How to shoot better cocktail photos with a camera phone

January 21, 2013

Photographer laurabergerolphotography.com

Whether you’re shooting with an iPhone or an Android, get good cocktail photos (that don’t need much post-processing work) with these easy tips:

Tripods. Avoid camera shake by getting a gorillapod or mini tripod - pretty reasonable, and usually between $5 to $35. They’re great for shooting at different angles, too. Rocks glasses or even water glasses can also stand in as a tripod, in a pinch.

Use apps. For the iPhone, i use Camera Plus Pro (Camera Awesome) since it has a nice fl ashlight that works well in low light. i just started using Camera Sharp ($1.99) and am expecting great things; it’s like camera Awesome without all the “bells and whistles”, which frankly i fi nd frustrating. i also like Aviary which comes in both iPhone and Android. For Androids, Fast Burst Camera is a must-have camera app for people with small children, but it’s also great for low-light situations. There is a free version, but for $3.99 you get support for fl ash, focus, and digital zoom, and the shutter sound can be turned off. Camera Zoom FX ($2.99) calls itself the ultimate Android camera app, and really it is. it’s certainly the most feature-fi lled, handling both shooting and editing duties from one interface. Lastly, Little Photo is nice because the workfl ow is pretty fast. Open the app, tap the screen to shoot, and then tap your shot to open a vertical list of editing tools, fi lters, and effects with live previews. Free, but $3.85 adds cropping and contrast, exposure and saturation controls.

Be creative with the light you have. candles and overhead lights can give you interesting light, as can windows. Generally, i fi nd that the bar has the best light, so sit at the bar and shoot photos from there. With clear drinks, place a candle to the side, so that your available light bounces off the liquid. With fi zzy drinks or thick porous drinks (margaritas, daiquiris, etc.), use a candle in back as your light source (off to the side so that it is not in the photo), to highlight bubbles and texture of drinks.

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