Wednesday, February 24, 2016

TCEA 16 - Mobile Photography

This was an excellent session presented by Leslie Fisher (@lesliefisher on Twitter). You can also visit her website,, and the link for the handout she presented in this session,

Lots of great suggestions and tips for taking better pictures and video with your mobile device. 1. Keep the device stable - use both hands, stable your body against a wall, or stable your phone on a table or tripod. 2. Digital Zoom - if you can don't use digital zoom. Use sneaker zoom (move yourself closer to the object you are taking a picture of). 3. Composition 101

  • Minimize the background by taking a picture from higher than your subject
  • Keep it Simple stupid
  • Fill the frame with the subject
  • keep in mind the rule of thirds - put the subject to the left because that is how we read; put the subject to the right to make an uncomfortable picture -
  • Sheldon, from the Big Bang Theory, sits on the right side of the couch because he is the antagonist to make you uncomfortable
  • place your subject in one intersection of the rule of thirds and if applicable an object, landmark, etc
4. Light
  • take a look and see where the shadows are
  • Shade is even light
  • Fire your flash during the day and it will even it out with light
  • She never really uses your flash during the night
  • are shadows in the way of the subject
  • if they are, can you move the subject
  • harsh shadows during the day? Turn on your flash or move them to shade

5. Use other people's phone flashlight as lighting sources. Make sure to use light from above as it will make a better photo.

She also mentioned several apps that help with your photography. Some of them cost money, but as she puts it what is a few bucks especially to those who make a Sonic or Starbucks run every day.

(I've linked to the iOS versions. Some may have Android version as well.)

Camera Apps:

Camera Awesome - allows for a two finger tap to adjust focus and brightness
Pro HDR - Allows for more adjustment of your HDR photos than just the regular iOS does.

For Editing photos she suggested:

Pixlr - they also have an online version at
Photoshop Fix - this has actually been my new favorite app for quick editing
Snapseed - some great filters and edit features

For Video editing she suggested:

iMovie - but just for the trailer feature.
Videocraft - I have found this app pretty easy ot use. 

For videos, quit recording vertical videos. Turn your camera horizontal to record your video. 
She mentioned the great Glove and Boots video against vertical videos, but didn't show it in the session due to time and a bleeped out word. Not a video, perhaps,  to show students unless you can edit a part or two out. You be the judge.

Finally, this didn't come from her presentation, but I didn find it today. Great tips to take better photos with your iPhone.

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