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Digital Scholarship Center: Use the Macintosh Computer Camera to Take a High Quality Photo

Information about the resources in the Digital Scholarship Center

Use the Camera on a Mac to Take a High Quality Photo


When doing digital projects or research you may find the need to photograph an object without using a mobile phone or a DSLR camera. In these situations, the camera on an Apple computer can be especially helpful. Apple's operating system includes an app called "Photo Booth; however, this software does not take high quality images. A better choice is to use a free app called "VLC Media Player", which is installed on all the DSC Macintosh computers. Use the following steps to create a high quality photo using the camera on an Apple computer.


  1. Open VLC Media Player located in the Applications folder. The icon looks like This is a icon for the VLC media player
  2. Open the software and type Cmd+R or go to the following menu.

  3. This graphic shows how to access the VLC File menu.

  4. Select the following settings, which will connect the computer's camera and set the image to a higher resolution image.

    This graphic shows how to connect the computer camera.

  5. Once you click "Open" a window will open showing you what the camera is seeing. (Most likely You!) You may need to adjust your lighting in order to capture a good photo. Sometimes tilting the screen down helps. Place the object in front of the camera. 
  6. Then type Cmd+Option+S to take a photo with the VLC software and the computer's camera.
  7. The files automatically saves to the Pictures folder located at the following path:
    Hard Drive / Users/ Your User Name/ Pictures