The great thing about smartphones is that they've made photography uber accessible to everyone.
Sure, not all of us are masters of photography, but the very fact that anyone can pick up a phone and have a chance of taking a decent shot is pretty cool.
Also pretty cool is the notion that smartphones are so incredibly versatile, and that with a little time and ingenuity, you can create images that are truly mind-blowing.
Our friends at the Cooperative of Photography (COOPH) demonstrate that very concept in the video below:
Here's a detailed look at the eight awesome smartphone photography hacks that COOPH came up with:
Who says you need to drop several hundred dollars on a drone to get epic aerial shots?
All you need is your phone, fishing wire, an industrial balloon with helium, and a remote trigger for your phone.
Blow up the balloon, secure it around your phone with fishing wire, and take to the skies!
Using a remote trigger (or even your phone's self-timer), trigger the shutter as your phone floats above you.
It's a lot cheaper than a drone, and the results (as seen above), aren't half bad, either!
Let's say you're out shooting during the day and find a nice scene to photograph, only to find that your phone can't handle the dynamic range.
This often happens when the foreground is cast in shadow but the background is brightly illuminated.
If you're shooting with a DSLR, you can use a graduated ND filter to balance out the light and dark areas.
But what if you have your phone?
Easy! Just place your sunglasses in front of your phone (it's helpful if they have a gradient), and voila, you've got a shot that has improved dynamic range.
Back in the day, pinhole photography was the way to go.
The old-time look a pinhole camera creates is too cool not to try with modern technology, though.
It's simple - just create a pinhole in a piece of cardboard.
Then hold the cardboard in front of your phone's lens, being sure to align the hole with the lens.
The result is an old school photo that looks incredible!
If you want to give your smartphone photos a little depth, adding a frame within a frame to the shot will do the trick.
Just hold the framed cutout in front of your subject, make sure part of the subject "leaks" in front of the frame, and you've got all the dimension you need.
And don't worry about not getting your fingers in the frame...
Having your fingers in the shot actually helps give the image that much more depth.
Plus it adds another element of whimsy to the shot!
Phones are great for a lot of photography adventures, even taking panoramas.
But if you want to create a new take on a panorama, turn it into a tiny planet.
Just download a tiny planet app, use the controls to manipulate your panorama, and you've got a photo that's got a mind-bending, stereographic quality to it.
Besides, everyone can do a panorama...why not take it up a notch?!
Who knew you could use your smartphone to make creative high-key portraits?
Just place a black card in front of your phone's camera.
Then press and hold the screen to lock the exposure. That will make the camera think the scene is dark, so it will want to brighten the image.
Then drop the card, compose the shot on your portrait subject, and take the photo.
You'll get a bright, high-key look that's certainly not the typical smartphone portrait!
Another fun way to get creative with your smartphone camera is to try an inception selfie.
Just take photos of a few subjects...
Then use those photos for a photo within a photo image.
You'll need a second smartphone, of course, but if you can get a friend to join in on the fun, you can make awesome images like the one shown above.
Ok, ok, so this hack isn't about taking photos with your phone, but it's still really cool.
Grab a cardboard box and a lens from your DSLR.
Cut a hole in the box to accommodate the lens, then secure the lens in place with gaffer tape.
Put your phone inside the box, ensuring that it's upside down and that the screen is facing the lens.
Start the movie on your phone, close the box, and you've got yourself a DIY projector! Fun, right?
These are just a few awesome and unique smartphone photography hacks.
Try one or try them all, and see what sort of fun you can have with nothing more than a few household items and your phone!