Smartphone photography - more than just a camera on a phone 27th October 2020   

JL reflectionOn Tuesday 27th October, Jeanette Lendon gave us a presentation over Zoom entitled Smartphone Photography. This was very much a session for those who want to do more than take selfies and pictures of their food. Indeed she showed us images detailing how she uses her smart phone for corporate and commercial assignment as well as for her own pleasure.
Initially a primary school teacher, Jeanette retrained as a photographer in the early noughties and spent 13 years doing corporate and commercial work, initially using a DSLR. In 2015, when the iPhone 6 was released and she saw advertising billboards with images taken with it, she reassessed her views on phone cameras and started using hers more and more. Having seen Lara Jade’s images on the Cheap Camera Challenge (DigitalRev TV) and David Loftus showing food photographs taken with a smart phone, she attended an exhibition at Waddesdon Manor where Nick Knight was presenting smartphone images taken in his rose garden. She entered 2020 Rankin on Sky Arts and was short listed for both the show and Rankin’s book. And she entered the Urban Photo Race and came 3rd despite being the only photographer using a smartphone.
So, Jeanette started by showing us how to control exposures when using the camera’s phone app by touching the screen and moving her finger up or down. She repeatedly came back to this technique, saying that reducing the exposure helps to bring out colours in the image.
For close-ups, she recommended slowly bringing the camera closer to the subject and letting the camera work out the focus. Example images of this technique included a spider, a moth, fungus and a snail. For the snail, she had turned the camera upside down and rested it on the ground to get to the same level as the snail’s head. She also mentioned that clip-on lenses can be purchased very cheaply which can be used to get extreme close-ups, as in her image of a snowflake.
Jeanette showed us several wonderful images of reflections taken around London and shared her technique with us. She recommended finding some water, such as a river or puddle, or make your own puddle from your water bottle! Turn your camera upside down and rest it on the water, compose your image and shoot. One great reflection image of St Pancras station (right) was taken using this technique but on a shiny black cafe table top instead of water. She also showed us a vertical reflection taken by placing her camera against a window.
To take a long exposure, Jeanette suggested switching on “live” which will take a 2 sec video which can be used for various effects. Having kept still for 2 seconds to take the picture, swipe up on the image to view the effects and go to the end to view the “long exposure”. She illustrated the outcome showing a shot of a water feature in London.
At the end of her presentation, Jeanette showed us a series of images that she called London Lockdown. These included empty trains and stations, a closed skate park on the South Bank, deserted streets including Westminster Bridge, The Strand and Trafalgar Square, and Covent Garden and the Millennium Bridge without a soul in sight.
To round off the evening, Jeanette did a live demonstration of how to edit smartphone images using the Snapseed app which was eagerly followed and raised a number of questions.
After a further question and answer discussion, our Chairman, Steve, thanked Jeanette for a very entertaining and informative evening and there was general agreement and applause from the audience. DF