Philip’s Tips and Recommendations
What is Mobile Photography?
Mobile Photography is about capturing images with a mobile device. This includes (but isn’t limited to):
- Cellular phones
What is My Primary Camera?
The camera I have on hand. Usually:
- My iPhone 11 Pro Max
- Nikon D700
- Nikon D800
- Nikon D5100
- Canon Something-or-the-other
Assignment (Yes There’s Homework)
Using only your mobile device capture and edit any 4 of the following:
- A Selfie
- A Portrait of Someone
- City Scene
- Street Photography
- Urban Art
- Having Fun!
- Sneak a photo without anyone knowing!
Photos must be taken between December 3, 2019 and January 21, 2020. [Extended to include the Holidays].
email your favorite images 4 to Philip Thomas (see reminder email for email address) by Sunday, January 19, 2020 for Show & Tell. Be sure to indicate the category and the name name of the corresponding photo.
Tip #1: What’s the Best Camera?
The camera that you have with you… right there in the moment
- Sometimes it’s the “big camera”
- Sometimes it’s your cell phone… (if you don’t leave it at home)
- What’s the best phone? “The one you have with you!”
Tip #2: Light, Light, Light, Light, Light!
- Every camera works on the principle of controlled exposure.
- The more light you have, the better the control you have over the final image.
- Mobile Camera’s may not be as powerful as their DSLR cousins, but with the right light you can get some pretty amazing results.
Tip #3: Turn Off the Flash
- Camera lighting is usually small and inadequate in just about every circumstance.
- Adequate ambient or continuous lighting is preferred.
- Turn ON OTHER PEOPLE’S THE PHONE FLASHES and use them as impromptu “ambient” lighting.
Tip #4: Touch the Screen to Set the Focus & Adjust the Lighting Settings
- On most mobile devices, touching anywhere on the image will set up auto focus and allow you to adjust the lighting settings.
- Use this to adjust the exposure.
- This feature will depend on you devices make and model.
Tip #5: Shoot in Raw
- If supported by your phone take advantage of being able capture images in RAW mode.
- Applications (like Google’s Snapseed and Adobe’s Lightroom CC) can edit images with minimal destruction to the final image.
- Google Snapseed; Adobe’s Lightroom CC.
Tip #6: No Raw Support? Use the Default Camera App
- The default camera application is designed to take the best advantage of your phone.
- Other, non-raw editing applications may capture a reduced size and/or quality image.
- It’s better to capture at the highest resolution possible and then “tinker” with the settings later.
Tip #7: Just Take the Picture
- Camera Sensor and new Artificial Intelligence technology in newer devices allow you to simply enjoy the thrill of taking a photo without the “complexities” of having remember a bunch of settings and formulas.
- Photography Styles: Street, News, Portraiture, Travel, Architecture & CItyscapes, Nature, Still Life.
Tip #8: Composition Rules Apply – Turn on the Grid Feature
- The default camera app on most phones have the “Rule of 3rds” Grid feature.
- This may vary from model to model.
Tip #9: No Digital Zoom
- Digital Zooming is similar to resizing a photo beyond the natural resolution.
- Expect to see pixilation.
- New mobile devices attempt to compensate for it.
- Nothing like optical zoom!
- Newer phones offer 1x, 2x and 0.5x zoom.
- Depends on the make and model of the phone.
Tip #10: Portrait Mode
- Available on mode new phones.
- Depends on the make and model
- Simulates a graduated depth of field.
- Depth of Field can usually be changed AFTER the picture is taken.
Tip #11: It’s Okay to be Selfie
- Don’t be afraid to take self-portraits.
- The “kids” call it selfies (that’s so 2010).
- Experiment with lighting, different angles, and number of people.
- Take pictures from a 450 angle above. Slimming effect.
- Use a selfie-stick to get some distance from the face forward camera for some added depth or for larger groups of people. (Note: I WILL laugh at you and your “stick”)
Tip #12: Change Your Perspective – Turn that Phone Upside Down
- Do you need to capture a weird or hard to reach low angle? Well turn that phone upside down!
- Get the camera a couple inches to the surface to get a new perspective/composition on a photo.
Tip #13: Excuse Me Sir/Madam, Please Put Down That Tablet
- Fact: Tablets have cameras
- Fact: Those cameras aren’t the greatest.
- Fact: You’ll look like you’re taking a picture/video with a cookie sheet!
- Fact: I will make fun of you!
Tip #14: X Marks the Spot
- See a really good shot and want to come back with your “big” camera?
- Take a photo with your smart phone!
- If geotagging is turned ON it will remember the date/time and the physical location the picture was taken
- Use the maps feature on your phone to retrace your steps later!
Tip #15: Panoramas
Use this feature in your phone stitch multiple images into one long (or tall) image.
Tip #16: Don’t Fear the Water
- Newer phones are water resistant, many of them up to 30 minutes at several feet.
- Get in the pool, go to the beach and get in the water WITH YOUR PHONE!
- WARNING: Each model is different. Be sure to consult your model’s manual for how much water exposure it can tolerate!
Get a Waterproof Case
- There are many options for water proof cases on the market.
- Remember that the extra layer of plastic in front of your lens will affect your image.
- Be sure to do your research to make sure it’s right for you. Buy from reputable sites/stores. Be sure to read the reviews.
Tip #17: Slow Things Down
- Newer phones have slo-mo options.
- Video is recorded at a higher frame rate (example: 240 frames per second).
- When played back a normal speed things appear to slowdown dramatically.
Tip #18: Speed Things Up – Time-Lapse
- Many smartphones phones have a time-lapse option.
- Takes a lot of patience and steady hand (tripod is best).
- Video is recorded at a slower frame rate (example: 1 frame per second).
- When played back at a normal speed things appear to speed up dramatically.
Tip #19: When They Tell You To Put Your Camera Away…
- You’re a photographer… and you have a cell phone… Right?
- … unless it’s illegal for you to do so … don’t get into trouble! (example: US Customs at the Border)
- Of course, use common sense.
Tip #20: Use Filters (Sparingly)
- Use default camera app and third party apps to apply filters to make photos more interesting. Make them “POP!”
- Just don’t over do it though!
Tip #21: Back Up Photos to the Cloud
- Always have a back up of your photos.
- Leverage “The Cloud” for manual or automatic uploads of your camera roll.
- My Favorites
- Apple iCloud Photos
- Google Photos
Tip #22: Share Those Photos
- iPhone use AirDrop
- Apple Messages
- Cross-Platform Album Sharing:
- Google Photos (favorite; formerly Picasa; has privacy concerns)
- iCloud Photos
Tip #23: Share Those Photos (Get Social!)
- Dedicated to Sharing Photos
- Offers Editing (Filters/Manual)
- Stores Edited Photo in Camera Roll
- Dedicated to Sharing Experiences
- Offers Limited Editing
- WPCC’s Website
- Images from WPCC IG Account are Automatically posted to our Facebook page and Website.
Tip #24: Philip’s Favorite Photo Apps (2019)
- Capturing Photos
- Built-in Camera App – Free
- SnapSeed (Google) – Free
- Adobe Lightroom – Free to Download; Paid for Premium
- Adobe Photoshop for iPad – Free to Download; Paid for Premium
- Instagram – Free
- PictFrame – Collages – Free
- Prisma – Free to Download; Paid for Premium
- Google Photos – Free (Paid for Larger Size and >15GB high resolution photos)
- DropBox/Box – Free Initially (Paid for Larger Space) and offers Camera Upload for Backup
- Video Composition & Editing
- iMovie – Free for iOS and iPadOS devices
- Investigator – View EXIF Image Information
Tip #25: But Most Importantly… HAVE FUN!
Who Wants to See Some Sample Mobile Photos?
- Yes. I am shamelessly showing off my travel photos.
- Photos were taken between 2017 and 2019.
- Phone Models Include
- iPhone 7+
- iPhone X
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone 11 Pro
Tip #26: Traveling? It’s Easier to Lug a Phone
- How much does your travel camera and equipment weight?
- I bet you still have your cell phone with you even when you travel abroad!
- USE IT!
- In dark settings it pays to have…
- Steady hands
- Some thing to lean on.
- Or… well.. I guess not in this case!