June 09, 2011

Camera phone chronicles

Salvia leucantha
There’ve been times in the past couple of weeks when I didn’t have time to stop, run into the house, grab my camera, and make sure its settings were just right for a photo. Either the light seemed transitory, the composition was good only at the moment, or I was hauling water or weeding when I noticed a good shot.

So I started using my camera phone—to experiment and see what kind of quality I could achieve. All the photos in this post were taken with my camera phone. I won’t say what brand it is—I imagine there are several that can achieve this level of quality when the light and the conditions are right.

These photos were captured at 72 dots per inch, which isn’t great resolution and doesn’t work well in print at all. But the file sizes were large enough that I could reduce the images down and increase the resolution to 300 dots per inch.

Iris germanica

Certainly this is not a good practice if you want to sell your photos or if you’d like to achieve high-quality prints. But I’m impressed with the results. Again, the light has to be pretty bright, and you might want to adjust the size and resolution later.

Lamium purpureum

Most of us carry our camera phones around with us now. So they’re always handy to whip out, frame the subject, and snap the photo. Sizeable contributions to a good photo, anyway, are the light, the composition, and being in the right place at the right time.


  1. Wow, I'm impressed. I almost never use the phone camera because it comes out so poorly, but your shots show with good light and composition a great photo can be grabbed quickly!

  2. I'm surprised at the quality of your camera phone photos ~ they look pretty good! I hardly ever play with the camera on my phone because I'm so "picky" about my photos but maybe I shouldn't think that way? I really like the lighting on the clematis photo.

  3. You're so right about running inside to get your camera. Resourceful you, and beautiful composition!

  4. I would have never thought camera phones would take such detailed pictures! Of course, you said you manipulated them some, but still! They look good!

  5. Those were really nice pictures, it is amazing that they were taken by a cell phone camera. I loved looking at that bee on the dead nettles...

  6. Those look pretty good -- great, even -- to me! I'm so glad to be able to rely on the camera phone whenever I make the mistake of not having my camera with me (at least if I manage to actually remember that my phone has a camera)!

  7. They look great! Love that iris. They are just by here and it is now muggy and moist. Enjoy the weekend.

  8. those are great photos! I wish my phone could take good photos, I have missed many shots because I wasn't carrying my camera

  9. Thanks so much for sharing your post at Cottage Flora Thursdays - that Lamium purpureum is beautiful! xoox, tracie

  10. @Laurrie: Yeah, mine usually are pretty low quality with the phone, too. But I was just playing around with the bumblebee shots, and they came out surprisingly well, so I tried it on a couple other things. The light seems to make a huge difference.

    @Kathleen: Thanks. That is quite a nice compliment coming from you! I didn't think I could rely on it either, but if the sun is very bright, they seem to be pretty good.

    @Linda: Thanks! Actually, I was kinda being lazy. I don't like to lug around a camera when I do heavy-duty gardening work. So I'm glad the camera phone is good enough for some purposes.

    @Holley: Yeah, the bumblebee shots, especially, surprised me. Those were the first decent ones I've captured with the camera phone, so I thought I'd try it a little more.

  11. @Masha: Wild, huh? It surprised me, too, that I could see so much detail on the bumblebees. They were buzzing away one day on the Lamium plants, so I just had to capture them.

    @Meredith: I hadn't had much luck with the camera phone before, but I think it's better for outdoor, brightly lit shots. So, I'll probably try it again at times.

    @Layanee: The day after I posted, we had a huge thunderstorm which blew over all the Irises, so they didn't last long. They are regal flowers, aren't they?!

    @fer: Thanks! Yes, me too, regarding the camera. So at least now I know I can use the camera phone on a bright, sunny day!

    @Tracie: Thanks for hosting the meme. For some reason, Thursdays seemed like a crazy day for me. But I hope to participate more in the future! Cheers!

  12. These are amazing photos--better than my regular point-and-shoot camera! The close-up of the bee is so clear, and such a beautiful iris. This is a great idea for people who usually carry their cell phones with them. It wouldn't work for me, I'm afraid though, because I have no idea how to transfer those photos to my computer:)

  13. Beth, First thanks for "Faved" me. I hope you enjoy viewing the garden in the future. I will admit, just having the lake here makes the garden pretty special - even if all the plants died it would still look good!! Your camera phone did a good job with the photos. Like you I often see a shot to take and don't have my camera around. The phone idea is a good one. Jack