Monday, September 16, 2013

Smart Phone Photography Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere II

It's been some time since I've posted here. I'm trying to get my own business off the ground, I've had a bunch of web design projects I've been working on, and I have a bunch of photos from the summer to go through. Things have been moving pretty quickly around here.

While trying to get my business off the ground, I went out and purchased my first smart phone. I needed a planner / scheduler, access to the web and email wherever I am, and as a bonus I now have a camera to play with wherever I go. I ended up with the Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere II and I'm pretty impressed with the camera on it. Yeah, I know there's better camera phones out there right now, but for my first one, which happened to be free with the phone contract, I found it to be pretty impressive ! Now, I can't wait till my contracts up so I can upgrade.

Anyway, I'm going to be posting occasionally about phone photography and getting the most out of your smart phone camera. For today, I thought I'd just post a few of the better shots I took with the camera, and a word or two about post processing in Gimp. In the future I'll post some more detailed tutorials and projects to work on with smart phone photography. Click the images to enlarge.

The first image is of my cat. It was shot at night, in my bedroom. The lighting in this room is terrible. I opened the image in Gimp, played around with the levels under the colors tab, adjusted the curves under the colors tab, and did a basic desaturation removing any color.

This next one I took out in the country. I came across an Amish buggy parked on the side of a store while visiting my uncle at his summer home. I really played around with this one a lot. The horses face was really dark, and it took a bit of manipulation to get it light. Again I played around with the levels, adjusted the curves ( which is what got the face to lighten up), played around with brightness and contrast, and then did some masks to adjust the overly bright spots in the image.

 The morning glory shot below, was the first image I took, the day I got my smart phone. It's been cropped, and brightness and contrast were adjusted. Outside of that there was nothing else done.

The pink flowers were found on the side of the road at my uncles place. Using the same process as the rest of the images I adjusted the levels, curves, but using the brightness and contrast, I brought the brightness way down, and the contrast way up. This seemed to bring out the depth of the weeds and grass around the flower. I also tweaked the color balance a bit going heavy on the magenta for the flowers, and then heavy on the green.

The final image is of my mothers dog. I like the way this one came out, but I wish the left eye was more defined. This dog will not sit with a real camera pointing at her. As soon as she sees a real camera she runs into her dog house. However, the smart phone didn't seem to bother her at all. She actually sat there and let me get off a few shots. Again the lighting sucked for this picture, I adjusted levels, curves, removed some background clutter using the clone tool, and then used desaturate to remove the colors. Under filters, decor, I added a fuzzy border.

I'll post more phone photography soon with some more detailed information on using different filters in the phone, Gimp, and playing around with different lighting.


  1. These are really great! I wouldn't think they were taken with a smart phone, good job. :)

    1. Smartphone cameras have come a long way, and there really is a lot you can do with Gimp to bring out the quality of the images. I'm going to be posting more on smart phone photography, and post processing with Gimp in the future.

  2. Thanks, sorry for the late reply, I haven't checked this blog in awhile. Smart phone cameras really have come a long way.