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Vacationing with an iPad as your only camera. You have got to be kidding! No, leaving my DSLR camera at home, I primarily used my iPad during a two-week vacation last summer. Here are a few mobile photography lessons I have learned.
Copenhagen Canal, taken and edited on iPad
This episode completes the discussion started in Episode 10. In that episode I discuss the continuing growth of mobile photography, the awkwardness I felt taking pictures while holding an iPad in front of my face, learning to edit on the iPad, and backing up photographs while on a trip.
In this episode I speak specifically to my experiences while using the iPad and iPhone cameras. These include:
Lesson Number 1: Need light
- Most phones and tablets are not good in low light.
- While some of the newer phones are getting better, dedicated cameras will win in a comparison with most mobile devices.
Lesson Number 2: Avoid zooming
- Use your feet, not the camera’s digital zoom.
- If you must bring the object closer, do it during post-edit cropping.
Lesson Number 3: Use framing
- If getting closer is not an option, use the foreground to your advantage.
- Find a closer object to pull into the composition. Use the foreground to add depth and draw the eye to your intended focal point.
Lesson Number 4: Use elevation and angles
- If you don't like what you see on the display, learn to be creative and work the environment from a new angle.
- A slight placement of the camera above your head or below the waist or further to the right or left can make a huge difference.
- Think of the camera as being on a string as you swing it in a circle.
Lesson Number 5: Forward may not be best
- Keep your head on a swivel.
- Look to your left and right. Turn around to discover what you just passed.
- A better sunset photo might be the lighting effect on the area behind you.
Lesson Number 6: Pick a few camera apps
- Don’t allow yourself to become an “app-aholic.”
- It's always safe to start with the basic camera app before venturing out to a few others offering very specific options.
Lesson Number 7: Mobile LCD screens are limited in bright sunlight
- The LCD screens are really difficult to view in the bright sunlight.
- Polarized and photochromatic UV sensitive sunglasses make it even more difficult to view the screen.
- Be prepared to properly protect your glasses if you have to take them off.
- Some photographers use towels to form a camera hood when shooting in bright sunlight.
Lesson Number 8: Don’t over use filters and gimmicks during post-production
- Filters currently are all the rage and easy to use.
- It seems cool to take a new picture and make it look old, blue, cartoonish, or whatever else is just a click a way.
- We dumped of all those cheap cameras and poorly developed prints for a reason!
Lesson Number 9: Managing workflow
- Take good workflow notes, including which apps, filters, editing procedures, etc. where utilized during post production.
- Develop a workflow for easily finding and sorting pictures after the fact.
Lesson Number 10: Backing up
- It’s very difficult to back up images in the field from a mobile device.
- Laptops and portable hard drives offer the ability to backup while on vacation.
- A few hardware devices are available for backing up in the field, but these tend to be expensive alternatives.
- Even at home moving images between mobile devices and computers can be cumbersome. In addition to hardwiring a phone or tablet to a computer, Wi-Fi and software options are available to move images wirelessly between devices.
Mac Power Users. com: Mac Power Users 151: iOS Photography with Jeff Carlson author of iPad for Photographers
Derrick Story: The Digital Story.com and Podcast and author of “iPad for Digital Photographers
Casual Tech User 3 Minutes to Better Tech Flipboard Magazine posts articles especially selected for the beginning or casual tech user.
Casual Tech User 3 Minutes to Better Photography Flipboard Magazine posts photographs and articles to encourage spending a few minutes each day enjoying photography.
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