Go Mobile! Create Website Graphics With Your Phone
So, you want to create an image rich website but you want a specific or personal look and feel? Or maybe you just don’t have the money to pour into buying quality stock images or the patience to sift through free stock image sites to find something suitable. If you’ve decided that you want to create your website graphics but are worried about the time its going to take or the money you’ll need to spend on software and training, you might want to look again at a tool you have with you all the time… One you might currently be overlooking…
If you’re walking around with a smart phone in your pocket, you’ve got all you need (bar a little inspiration) to create as many images as you want for your website. Have a look at some of the results TechRadar got while testing some of the most popular handsets on the market and you’ll soon see that, as long as you follow a few simple rules, you’ve got no reason not to have an image rich site.
Camera Phone Rules
- Hold your phone like a camera – The more stable the phone, the clearer the image. If you hold on to the phone with one hand, you’ll introduce more camera shake so make sure you’re using both hands and you’re holding the camera close to your body.
- Do light your subject well – camera phones don’t have huge lenses so they can’t capture much light.
- Add stability in low light conditions for the best results – You can add stability by doing the same things as you would with a DSLR: add a tripod and a shutter remote. The Gorillapod is a great bit of kit and you can use the volume controls on earphones and headsets as shutter remotes for some phones. Google the model of your handset and the words “shutter remote” to see what you can do.
- Don’t use the zoom – Camera phone zooms are rubbish. If you need to get a close up of your subject, use your feet and move closer to it.
- Use accessories – There are all sorts of lens kits out there now to help you get more creative with your camera phone. I’ve got an Olloclip for my iPhone and I love it.
- Check your settings – Make sure that you’re taking photos at the highest resolution possible and make use of any special settings you have available, such as night shooting, separate white balance and focus and panorama modes.
- Experiment – The great thing about always having a camera in your pocket is that you can experiment all the time with angles and composition.
- Check out apps – There are some great apps out there for making website graphics out of your humble phone snaps. Play with filters and borders, make collages, lay text and images over your original… And don’t forget there are options other than photographs. You might be able to get interesting results out of apps like ArtRage for iPhone and iPad, and Sketchbook Pro available for both iOS and Android.
Once you’ve got your images, sync them to your computer and upload them to WordPress in the usual way or upload them to a service like Instagram or Flickr, both of which have plugins to pull your images into your WordPress sidebar and clever ways to integrate them into posts.
So yes, you could wait until you’ve invested in a new DSLR and a home studio kit, and taught yourself how to be the next David Bailey. You could buy the new Adobe Creative Cloud apps so you’ve always got the most up to date creative software available… But first, check in your pocket. Your humble phone might be all you need.