Episode #1 of the course Master smartphone photography by Tom Ang
Welcome to the first lesson! In this course, you will learn the pro-grade tricks of smartphone photography. Today, let’s look at what “being ready” means.
The Best Is with You
A camera that’s not with you when it’s needed is not much use. So, it’s a good thing you carry your smartphone with you everywhere you go. But then, how ready are you to photograph? The test is this: Can you snap a photograph as quickly and easily as answering the phone?
This state of readiness is twofold: mind readiness and phone readiness.
1. Mind readiness
My first tip may sound obvious, but the fact is that most of us go around only half-seeing life. Mostly, we wait for clear indicators before we think about photographing. The meal arrives, our friends are making goofy faces, there’s a gorgeous sunset, etc.
• Be alert for scenes that will make an interesting photograph.
Keep a lookout for photographs you’d like to snap. This makes your mind ready to respond. Think about what it’s like when you’re waiting for an important phone call. Now think about waiting for an important photo!
Good times to practice this are when you’re waiting for a bus or train, or waiting in any queue. You’ll find it’s also an enjoyable way to pass the time.
2. Phone readiness
All modern smartphones provide shortcuts to the camera app from the lock screen. Surprisingly, many people don’t know this and go through unlocking the phone, then looking for the camera app to launch it. Only then are they ready to shoot. Whew! We can do better than that!
• Learn the shortcut for your phone’s camera app.
The shortcut may be: double-clicking the Home button or a gesture like swiping to the left. Whatever it is, learn it and practice it. Often, there’s a right speed for a swipe or double-click; do it too quickly or too slowly and it won’t work.
You may also look at custom lock screen apps that give you shortcuts to the camera and other functions.
3. Bonus tip
Here’s a bonus tip, one that turns you into a power user!
• Keep the camera app in the background.
Even if you’re not photographing, leave the camera app running while you make calls or do other things. When you need the camera, it will be ready sooner than if it has to launch from scratch.
These are simple tips but can separate you from getting a shot or completely missing it. The difference may be just one, tiny, little second.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at how to capture that beautiful, on-the-nail shot when you shoot.
Sources of inspiration
TheAppWhisperer: by far, the best site for mobile photography, with lots of pictures, reviews, and technique tutorials
5 Ways to Launch Camera from Android Lock Screen Quickly
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