Shooting Challenge #10 -- Mobile Photography

By Martin Snelling on at

There's an old adage; "the best camera is the one you have with you" and it's a saying that is 100 per cent true. What use is a Canon 5D Mark III if its sitting in a camera bag in your cupboard when the 'decisive moment' presents itself to you? Realistically though, I know it isn't possible to have a 'proper' camera with you all the time and so for most of us, the best camera we have with us is our mobile phone, smart phone, or God forbid, tablet.

Honestly, who takes photos IN PUBLIC with their tablet? I'll tell you who! Tourists at The Louvre all crammed in to take piss-poor photos of Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Anyway, I digress.


The Brief:

This week's challenge is all about mobile phone photography; simply take a photo with your phone. What you take and how you take it is entirely up to you. The only limit is your imagination. You are free to use whatever on-camera/tablet app you want. However, exporting to a computer for further post-processing is NOT permitted; it all has to come from the phone. In your submission, you will need to tell us what phone/tablet you used as well as any apps.


The Example:

The example images were taken on a recent holiday to Paris; they were both shot on my Galaxy S II using the Vignette app. The settings were 'Ilford Black & White' with 'black French frame'.


Not sure what app to use?

There are a number of fantastic camera apps out there; here are my go-to's.



My default camera app for my Galaxy S II is Vignette; it's bloody fantastic. There's a great selection of filters and frames; it's easy to use and for me it does everything I want. A free version is available; the paid app can be had for the bargainous price of £1.60.

Instagram - while I don't use it for taking images, it is great for sharing snaps to the masses. It is limited, the square format is pain sometimes and you're stuck with the default set of filters.

Streamzoo (also available on iOS) - similar to Instagram, but it has more options and you're not limited to square-framed images. You can also upload images from your desktop; it's free too.



Snapseed - Nik Software's photo processing tool is just like their pro-suite of tools and allows you to enhance and improve your photos. It's very powerful and you can achieve some great results.

While I've not used them, Hipstamatic, Camera+ and Camera Awesome are highly rated.



Hahahahahahahhahahahahahahahhahahahaha... ha. ha


Windows Phone

Got any favourite apps or recommendations? Tell us in the comments below.


The Rules:

- Submissions MUST be your own work.
- Submit up to five images
- Photos must be taken after the challenge was published; so no existing shots please.
- NO computer post-processing is permitted -- only on-camera apps are allowed.
- Explain, briefly in your submission email, the equipment, settings, technique and app used.
- Email submissions to, not me.
- Please ensure your image is at least 600px wide and less than 3MB in size.
- Save your image as a JPG, and use the following naming convention FirstnameLastnameMobile.jpg
- Don't forget to include a shooting summary (see above).
- Send your best photos by Monday, 10th December at 6pm UK time with "Mobile Photography" in the subject line.
- Anyone can enter, regardless of location.
- The most important rule -- HAVE FUN

Martin Snelling is a Hampshire-based man about town who works in the videogame industry. A keen photographer, Martin shoots on film and digital; he blogs here, and tweets here.