High quality vacation photos with your mobile phone

Are you focused on high quality photos when on vacation?

We here at dotPhoto work hard to take the best photos we can when we go off on vacation. Myself, I get my trusty DSLR ready and start practicing a week or so before we leave. What I’m beginning to think is unusual is that I take almost all my everyday photos with my camera phone and not my digital camera.

Of course when we have gatherings of friends and family or I attend our daughter’s basketball games I set the mobile camera app to auto and take dozens and dozens of photos and delete the ones I don’t like. But on vacation we go to different and interesting places and I’m afraid that unless I use the DSLR I just won’t get the quality of photos I desire and, unlike games and other gatherings which happen pretty often, I won’t get a second chance.

Recently I began seeing articles that said that the quality of cameras being built into phones was improving. Much of what I read was coming from the manufacturers so I had my doubts, but these articles put me on the lookout for more reviews and information. While hunting around I came across this piece by Karen Loftus telling me that I can rely on my mobile phone’s camera. So take a look at the results.


Did this photo get your attention? But it’s not mine it’s Karen’s. Karen interviewed a number of well respected photographers and here’s the first thing she learned.

  • Seriously, leave the DSLR at home.

And, there’s more for us to learn in this article that Karen Loftus penned. http://www.insidehook.com/nation/take-great-travel-photos-with-iphone-smartphone


Tiles help you take photos of small attractive products

Do you like to take photos of small attractive products…or gifts or items you buy for your home? Well we do, and it is always a challenge to find a good setting for the photo: the right table, the right surface, the right background…I think you know what I mean. Even professional photographers work hard to find an attractive way to photograph a product so that the product stands out.

To get a few ideas on improving our techniques we’ve been poking around and, as we searched we came across a pro with what we think are some truly good ideas for small products. See what you think.

Laya Gerlock explains…

Tiles Are a Product Photographer’s Best Friend

As a product photographer, I’ve always had a problem with finding what to use as a background. Even more so when I need to go to my client to shoot their products.

Before, I was limited to shooting on a black granite tile. Then I added some do-it-yourself wood planks into my props collection, but carrying the wood planks was a big problem, as they were too heavy and I could only limit myself to about 2 wood planks per shoot.

Fast forward a bit. I was in the hardware store to get something when I saw a piece of tile that resembled a rocky surface, which was perfect for a shot I wanted to create. Then my curiosity with different tiles was born.


See more of what Laya has to offer here: http://petapixel.com/2016/03/01/tiles-product-photographers-best-friend/


Video games may make you a better photographer

Point-and-shoot or shoot-em-up

“It makes sense that photography would be a natural fit for video games. Over the last several console generations, controllers have been evolving to better accommodate first-person shooters: their twin joysticks enabling simultaneous movement and aiming and their shoulder buttons deliberately evoking triggers. Shooting a camera and shooting a gun—mechanically speaking—they’re not so different.” VideoGamesTeachPhotography2VideoGamesTeachPhotography

Finding the right video games to learn photography?

We all want to be better photographers…to be as good as we can be when those moments arrive. We study photos taken by famous photographers like Ansel Adams whose black-and-white landscape photographs of the American West, especially Yosemite National Park, have been widely reproduced on calendars, posters, and books — or Dorothy Lange who made her mark in photography during the Great Depression by taking some of the most moving and dramatic photos of people and conditions in that era.

Some of us think about taking courses, including many offered online.  We take our studies very seriously. And, if you’re like us here at dotPhoto, you probably would not even think of online video games when you think about improving your photographic skills.

Our writer seriously offers that possibility. With forward-looking schools beginning to use games to teach “soft skills,” he sees the hand eye co-ordination, the ability to focus, and the fundamentals of a good shot being similar in video games and real life photography.

Patrick Lee tells us…

“Woe to the medical student who plays Surgeon Simulator instead of studying and goes on to be sued for gross malpractice after accidentally sawing open a patient’s lungs. Rest in peace to the aspiring skater who, emboldened by Rob Dyrdek’s proclamation that playing Skate is equivalent to learning how to skateboard, jumps on a board for the first time and tragically breaks their spine in 11 places.

As far back as the ’80s, edutainment titles like Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? and Oregon Trail were teaching kids geography and history, and now forward-looking schools are beginning to use games like Minecraft to teach soft skills such as curiosity and communication. But we don’t often hear about games being used to teach technical skills or trades. Maybe that’s for a reason. If your house was burning down, would you trust a firefighter whose only training came from playing Super Mario Sunshine?”  Yet, at the same time, it makes sense that photography would be a natural fit for video games.”

See more of what Patrick proposes here: http://www.avclub.com/article/can-video-games-teach-you-be-better-photographer-237294

Using a Smartphone to take High Quality Photos

The Right Digital Camera

If you’re like us here at dotPhoto, since the beginning of the digital photography age we’ve always looked for the best digital camera that we could afford. Cameras with enough resolution, zoom, EVF, motion correction, and more. We have always just assumed that if you want professional quality photos you buy a quality digital camera.

Well maybe that’s no longer necessary. It may now be possible to take professional level photos with… your Smart Phone. Yes, that’s right, your Smart Phone. We’ve been using our Smart Phones for casual vacation and family photos for years now, but when we want to take high quality photos of products and the like we’ve always reached for our digital camera.

Lately we’ve been seeing and hearing that this may no longer be necessary…that Smart Phones may be more than enough. Of course we hear this from the manufacturers who, let’s be honest, want to sell their devices. But now we’re seeing articles, like the one referenced here from a professional photographer, that back up these claims.


Here’s an excerpt from an article by Ramon Ray: “I recently bought a professional digital SLR camera. While it certainly has some features that make photos look stunning and professional, you don’t need to shell out the money for a fancy camera… With a few effective tips, you can take professional photos to use on your site and in your marketing.”

One great way to improve your smart phone pics is to use dotPhoto’s free editing software for cropping, tinting and other special effects.  Info on the dotPhoto Editor

Ray’s Tipshttp://www.business.com/arts-and-design/6-ways-to-take-professional-photos-with-your-smartphone

dotPhoto recently released our Android dotPhoto App that you can download for free from the Play Store. Our iOS version for the iPhone is in testing now.