How To Take Better Pictures In Lowlight With Your Smartphone

Posted by Leigh

I’ve always loved taking pictures. I am not all that good at it, but I used to make a bit of an effort to get half decent pics. Trying to get good lighting, using bits of tissue and cardboard to improve dark pictures . But since the introduction of smartphones, there isn’t all that much effort these days.

My DSLR can go untouched for months, although hoping that will change after this weekend. Looking forward to going along to the Love Your Camera workshop this weekend, I may actually learn how to drive it properly.

But smartphones are easy. They are always there, and often to get that quick snap you don’t have time to go hunting for the big camera, turn it on, set up the shot. Aint nobody got time fo dat!

It’s no secret I am a bit of a crazy cat and dog lady, so they appear in 90% of my pictures. I do sometimes take pics of the kids :P

Being that they are most often in the house, which is a little dark. Getting decent pictures of them without the flash that aren’t super dark, grainy/noisy and just plain crap is a little difficult.

Hate the built in flash on phones and try to avoid it where possible, especially with the animals. It is such a harsh light and you have very little control,  hello demon eyes!

That is until I can across this fabulous idea! It is the best $5 I have spent in a long time. And have been busy blinding the family/animals with it since it arrived.

The idea of a ring flash is shine soft even light over the subject from all around the end of the lens with very little shadow. It’s best for close up macro and portrait type pictures. It is not as harsh as the phones flash and allows a lot more control. You are able to set the shot up a lot easier with the light always shining, even in a pitch black room.

What you will need for this little project is a UFO LED camping light. I got 2 on eBay posted for under $10. Also a cheap case/cover for your phone that is easily removable.

I have just attached my light to the cover with Velcro dots. Trying to get the light in the right position can be tricky, and I like that I can easily take the light of to use it for different lighting other than just as a ring flash.

Smartphone ring flash

I am lucky that my phone’s camera is bang in the middle of the back of my phone. I am sure it will work just as well with one that is off centre but may take some more fiddling to get your light attached to your case.

lightcase

This is a good example of a before an after. The picture on the left taken a few months back of my yummy cupcake quiche in my dark kitchen at night with my phone, no flash. The right is a recent picture taken with the ring flash.

lightmcupcakes

Best use of all though I think, is taking super spooky pictures of the cats.

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I have also discovered that if held just right, I can use this on my dslr which is nifty.

  • http://www.rainbowtatt.com/ Rah!

    it’s bigger than I imagined it was. but sofa king cheap! I’m tempted

    • http://www.rainbowtatt.com/ Rah!

      PS $10 if you pull it out tomorrow x

      • http://absoluteleigh.com.au/ Leigh

        I have a spare one, I will bring it for you :P

  • Lisa Barton-Collins

    Sounds perfect for taking food porn photos in dimly lit restaurants! Thanks for sharing!
    X

    • http://absoluteleigh.com.au/ Leigh

      I’ve never been game to use mine out in the wild. That would be hardcore pulling it out in a restaurant LOL

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