Mobile Photography – what gear do I use?

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By Matt Glastonbury, accomplished Mobile Photographer, providing great tutorials and App reviews. Matt is an independent blogger who acts as a Contributing Editor to Ink361. (Add Matt on Google Plus)

Often a lot that goes into taking your photos, sometimes they are once in a lifetime captures, so it’s worth taking great care to look after them and store them well. Here’s a run-down on what I do, and what Mobile Photography gear I use to get them. Phone storage: Ensure there’s enough storage on your phone to take the photos needed. If there isn’t, I check my backups to see the last stored photo, then I know how many I can delete off the phone to allow enough memory space. I also make sure KitCam app has had it’s Film Shelf (Master files) backed up via iTunes, then emptied. My Gear: I always ensure I have the right gear for different lighting, locations, and weather conditions. Tripods: I recommend using Joby and Manfrotto, plus a cheap tripod you don’t mind throwing in the water. I like to use the Joby GorillaPod for everything except when I need more height. All my tripods have the Joby GripTight adapter screwed on for quick phone attachment. Exposure adjustment light: I use a Black Diamond water resistant head-torch to shine into the phone’s lens and manually force the ISO and shutter speeds to change to my desired setting. Oh, and also to see after dark. Batteries: I use Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro, dust, and water resistant, battery pack. Waterproof case: Lifeproof fr? is the best option for keeping your phone safe from dust, water, snow, impact. Phone flotation device: Lifeproof make a slip-on LifeJacket Float for the fr? case which comes with two different lanyards that are such a great thing to have when you’re hanging off a jetty, boat or jet-ski. Lens: olloclip, three-in-one, lens system, is perfect for additional angles. Sunlight: Choose the right place at the right time. The main app I use for sun direction and location info is LightTrac. This app will help you find the best spots and/or tell you when the sun will set based on your location, or even how long the shadows will be and at what time. I use this all the time when looking for new sunrise, or sunset, locations. Capturing: I always use the best camera apps that give me the most control: KitCam, PureShot, ProCamera. KitCam is my preference because, like Lightroom, it keeps a master file and uses non-destructive when enhancing its photos. Storing your photos: Backup the backup. This is where mobile inevitably changes to Desktop or Laptop unless you have Google Plus, or Dropbox apps set to auto upload as you shoot. I always import my photos onto network attached storage via the computer using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Here I create a separate catalog for Mobile Photography, and backup that catalog regularly too. I highly recommend keeping a space for storing your mobile photos, and then using a removable drive to regularly backup those stored photos. That way, you have another copy separate from your computer storage that you can always use if your computer fails or goes missing. Concluding… with this workflow and gear guide, I have tried to allow for any lighting, weather, and/or storage failure situation. I’m always looking for ways to add new practical and interesting gear to my kit. Not only is it fun, but it also brings new dimensions to my ability to shoot different scenes and locations. I’ll be reviewing some of the products, listed here, and new ones soon too, so stay tuned.

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