Capturing memories: Photographing your trophy with a camera phone

You’ve just taken the shot of a lifetime and your trophy is on the ground. Now, you’re faced with the second most important shot of your life. This time, it’s with your camera.

The saying, “Without a photo, it didn’t happen,” is never more important than recording that all-important trophy. Umm, you are carrying a camera, aren’t you? With the hunting season upon us, it’s probably time to pay a bit more attention to your photography.

The good news: with today’s cell phones, most of us don’t need to lug an extra camera around. With advances in phone software and apps, there’s no reason why every hunter can’t take a memorable photo that will rekindle memories for years.

The Internet offers an abundance of hunting-centric photography lessons. Here are a few more pointers for capturing that special hunt.

Many cell-phone cameras take better and higher-resolution images than inexpensive digital cameras, and free or inexpensive apps let you to edit and improve the final picture. Plus, a cell phone fits in your shirt pocket or cargo pants. While you won’t make professional-quality images with a phone camera, just having it handy meets the No. 1 criteria, which is making sure your camera is there when you need it.

Learn how the camera functions before you need it. Does it have zoom or wide-angle capabilities? How about a fill flash for those too-often back-lit situations? And where does it focus? Most phone cameras allow you to point it at the subject, lightly touch the button and then move the camera to compose the shot you want.

A drawback to auto-focus cameras is it’s too easy to overlook nearer distractions (a branch, antler point, rifle barrel, anything that captures the camera’s electronic eye) between you and the subject. More than one great shot has been spoiled when the focus is off a foot.

Some phone cameras offer a “Rule of Thirds” grid, which can help you compose and balance your photos. (Hint: don’t take every shot with the subject dead center.)

A few more hints:
A few more hints:

A few more hints:

• Keep your camera accessible — that once-in-a-trip shot may turn up at any time;

• Take more photos than you think you’ll ever need. The ones you don’t like can easily be erased;

• Slow down and take the time to look around — the best photo may not be in front of you;

• Be respectful of the animal — clean off the blood and replace the tongue.