Help is on the way for Seniors to master their mobile picture taking

FYI: I'll be teaching at Tarrant County Community College's Northeast campus this Fall.
Sign-up online in August for beginners course on photography using your smartphone (as today's cellphone is called).

Check out this family moment taken at my house one evening during the holiday's  This was using my iPad. Then edited to only one minute after editing in iMovie. The course will show you how to do it with iPhone or Android.
There are a lot of apps, but rather being so eager to post you need to take a little time to make it worth the time for families to look at it. Take lots of pictures, but only send the one or two that best shows what happened. Every picture should add to the story, be a different moment. DON'T SEND EVERYTHING.

Another course will focus on preserving memories, choices for scanning in prints and making albums and storytelling video. A short over few highlighting all your choices. This is something that only you can do…

You're here so start filming

I've been saving some clips as interesting points, milestones, on the evolution of photography. Starting with an old article I'd saved by Bert Keppler in Modern Photography's September 1981 issue, where in his SLR Notebook column he reviews the new F-1 Canon SLR.

To his surprise it wasn't electronic like the new Canon A-1, AE-1, etc. "Plastic has taken a back seat to all-metal construction of a very rugged professional nature - the new body is even more rugged than the former F-1," he writes.

ASA (or ISO) went from 6 to 6400, and new titanium shutter going from 8-seconds to 1/2000th.

"Canon engineers feel straight scale and needle is preferred by most pros over the newer-fangled indicators--needles take less battery juice," notes Keppler. The old F-1 didn't have a hotshoe for a flash you had to slide an adapter over the film rewind know, but the new F-1 had a hot-shoe ontop of the prism. That was the main reason to upgrade.

Those were the good o…

Shoot better smartphone images

Before the Spring Break, Personal Technology columnist Geoffrey Fowler was motivated to help readers take "better vacation photos." Offering 28 ways to improve their picture with two ideas being to upgrade to a camera, "you can get a pocket-size camera like Sony's RX-100 V." Or his last tip was if no money was concern, Canon's $3,500 5D Mark IV with a 35mm Sigma fixed focus lens for $900.

Hey! What about the Sony and Olympus Lens cameras (see earlier blogs) that use your smartphone as the viewfinder and use bigger sensor, interchangeable lens, and will fit in your coat pocket?

Confusing? Take better pictures with a smartphone by not using it and getting a camera? Hey there are some great photos being taken and the smartphone is with you and ready when you see the photo. He did add that pictures of food should be eliminated except if they were tied to special events like photo of a birthday cake with message on top.

Reading the article I agree that people ta…

Gear for mobile photography (iPhone and Android)

Some new products are out there to take advantage of the smartphone, and there is a resurgence in film and prints. Interesting times.

The Wall Street Journal reported on five companies making "instant cameras" and writer Michael Hsu says "I blame my iPhone, which makes snapping (and hoarding) mediocre photos all too easy. But darn, it is only a print, he then  recommends using the Google PhotoScan app to copy the print into the smartphone so it can be shared.

Sorry but I don't understand instant printing, seems like more trouble than simply using your smartphone intelligently. It was nice in the film days, when it took hours or days to see what the film camera had taken. With digital you see it immediately, but take time and edit out duplicates, mediocre shots and those photos taken just to remember where you parked the car.

Then FastCompany magazine issues their "Design Awards" which includes a photo software app, Infltr by Yooshr that offers 7 million f…

Trying to keep it simple - - -


The fire was burning in the fireplace and the family was here for the holiday, capture the moment. Don't just take a group shot, make a video of two brothers jamming.

Make it good!

Using my iPad, I want to have good lighting, good sound and not shaky! But I don't need to spend several hundred dollars on a video camera and I don't need to edit it in a computer. Use the apps: FilMic Pro and iMovie is all it takes.

The challenge here is to compare. Is this being cheap and too amateurish? Or, does it look professional? The same rules apply whether it is a smartphone or a digital camera.

With video it is hard to keep it simple.
Here's what was used:
iOgrapher with 2X telephoto lens
RodeMic Go with ipad/iphone adaptor
Savage LED-204 light

Best way to copy from a smartphone?

Sometimes you simply need a photo of a price tag or remember where you parked your car, images that will be deleted he phone in a brief time. But now there are apps to make better copies of contracts, posters, and old family prints. Keepers! Enabling you to pull up family and friends pictures taken at those memorable events.

Google introduced in November PhotoScan app which takes out reflections by shooting four images and stitching it together. It is also a larger image that what you'd take with a single photo.

As a former newspaper photographer, I have always been interested capturing the moment, to show/preserve a moment in history. Remember the moment! Often families only remember what they see in the photo.

I have been scanning negatives, and prints to digital images. Saving the files on DVD discs, external hard-drives and the cloud. Google is also trying to help share the images digitally, but keep it simple.

Using your smartphone PhotoScan app starts with a full frame shot…

Tis the season and there are gifts for all smartphones

We have new smartphones coming on the market offering better ways to capture events, but there's now added accessories for smartphone owners to improve their shooting. "Be professional" as the endcap display in Best Buy promotes.

Well, holding the camera steady is good. Not sure this makes you a professional.

Last year it seemed that everything was for iPhone only, now that extra lens, external mic, tripod mount, short table-top tripod, filters will fit on any smartphone.

Lots of little items and now the problem is how to keep them with you and find them when you want to use it.

A Domke Wrap does it! The camera bag for a smartphone Pro.

This material began some 35 years ago as a replacement to the lens pouch, it was a lot easier and safer to get the lens wrapped than having to try to fit in into a sock or small sack. Photographers discovered this "wrap" could also cover a view camera lens!

It wasn't just for wrapping either. It could be an envelop to drop a…