Smartphone Photography: Nexus 5 + Snapseed

I thought it would be a nice change to post some photos taken with my smartphone since that technology keeps getting better and better. All the pics below were taken with my Nexus 5 smartphone, made in collaboration between Google and LG. Now cameras on phones are still behind the mighty DSLR, but they sure are making huge strides! Now the camera on my phone is not considered to be one of the best out there. It has 8 megapixels and is mediocre. There are phones that shoot over 35 megapixels and even in RAW with excellent image quality! Are you kidding me?!

Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam

Because my phone camera is not great, I tend to tweak the pictures quite a bit to make them pop. I know the photos below are a bit overdone, but for a smartphone I think they look pretty cool. I would never edit a photo this way from my DSLR, but when from a phone I think it is OK. I use a free app called Snapseed and it is available on iOS and Android. For most purposes, it does a pretty good job.

Hoover Dam Pano
Hoover Dam Pano

The photo above was a panorama image that was then edited with Snapseed.

With the iPhone 6 right around the corner (announcement on 9/9/14), there are a new batch of cutting edge phones hitting the market soon. With each new batch of flagship phones, cameras get better with more capabilities. To be honest, I think these cameras are getting so good that it is beginning to push the DSLR manufacturers to innovate faster which is a great thing for photographers.

Colorado
Colorado

At this point, though, pretty much every phone can benefit from the added editing from apps such as Snapseed. These programs will really bring out the potential of your phone’s camera. Instagram has some pretty good editing options, but the problem is that it forces your photo to be cropped and post within their ecosystem. What if you just want to edit your full size photo and save for other uses, such as posting to a website or emailing? Then the third-party app is the way to go.

Deer at dusk
Deer at dusk

Whatever phone you shoot with and whether it is iOS or Android (my preference), it is an exciting time because the technology is so good. Enjoy yourself. If your phone takes sub par photos and you have become discouraged creatively, try one of the reputable editing apps and really explore the capabilities. It may reignite that creative spark in you to keep shooting and having fun!

 

 

 

 

Clouds and Meadow

Clouds and Meadow

EDIT 9/8/14

I just made this image last night and since it so clearly goes along with this topic, I had to add it.

Colorado road at dusk
Colorado road at dusk

Happy shooting!

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Smartphone Photography: Nexus 5 + Snapseed

  1. marcus dilano September 7, 2014 / 5:09 pm

    Beautiful images Andy. I know that Google wants to keep the price of the Nexus line down but I always wished they would do a little more with their cameras. Although the benefits of running a pure Google OS also has it plusses :-). I Goin to download Snapseed now. Great blog post!

    • Andy Buckner September 7, 2014 / 6:51 pm

      Thanks Marcus! Yeah, you are right about the trade off with price vs camera spec. I think they nailed it for the price + pure Android though. That’s why I’m happy to edit! 🙂 Have fun playing with Snapseed!

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