Episode #4 of the course Master smartphone photography by Tom Ang
This lesson will take a break from learning photo techniques. So far, we’ve learned about keeping yourself ready, shooting a lot, and keeping your distance from your portrait subjects.
In this lesson, I share tips to ensure your photography is speedy, high quality, and uninterrupted.
Keep Phone Well Charged
Photographing with your smartphone uses up more power than normal phoning and much more than leaving it on standby. You are using the processor heavily and the screen is on a lot. So, the advice is pretty obvious but worth saying:
• If you want to photograph with your smartphone, keep it well charged up.
You can use battery packs that piggyback on the phone to supplement the battery, but they do bulk up the phone. Or you can carry around a battery booster that charges the phone through a cable with the usual connector. Use this halfway through the day during a lunch break.
Turn Off What You Don’t Need
You can increase the time between recharging by turning off every function that you don’t need while photographing. You’ll want to keep the phone on, of course. But do you need to have Wi-Fi enabled? Or Bluetooth? You may want to keep Location Services on. But if not, turn it off and save yourself some battery juice.
Turning off unwanted apps may not make much difference to power consumption but can speed up camera operation. So, it’s worth quitting the email, web browser, and other apps you use regularly.
Keep Lens Clean
The lenses or optics of all smartphone cameras are tiny. They’re also exposed. These two factors make them very exposed to fingerprints, dust, and other smudges. On big lenses, a smudge or two may not make much difference. But on the tiny lens, even a very small mark can drag down image quality.
• Keep the lens of your smartphone camera (front and rear) meticulously clean.
Modern lenses are covered with scratch-resistant glass, but even so, use only clean soft tissues or microfiber cloths like those sold with spectacles. Breathe lightly on the lens to get moisture to condense, then wipe gently. For my phone and other lenses, I keep a microfiber cloth in a small plastic bag to keep it clean. You can use a clean tissue fresh out of the box, but ensure that it’s not scented.
Back Up and Clear Picture Files
If you shoot and keep shooting as I’ve suggested, you’re shooting like a pro. And that means you’ll soon have hundreds of images. What do you do with them? Be like a pro and do this:
• Download your images regularly.
• Make a backup or two: one at home, one in a cloud-based server.
• Delete all your images from your phone.
• Fill the phone with pictures again.
It’s good practice to dump all the pictures from the picture roll of your phone because it will photograph faster. Of course, you’ll want to keep your best shots to show your friends. It’s best to place them in an album, rather than scattered amongst all your other shots.
Now that your phone is charged up and its memory is slim and sleek, let’s go back to more shooting. Tomorrow, we explore the freedom of perspective that smartphone cameras give us.
All the best!
The Smart Phone Photography Guide: Shoot, Edit, Experiment, Share by Peter Cope
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