07pm | IP Logged Quote Paul5388

Browning is certainly gun related.

I have a lot of trouble getting decent pictures due to Verizon's funky method of up loading pictures. You have to use their program and it only works when it wants to, if you have a memory card installed. Otherwise, it resizes for sending a picture message, which loses the 3 mega pixel capabilities. They were so afraid of people uploading/downloading ring tones, they disabled the normal bluetooth function.

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Rigmarol
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Posted: October 06 2012 at 6:56pm | IP Logged Quote Rigmarol

Paul, have tried connecting the phone to the computer with a USB
cable? If you can, it's possible your pc might see it like a USB drive.

Or remove the memory chip and connect it to the PC using a card
reader.

This the one I use to get pictures off of different kinds of memory chips.

http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-F4U003-WHT-Universal-Media-
Reader/dp/B001J10FAE

(I'm on my iPad so I can't make a hot link until I get on another
computer)

If you can't do any of those I'm not sure what else to try.



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Paul5388
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Posted: October 06 2012 at 10:23pm | IP Logged Quote Paul5388

No, it doesn't read the memory chip that way and I'm not real sure it's actually storing anything on the chip. I just live with it, or use a real camera if I want a good picture.

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twillis
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Posted: October 10 2012 at 11:04am | IP Logged Quote twillis

Paul, I too have Verizon. I simply "text" my pictures to my email address. They come in as an attachment and then I can do anything I want with them

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Paul5388
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Posted: October 10 2012 at 12:52pm | IP Logged Quote Paul5388

Terry, I just get a picture message option and it always resizes before sending.

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Rigmarol
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Posted: October 10 2012 at 2:01pm | IP Logged Quote Rigmarol

Paul5388 wrote:
Terry, I just get a picture message option and it
always resizes before sending.


You might see if you can set the camera to a lower resolution.
Mine won't email a hi res photo either.


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STCM(SW)
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Posted: October 10 2012 at 7:39pm | IP Logged Quote STCM(SW)

I have a Cannon camera that cost $700.00+ for pictures, my cell phone is for talking on........

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twillis
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Posted: October 11 2012 at 7:53am | IP Logged Quote twillis

I don't see mine doing any resizing when texting. However, it's resolution is only 1280X960

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Rigmarol
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Posted: October 11 2012 at 11:56am | IP Logged Quote Rigmarol

The location of the resolution settings would be part of the camera
settings not the texting settings. Typically, you would set the camera to
a low resolution first, then take the picture, then send the picture.

You want it small as possible, like 640x368 for an example.


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Paul5388
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Posted: October 11 2012 at 4:53pm | IP Logged Quote Paul5388

Resolution like that negates the phone's ability to take 3 mega pixel pictures.

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Rigmarol
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Posted: October 11 2012 at 8:03pm | IP Logged Quote Rigmarol

Paul5388 wrote:
Resolution like that negates the phone's ability to
take 3 mega pixel pictures.


Agreed but this thread was offered to help others use there cell phone
camera to take pictures suitable for easy posting on the forum. I think
we can agree the forum will not take 3 meg photos very well if the only
way to get them off the phone is to send them to ones self via
messaging or texting.

May I suggest that those of you who can only offer reasons why you
don't or can't use yor phone for postable pics either offer an alternative
or encouragement to those trying to figure it all about.

It's very frustrating to offer some help only to get replies that offer
excuses why they can't do it.

If you don't have a phone that can do this then what help are you
bringing to this topic? I am attempting to help those who may want to
try using their phone to take better pictures to post on the forum.

I don't claim to know it all, I'm just trying to help.

Now does someone want to step on that too?


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Paul5388
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Posted: October 11 2012 at 9:45pm | IP Logged Quote Paul5388

Rig, my allotment for uploading images to Handloads was exceeded long ago. However, that doesn't mean I don't still have a desire to continue posting images. It also doesn't mean I'm not looking for solutions for being able to acquire the best images possible from my cell phone.

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