Use the Lens You Have

Patapsco State Park
(camera phone)
It happens to me more often than I care to admit.  I find myself struck by a beautiful scene, and I have no camera but my cell phone.  My cell phone camera stinks--well, all cell phone cameras stink.  They're phones, for crying out loud.  But at least iPhone users can use a camera made by a company that hopes you'll actually use the camera for photographs.  I have a cheap, Pantech android phone with a 5.0 megapixel camera.  If you use the digital zoom at all, the photo becomes unusable, so you have one focal length to use, and you have to make it work.

Cranes Roost, Altamonte Springs
(camera phone)
Now I don't say this to complain; I don't have iPhone envy.  I'm happy with my phone.  But I used to walk away from beautiful scenes without even using my phone's camera.  I've realized recently that this is a mistake.  You may not be able to get incredible pictures with your cell phone, but you can walk away with something, and you may just use it.  And the limitations you have with a cell phone can make you think about other important aspects of photography that you still have control over, like composition.

Sandhill Cranes with Chicks, Red Bug Lake Park
(camera phone)
I took the above photograph yesterday at a park right by my house; I was with my daughter. As I was shooting these with my cell phone, another photographer was behind me with a dSLR and what looked like a 400mm f/4 or the like.  I was so jealous. I suppose you can guess that I'll be back with my 400mm lens today or tomorrow.  Those chicks are too cute.

The View from the Parking Lot of my Office one Morning
(camera phone)
My first goal is to have a nice camera with me more often; but when I don't, I think there's a perfectly valid photographic point to make--if you can't have the lens you want, use the lens you have.


  1. Good luck with those crane chicks...I would be jealous too!

    1. Thanks, Steve. I just went back with my other camera. You can see the photos in my next post if you like.

  2. Nice photos! I always seem to see something really exciting when I don't have my camera. A few weeks ago I saw a large flock of White Pelicans in a small pond right by the road, would have been some great photos. I should have thought of my phone!

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