If you want to take a photo of yourself using your laptop camera, say in a conference hall, or when someone else is presenting his project, without disturbing others, tools such as cheese come handy.
Cheese is a function-rich tool. However, the photos it takes are not of a good quality. Though the tool can be configured, this issue is not addressed. I found a few alternatives for Ubuntu - kamoso, camorama, and guvcview (GTK UVC Video Viewer). Just like cheese, all of these can be easily installed in Ubuntu from the repositories, using,
$ sudo apt-get install kamoso camorama guvcview cheese
Among the tools, unfortunately the photos taken using guvcview are crashed and could not be opened in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS when I tried. The below error was produced when I opened the captured image.
Could not load image 'guvcview_image-3.jpg'.
Error interpreting JPEG image file (Quantization table 0x00 was not defined
Kamoso is good and can be configured; though it does not have all the fancy features of cheese, it produces somewhat better photos and also can capture videos as well as images in the burst (multiple photos with a specified time interval) mode.
Among all the tools that I have tried, camorama seemed to produce the best quality images. It also provides easy options to change the resolutions (small - 160 * 120, medium - 320 * 240, and large - 1280*720). Unlike the other tools, this does not provide options to capture videos or images in the burst mode. However, it does what it is supposed to do, perfectly.