I often find myself traveling… and one of my favorite stops is a good museum. All the time I see signs for no photography in museums. No tripods… no flash… no professional cameras. But cell phone cameras are just accepted.
I say, if you can’t beat them, join them. While my iPhone is no match for a true macro lens, I can still capture some fun memories of what I see.
While on a recent trip to Costa Rica, we stopped at a museum about gold (the country has a long history with the precious metal). The museum was filled with great pieces of native art. Here was my workflow.
- Use an HDR photo app. As we’ve covered on an earlier post, a HDR photo has much more information than a standard camera phone one. Plus the app will store both photos to use later.
- Lay the Camera down. If shooting an item in a case, I just laid the camera flat against the glass. This worked well to minimize reflections as well as stabilize the camera.
- Use the touchscreen. To minimize vibration and movement, I used the touchscreen button. This means I am pushing the camera down into the glass, and not side to side with an external button.
- Post-merge. You can easily take the images shot on the phone and open them on your computer. I find that I can merge two exposures with an app like Photomatix to get even better details in the image.
- Don’t forget post-processing. You can further enhance your photos with sharpening and noise reduction. The camera phone will probably benefit from four adjustments: Clarity, Noise Reduction, Sharpening, and Lens Correction.
I don’t consider the smartphone a replacement for traditional gear here. However, if my choice is get zero photos to remember my visit or get creative… I’ll choose to make a photo any way that I can.
Disclaimer: This is just one way to shoot in this situation. You may still find yourself harassed by security guards.